Glorp Studios, Named after a Drunken Snapchat, is Denton's Newest House Venue
Keelan Tollefson and Charles Knowles, the masterminds behind Glorp Studios in Denton
We know what you're thinking: What is a "Glorp?" The legends are hazy, but the story goes that Charles Knowles, in a state of alcohol-induced clairvoyance, sent a noble Snapchat message containing the mystic word. From there, it was only a matter of time before he and his roommate, Keelan Tollefson, named their Denton home studio and venue in honor of the fictional deity. "At this point, we figure we should probably have a shrine to him in the house," Tollefson jokes.
This Friday, Glorp Studios is hosting an inaugural house show to christen the opening of the new location and spread the message of Glorp. Knowles and Tollefsen both hold to one guiding principle in their endeavors: Do whatever the fuck you want.
The duo has a long, winding music history starting with a shoegaze band, Drouz, which eventually branched off into their electronic project, Arouz. In the latter of the two groups, Tollefson and Knowles ended up inadvertently breaking into the world of hip-hop production as a result of their impromptu live shows.
“We would go to the square and just set up, and people would grab the microphone and start rapping,” Knowles says. “After that, people would approach us to produce beats for them.”
The most notable incident of this caliber took place in Austin during South by Southwest on the infamous shit show that is Sixth Street. Right in the middle of the colossal festival, they played a set to over 100 strangers, who were all incredibly receptive to the pair’s electronic offerings. Then, in the middle of the set, a New York rapper took the stage, grabbed the microphone and started spitting bars over their beats.
“Afterward, he gave us his information and said he wanted us to produce for him,” Tollefson says. “So we ended up making that jump to being producers, too.”
Tollefson taught himself how to record music about nine years ago, then guided Knowles through the process as well. At first, they were just recording for their own bands and friends, but eventually they had enough artists working with them that it made sense to form a loose "collective" under the church of Glorp. In making their label, they wanted to be as inclusive as possible of all genres, which means everything from hip-hop to noise is welcome to share the name of the studio.
The same ideology will be implemented for the venue, which seemed the only natural progression for the studio when the two moved into their current East Denton house. Knowles and Tollefson were originally running Glorp operations out of their apartment, where they’d even host a few electronic shows, but eventually knew they'd need to scale up. Now they hope to run hip-hop shows adjacent to alternative or rock shows, to bring together the music scenes and hopefully bridge the gap between genres.
"Most house venues have a set genre expectation," Tollefson says. "If you go to, say, Macaroni Island, you know there's a certain kind of band that'll be playing. We want to try and avoid that and get as weird with it as possible."
Helping run their first show on Friday is one of their leading hip-hop artists, Britni McElvy. Her recordings are set to release fairly soon, and she'll be helping manage the event and assist with audio. "She's been huge in helping us out," Knowles says. "She's awesome, and she's an incredible artist, too. We've been excited to work with her."
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True to Denton form, the duo have a brand new band, “Golden Triangle,” an emo project that will be playing the show, and are constantly joking about forming new ones.
“The other day I tuned down my guitar low for fun, and I was messing around, then turned to my friend and said ‘Hey, we should totally start a stoner metal band!’” says Knowles, with a laugh.
Though they'd eventually like to try and have an official venue separate from their living space, Knowles and Tollefson are a bit preoccupied with the exciting opportunities that are just on the horizon. Between adding bands to their Glorp label and booking shows at their house, they've got plenty to keep busy with. Even just as an idea, Knowles wants to hold a "Breakfast Fest," where he invites people over to the house and just cooks an enormous quantity of breakfast food.
"Maybe we could even get bands to play with that, too," he wonders. "Do people want to hear music while they eat breakfast?"
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