Here we go with Badass Band 26, this one is an East Coast transplant who is slowly taking over the LA scene with their kick ass tunes. The name of this band alone, The Gallery, reflects their sound quite well. When I think of a gallery I think of a place with a collection of eclectic pieces of art and you tend to find one, or hopefully many that speak to your soul. That is this band.
I was referred to The Gallery by a friend and headed to their website to scope them. I clicked on their newest EP, Come Alive, and after listening to ‘Ballroom of Broken Hearts’ I knew they were going to be one of my new favorite bands. After the first verse I thought to myself , “These guys must know me. This is fits me all too well.” I think I listened to it 8-10 times that night, no joke. Finally, I moved on to the other songs on the EP, ‘Catalyst’, ‘Free’, ‘Last Goodbye’ and ‘Who’s in the Right’. This EP, though short, is a great mix of mellow and upbeat tunes, all excellent. The commonality amongst the songs is the way they each seem to highlight a positive or negative aspect of the power of love. The excellent imagery and songwriting, along with the haunting vocals, and killer guitar/rhythm section make this album a must have.
The Gallery is comprised of Brendan Cooney, Ryan Cooney, Dave Mozdzanowski, Ben Lozano. The majority of them have been playing together for the better part of ten years now, and it shows. They actually have three albums out, ‘If you Know What I Mean’ (2008), ‘Island Road EP’ (2010) and then as mentioned, the newest ‘Come Alive EP’ (2011) and all are available on their bandcamp page. I went through all three albums and each is better than the last. You have to love a band that gets BETTER with age rather than stagnant or worse. I have yet to catch these guys live, but it will definitely be happening VERY soon!
The guys of The Gallery were nice enough to take some time to answer some questions for BBB and below you can read up about what musicians they admire, fake parking tickets, and what to expect from this badass band this year!
When and why did each of you start playing?
Bren started playing guitar when he was 8, learning originally from his grandfather. Ry started drums when he was in 9th grade after playing guitar for a few years. Ben started playing guitar when he was 8 years as well, and Dave started playing bass in 7th grade.
How did you all meet and why the name ‘The Gallery’?
Bren and Ry (brothers) met Dave in 2004 and started playing together. In 2005 we came up with The Gallery as a way to express the work we had done on our songs. We played with several different people through the years until Ben joined in 2011.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? How does that differ from what you listen to now?
We all grew up listening to 90s radio (Oasis, Third Eye Blind, The Wallflowers etc) and other bands such as Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Beatles, Van Halen, The Rolling Stones. We all listen to a lot of the same stuff now, but we’re also currently catching some contemporary acts such as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Gotye, The Shins, and many more.
Which musicians do you admire? Why?
We always talk about how great it is that some of the older acts we listen to, such as Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Oasis, etc are still playing tours and writing music, when they could easily stop and ‘retire’. We can only hope to be as fortunate and continue to play once we’ve reaching similar milestones.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
We don’t really get nervous now, no.
Any rituals before a show?
Other than the normal setting up, we just try to get loose and have fun before getting on stage to carry it on through our set.
Describe your show visually & musically for those who have never been.
We work hard to play our songs live as close to how our CD sounds as possible. This includes how we record our songs, so that we are able to recreate them live. We’ve always had a blast playing live so we like to have fun and make it an intimate experience. How it sounds, though, is our first priority.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
We’ve found that if anyone makes a mistake during a set, 9 out of 10 times we’re the only ones that notice. To play in a live setting, with the capacity to improvise or change anything, is the essence and a thrill of live music in general.
How does your creative process typically work?
Bren usually comes to the group with some lines and a chord progression, then we jam on it together, working through the rest of the parts, melodies, and lyrics. Then we demo the songs to get a structure, and work out layering and production from there.
What do you think you biggest break or greatest opportunity has been in your career so far?
Our first national tour in 2008 was an amazing experience in terms of playing music and as a touring opportunity. We played every night for two months across the country, so we learned a great deal about music in general and about the whole touring experience.
What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
Our biggest challenge has been being able to constantly “do the band” without having to stop and work to save money so we can tour/record/etc. Other than that, we love to travel and hang out together, so we’re lucky in that regard.
What are you working on now, and what can we expect from you in the coming year?
We are always writing new songs, and we’re at the demo stage now with some of them. We plan on incorporating them into our live set very soon as well. We’ll be playing a few sets at SXSW in Austin, TX, so we’re looking forward to that. Afterwards, we plan to record another EP or full-length album, whichever seems right at the time.
Why should people listen to your band? What makes you unique?
We’ve dedicated our lives from high school onward (creeping up on 10 years since then) to playing in this band. We have a variety of different influences from old and new music, and it seems to result in a pretty unique sound in our own work. We work hard and love what we do, so we won’t stop until we don’t.
Recently you guys relocated from the East Coast to LA. Are there any major differences between the music scenes of the East and West Coast?
Where we were on the East Coast (New England/Western Mass), there wasn’t much of a scene at all, which was why we moved out here in the first place. Since there are so many more bands here in LA, there’s music everywhere and anywhere.
If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
It’s unfortunate how the music industry can be the big machine, churning out acts like a factory as fast as they toss them in the can. We’d love to see the industry get back to developing artists rather than fabricating them. We know this is a sign of the times, so maybe just nostalgic of us.
One song you never get tired of.
“Whatever” by Oasis
What is the best live show you have ever gone to?
We saw Oasis live in New Jersey a few years back, which was awesome. Bren saw Tom Petty and said it was sick obviously. We’ve seen John Mayer and he’s always flawless.
Favorite things to do NOT musically related.
Some of us love the beach, some of us love running, we all love pickup bball or tennis.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?
Personally(this is Dave), maybe Dexter (from the TV show Dexter. You need to see it.), or someone from Mad Men.
Best prank you have ever pulled?
We bought fake parking tickets and used them on another band we toured with. We set the bar low.
If you had only 5 minutes on Earth to perform one song that would leave an impact on the world today, what would it be and why?
Probably “Let It Be” by The Beatles or maybe “Colorblind” by Counting Crows.
What kind of jobs did you have before you were in the music industry?
We’ve worked at several different restaurants serving/bartending, as well as indoor/outdoor residential painting, and graphic design.
Find The Gallery Here: