With the San Francisco Bonfire Sessions coming up this Sunday, we wanted to get to know our headliners, SF’s Two Gallants, a little better. We shot them some questions and the band’s drummer/vocalist Tyson Vogel kindly took the time to give us some answers.
If you want to come see Two Gallants FOR FREE this Sunday, April 28th (along with The Fresh & Onlys, SAFE, and a special SF guest artist), you need to RSVP here. Doors are at 6pm and you can either drive to Treasure Island and park, or take our free shuttle from downtown San Francisco (info here).
Q. You guys are gearing up for some big tours in Europe and America. In which side of the world do you like touring better? What’s the difference?
A. We both feel very honored, humbled actually, to have the opportunities to travel and exercise our noise, and let these songs, sounds, performances take on a life of their own and live in real time, in real, present life. We began touring almost immediately after we started playing shows, it was an opportunity to learn, to explore this large and deep American environment, to interact with its physical and social history in the act of roving through different contexts and sharing different kind of communication and togetherness, music. This approach has never really shifted for us, even though our tours have reached many places in the world and take us away over longer periods of our life, there is no comparison… everywhere and everyone is different. It’s about celebrating and learning how to survive and communicate with the world around you, committing to something that brings people physically together, and we are honored to be able to do some of this by sound.
Q. Are you guys working on a new album?
A. There are quite a few new things in the air, floating around our instruments and throats. We have 3 months of touring ahead…we are looking toward our next release.
Q. Being on the road so much, and constantly being around other people/bands, when do you find or make time to work on new material?
A. Touring is very much a double edged sword, and it is not easy to work on new material when there is very little sense of privacy in your day, but songs seem to have minds of their own and will write themselves without much regard to your environment or situation… Adam and I, in many ways, have learned what we each need to do to keep our process, individually and collectively, present and always accessible even on tour. I very much see music as a conviction, and with it is a responsibility…
Q. While on tour and spending countless hours together, how do you keep from getting tired of each other?
A. Adam and I have a long and deep story, there is a time, a deep time, or DNA, that we share having known each other for so long, and been through what we have…we have learned very much how to work with the constantly fluctuating lifestyle that defines our lives in the following our musical paths. Like any family, the easy and the hard moments can be equal, its just about how you communicate about it.
Q. How do you feel growing up in San Francisco, with it’s epic folk musical legacy, has impacted your art?
A. San Francisco is rife with a sensibility of the creative, natural, and historical… it’s in its buildings architecture, in its beaches and parks, this current draws people to its heart, directs their decisions on how to walk to work, how to talk to others, how to spend their mornings or evenings. I don’t think San Francisco’s musical past has had much of an influence upon our sound or decisions, but it has nothing but directed us towards our own expression through its promoting of a musical tradition and its constant nurturing and creating of a thoroughly artistic, intellectual, thoughtful, rooted, and inspired experience.
Q. Which contemporary bands that have released records in the past year influence you?
A. The Pharmacy – Weekend
Grayceon – Pearl And The End Of Days
High on Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis
Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers – Teenage and Torture
Q. What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen from the stage while performing?
A. Last year we played in Santa Barbara with our friends Black Mountain, it was smaller club show that was quite intimate and packed in around the stage where i felt that people were all around us, leaning into the stage to throw their hair around amidst sipping upon their drink liquor. Then all of a sudden this woman in her 50′s who is standing right in front of Adam pulls out her breasts and is just standing there swaying to the music for what seemed like minutes… she then, still topless, proceeds to get visibly disturbed, chaotically yells at Adam and then throws something at him and storms off.
Q. If you were to form a band with anyone alive today, who would it be and why?
A. Arvo Pärt or Panda Bear… in both cases, there are sensibilities, sensitivities, explored…light and dark, sound and silence.
Q. How did you end up working with John Congleton, and how did your different creative processes affect or enhance each other?
A. Working with John came about through a few different currents. We were brainstorming on whom we might like to work with for the Bloom and the Blight when I received a call from my friend Van, in who’s band Port O’Brien I sat in on drums for 8 or so months, and he had just recorded his solo record under the name Waters with John. He urged me to check out his (Congleton’s) work, thinking that we would see eye to eye sonically and creatively. John also reached out and we all decided to work with each other. John is very talented, and he brought a sense of seriousness when we needed it, lightness when we needed it, but an overall dedication to helping us realize all together how to make this record sound the way we all wanted. We were looking for a presence to come and illuminate things, and he was integral to the process.
Q. Between 2007 and 2012, what are some significant moments that happened in your lives that shaped the way The Bloom and the Blight turned out?
A. There is too much to say, too much to contain in just words, but Adam and I went on striving to live, and each went through experiences that will define us and our time through those years. we both learned some very dark and hard lessons, and were both on our own trajectories… The Bloom and the Blight in many ways represents that fight for renewal, that fight to survive, and to survive your own brain and heart in the process of physical and emotional growth and destruction, and to transcend, and become even more realized and in yourself amidst this expansive world… and our collective illumination.
You can check out Two Gallants this summer on both sides of the pond:
12: Brussels, Belgium / Les Nuits Botanique +
13: Dusseldorf, Germany / Zakk *
14: Heidelberg, Germany / Karlstorbahnhof *
15: Zurich, Switzerland / Komplex Klub *
17: Legnano, Italy / Circolone *
18: Innsbruck, Austria / Weekender Club *
20: Nuremberg, Germany / K4 *
21: Dresden, Germany / Beatpol *
22: Hamburg, Germany / Knust *
23: Groningen, Netherlands / Vera #
24: Nijmegen, Netherlands / Doornroosje #
25: Amsterdam, Netherlands / London Calling at Paradiso
26: Leffinge, Belgium / Club De Zwerver *
27: Paris, France / Le Trianon %
07: Big Sur, California / Henry Miller Memorial Library **
08: Las Vegas, Nevada / Beauty Bar ^
09: Phoenix, Arizona / Crescent Ballroom ^
11: Austin, Texas / The Parish ^
13: Atlanta, Georgia / The Earl ^
15: Manchester, Tennessee / Bonnaroo
17: Orlando, Florida / The Social ^
18: St. Augustine, Florida / Cafe Eleven ^
19: Charlotte, North Carolina / Visulite Theatre ^
20: Durham, North Carolina / Motorco Music Hall ^
21: Charlottesville, Virginia / The Southern ^
22: Washington, DC / Rock and Roll Hotel ^
24: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Union Transfer ^
25: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / Brillobox ^
26: Chicago, Illinois / Lincoln Hall ^
29: Ft. Collins / Aggie Theater
30: Boulder, Colorado / Fox Theatre ^
02: Reno, Nevada / The Chapel Tavern
09: Sweden, Stockholm, What we do is secret – summer festival
10: Sweden, Göthenborg, What we do is secret – summer festival
12: Norway, Bryne, Ranglerock
13: Germany, Hannover, Bootboohook Festival
14: The Netherlands, Rotterdam, Rotown
15: Germany, Oberhausen, Druckluft
16: Germany Wiesbaden, Schlachtof Raucherkammer)
18: UK, Oxford, Academy 2
19: UK, Birmingham, Institute
21: Belgium, Dour, Dour Festival
23: Switzerland, Nyon, Paleo Festival
26: Switzerland, Luzern, Blue Balls Festival
+ with Roscoe and Young Rival
* with Mozes and the Firstborn
# with the Hickey Underworld
% with Steve Earle and Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside
** with Sleepy Sun
^ with BRONCHO