Reviews

What the Toll Tells

Author: Charles Gonzalez
02/21/2006 | Mesh Magazine | www.meshsf.com | Feature
Two Gallants have caused quite a stir in the SF music scene. I hear people talking about you guys all the time. When did the band form and at what point in Two Gallants' existence did the buzz really fly off the tracks?
I wouldn't know. If that concerned us we would be a different band. We played our first show in May of 2002 at the 16th street BART station. Ever since that day we have been playing incessantly. If people seemed to notice sometime along the way, we never did; at least not enough to change our reason for doing it.

Given the right circumstance, would Two Gallants' weapon of choice be chemical or nuclear warheads? Please explain.
I might opt for a water balloon and a potato gun. People don't have to die. Modern man hasn't really shucked that old medieval need to spill blood to solve a conflict. This awkward digital age is upon us and we still resort to playground tactics in international disputes. It's pretty pathetic.

I think you guys write awesome drinking songs. Do Two Gallants frequent local bars and booze it up or do you prefer controlled substances/mind altering chemicals?
My personal sting is a bottle of Robitussin and a few huffs of lighter fluid. Anything that'll get the edge off, you know.

Do Two Gallants advocate violence towards women? I'm sure you guys are really sweet and all, but some the lyrics suggest homicidal tendencies. Please explain to fans that you both are really sweet and gentle.
Why? The songs are words and music. They are not us and we are not them and we allow ourselves the liberty to sing about whatever we want. You seem to be the type who could understand that. The only thing that we ever abuse is the Holy Word.

Some of the tracks on the new record remind me of the acoustic G&R record, Lies. Have you guys ever been compared to Guns and Roses? If so, what are your opinions on that comparison?
No, we have never been compared to them. People seem to be very surprised to find out that they were probably the first band that either of us listened to that was not on Sesame Street or in our parents' music collection. Guns n' Roses' effect on our formative ears could not be overstated.

Rumor has it that you guys have legions of female fans all over the world. For the record, is either of you guys in a serious relationship or do the members of Two Gallants fly solo?
Fly solo? Well first of all, everyone "flies solo," most of us just try to ignore it through the company of others or eternal companionship. We here in two gallants are currently half engaged and half disengaged. That's about all we can say about that.

Do you guys listen to the Pogues? The readers are curious.
No, neither of us really ever has. We have heard some but not enough to have too strong an opinion either way. Shane MacGowan was a fine songwriter long ago.

Once I saw Two Gallants open for Britt Daniel of Spoon at the Swedish American Hall and I remember being surprised by the band's ability to work the crowd (kind of like the way Ozzy did during the Bark at the Moon tour in '84). The audience just went nuts for you guys. What do you attribute this madness to? Would you attribute divine intervention or hours practicing in front of the mirror?
Funny you should mention that `84 ?Bark at the Moon? tour cause we were there. Phenomenal shit. That was sort of where we decided to start a band. We thought, ?hell if Ozzy can do this why can't we?? and its been a grueling struggle to escape his shadow ever since. A rather pivotal moment in both of our careers, I must say.

What is it about your music that makes Two Gallants different from the rest of the indie rock pack?
Well if we considered ourselves runners in the indie rock pack than perhaps we would feel obliged to state our individuality but we don't play indie rock music and we don't really like indie rock. There are some bands that fall under (or are placed under) the indie rock banner whom we respect, but those cases are few and usually only in their moments of escape from the so-called genre. I am a bit confused on what the term even means. I guess it is an unofficial abbreviation of independent. We are on an independent record label. So I guess that could be us. All we know is that we play the music that we want to play. We aren't trying to blow minds or make millions. If those events happen to occur along the way than we would be fools to deny them. But if they ever became the reason why we do this than that would be a far greater tragedy. If people place us in a category among strangers or accomplices, that's there own decision; we prefer to avoid the tendency to sterilize music into prescribed genres.

How did you guys ultimately get involved with Saddle Creek? I was under the impression that those guys usually work with Nebraska acts. With that being said, Saddle Creek must have made an exception for Two Gallants. Please explain.
I suppose we met them initially through touring a lot. We passed through Omaha quite a bit since we started touring the country and I think they might have caught wind that we were okay. They got a hold of our first record and started talking to us. We met some folks at the label in Austin last march. To us they were the most real label types who showed interested in signing us. The rest were a bit too starch for our taste.

What records are you guys listening to these days?
Bascom Lamar Lunsford's Ballads and Fiddle Tunes, Something Else by the Kinks, Jay-Z's The Blueprint. Trainwreck Riders' Where the Neon Turns to Wood. Peg Leg Howell and Eddie Anthony.

Do you guys eat meat? The fans want to know.
Are you sure they do? No one has ever really asked before. Tyson rarely does though he will dab in a little fish now and again for some sustenance. A Pescatarian perhaps you could call him. But Adam he is all about the blood of the lamb. Meat tofu, meat soda, meat hair products, meat deodorant.
What the Toll Tells

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