Gallucci are a soca-punk band from Sydney – Two brothers who can’t quite quit each other. They’ve been known for highly occasional bursts of loud and confusing “music” with echoes of a skatepark generator in the background plus rumours of Mike Watt (Minutemen, Stooges) & Joe Lally (Fugazi) making one-off appearances in their otherwise dim existence. Gallucci are celebrating the release of their fifth album (Still) Exists! which is available now on Bandcamp for free. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles did a Q&A with Timothy from the band about the album.
Is it a feeling of relief that the album is finally done and dusted?
Absolutely! It’s always an awesome feeling to follow something through from speckle of an idea, to finish. Especially when you’re doing every element yourselves, and there’s no-one else who’s gonna do the work. Everyone’s got half baked, unfinished projects hiding on hard drives, and not adding to that pile is a big win!
Is it a tough decision to make the album available for free when so much time and money has gone in to making it?
Nope, not at all. DIY and a bit of luck usually keeps things cheap, and we don’t really have a choice anyway – There is no money! Ultimately, we’re way more invested creatively and energy-wise, and on that level we know we have to be willing to give away freely what we’ve paid dearly for. It’s a good thing…. We’re not making a product to sell, it’s just not our thing.
Do you think Bandcamp is the optimum platform for bands now to get their wares out there?
Well it’s working pretty good for us. I remember getting an email from them about 10 years ago when they were just starting, and now I’m thinking I should have paid more attention back then! It’s pretty flexible and fair, and the fact that they tolerate mugs like us who want to give stuff away is amazing. At the fan end, I really dig it actually. There’s a community thing, and I’m supporting the artist as directly as possible. Plus, being an audio-nerd I can start a FLAC party any time I want! Oh yeah.
Maintaining work life balance must be tough, how do manage the commitment of being in a band as well?
I guess we just default back to being brothers. It’s a good position, cause we can’t really quit. The commitment of the band is not so much a ‘see you at practice 7-days a week’ thing at this point, it’s a long-term creative explore together with times of intense focus when it makes sense.
How would you compare (Still) Exists! to the other four Gallucci albums?
Well for us, it’s 100% the best thing we’ve ever done. The creativity and expression is more china white pure, the spirit of it is solid, and the sound is the best job we’ve done of capturing ourselves in an truthful way. Overall, It felt more like a slightly throttled vomit, than an overthought blood-let – The desperation and frustration in all the previous albums was replaced with just appreciating being together, brothers making music as one – Sounds like it would have been a pretty soft-whimper of an album, but it actually gave us a renewed intensity big time, which was cool.
Turns out too, it was the first time we’d ever written music together with no other band-mates, and so we got more in sync than ever, and had the chance to draw a line in the sand from some old ‘bad-gcci’ habits of the past (basically, I stopped yelling at people…. eeekkkk).
Did the writing and recording process go as planned?
Um, no, not really. We actually had everything set up, 100% ready to record, red-light on. I counted us in 1-2-3-4 and then suddenly Jake got a phone call and had to go deal with some family stuff. For a minute I fully freaked out, I was so juiced up and then the plug was just yanked. I didn’t really know what was going to happen next, and it was like 2AM, time to pack up the studio – So I just said stuff it and did something I’d never done before and played all the songs on drums by myself, no guitar, no click, just smacked it all out; full fury and passion for the moment as if Jake’s ghost was in the room (his guitar and amp still was!). It was weird and intense.
Thankfully things settled at Jake’s end, and another opportunity came up to sort the guitar, so we just set it all up the same, same spots, drums in the room with him and everything. We’d done all this work and preparation to play and record in the same room at the same time, with that sound – but fate had other plans. So we just had to make it work, while trying to preserve togetherness as much as possible. It was a big personal test for me anyway, to not lose my shit and just chuck in the towel. Yeah, I’m remembering why we called it (still)Exists!
How much did the songs change when you recorded them from your original idea?
Not really much in truth, we’d been practicing to just walk in and hit it. They just sounded better, which was a great surprise. Freeze was the only one that developed a bit in the recording maybe, cause the vocal was ironed out in the studio. Demos sound remarkably similar – We were even panning ourselves left and right, just to make it easier to hear what we were writing.
Is there a national tour planned at some stage?
Yeah, we’re super keen, but it’s not figured out yet. Jak-o is about to become a Dad-o, so that’s an amazing thing, but also something that’s gonna take some thought to organise a tour around. Way keen to hit the regional towns, whether they know us or not. See more of this land….
Five albums worth stuff to cram in, that’s a good challenge to have?
Haha, we’ll just pick and choose for a set that works the senses. I don’t think anyone is gonna be calling out song requests from the crowd for us!
What’s next for Gallucci?
I think we’ll just keep popping up at random intervals doing random things. It works for us. Few collaboration ideas always in the works. We like playing with and learning from bass players, so probably more of that! Bass is cool.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Have a listen to Gallucci (Still) Exists!