Interview: The Story Behind Tender Glue

Q: Where are you from and when did you move to New York?
A: I was born and raised in Poland. I moved here in 2002, so it’s been 13 years.

Q: Where in New York?
A: Bushwick/Ridgewood area.

Q: Why did you decide to move here?
A: It wasn’t really my decision. When I was 17 years old, my parents decided to move after they won a green-card.

Q: Won a green-card? How does that work?
A: Some countries have an opportunity to win a green-card by entering a lottery so my father applied and we won.

Q: I didn’t know there was such a thing as winning a green card.
A: Yeah it does exist.

Q: Well speaking of family, do any of your relatives play music?
A: I heard my father used to play, but I never had any recollections of him playing. My maternal grandfather used to play accordion, but that’s only a faded memory.

Q: What was your first overall encounter with instruments and playing music?
A: When I was in Poland, probably 12 years old, my brother was confronted by a group of gypsies. He was holding a brand new ADIDAS soccer ball and was hassled to trade it with a broken guitar. He brought the guitar home and I was excited because I always wanted to learn how to play guitar. I took the guitar and tried fixing it by taping the neck with duck tape because duck tape works for everything. [smiles] But one day I came home and I found out that my mother had thrown it away and I even went to the garbage container to look for it, but I couldn’t find it. After that, it stayed in the back of my mind that it was something that I would eventually get into.

Q: Haha, so when was the next time?
A: It was about when I was 23 years old; I was in Target and I saw an acoustic guitar and bought it. It was around Christmas time, so I gave it to myself as a gift. After that, I discovered that it came easy for me to create my own music.

So there was a pretty big gap in between that time?
A: Yeah I guess, but I always had my own taste in music and so it probably shaped how the songs sound.

Q: Now the big question is, where did the name “Tender Glue” come from?
A: There was a girl, her last name translated to “Tender” in English and when I was younger, I used to be called “Glue”. So one day, I texted her a message saying “We’re going to be Tender Glue” and I stuck with it after we stopped playing because the name could mean nothing and everything.

Q: Haha, I like that. Is there anyone else involved with Tender Glue besides you?
A: No, it’s only me for now. I try to do as much as I can by myself, but I’m still looking for the right people.

Q: Is there anything else you want to say about your music?
A: No, not really. Thanks. [smiles]

Interview and Photos by Janise Lazarte