by J.R. Leyvas
Yestyn Griffiths is a painter, but not in the classical sense. His canvas is your ears. His brush is the songs he produces. His melodies are the paint he splashes across your memory. And his lyrics are all the endless colors that polish his masterpieces. He signs his art with the moniker he is best known by — Glass Pear.
Inspired at an early age by tunes hummed by his father, such as “Rocky Racoon” by the Beatles and Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe,” Griffiths became a voracious addict of all things music, including Elvis, the Beatles, Beach Boys, Bowie, Smiths, Suede, Pixies, Prodigy, Radiohead, Beastie Boys, and Dr. Dre, to name a few.
“That musical history is part of my soul,” explains the Welshman. “Everything I create comes out of this cauldron.”
Like his art, Griffiths spared no creativity when choosing the name of his band, “The Pear is affection, love. It is the shape of woman. Glass is fragile and, once broken, can wound.” He summed up the meaning of Glass Pear in quoting the 19th century poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson: “Its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Bursting onto the music scene on the heels of his older brother, recording artist Jem, Griffiths made a name for himself with the hits “Vultures” and “Last Day of Your Life,” the latter of which was featured in the first episode of the popular TV show 90210, and again in Grey’s Anatomy. Both songs debuted on Glass Pear’s album, “Streets of Love” in 2009 followed by his self-titled 2011 album, an eleven-track masterwork featuring the song, “One Day Soon.” Griffiths’ tempered ballads echo those of the Beatles, in songs like “My Ghost” and “Love Is All I Need,” you can almost hear bits of McCartney or Harrison woven within the melodies. Griffiths explains his music is not so much inspired but stems from a compulsion to create.
“I can hear the tiniest fragment of a musical idea and then I want to solve the problem of developing it into a whole song. I paint and repaint songs over and over again, changing parts, erasing, building, experimenting. That’s what I enjoy, not just the end product, but the process.”
2012 promises to be a year of great strides for Glass Pear as he takes his portfolio of music to the ears in gigs across the United Kingdom and beyond.