I’ve featured a couple of videos from Galapaghost. He has a great way with a tune. So I threw a few questions at, Mr Galapaghost, Casey Chandler and he was kind enough to bat them back to me.
How would you describe the music you make?
I guess I would describe the music I make as ukel-indie rock. It’s hard for me to put a label on it because I take from a vast number of very different influences. making my writing kind of ambiguous at times. I basically try to take serious and sometimes dark themes and put a more fun spin on them, making the songs lighter and more approachable. After discovering the ukuelele, I realized it was the perfect instrument for me to maintain this innocence I want in my songwriting because a song can only be so dark with a ukulele.
How did you come to play the ukulele?
For my 22nd birthday last June, my parents bought me a ukulele. Before this I had always thought the ukulele was kind of a joke instrument, like the lost lonely runt of the guitar family. But then once I started playing it, I realized that it was just the forgotten child of the family that needed to be cast into the spotlight. Once I began playing it, it opened up an entire new style of writing for me and quickly became my main songwriting instrument.
How is writing songs on the ukulele different from writing on guitar?
Writing on ukulele is much different from writing on guitar because your options are much more limited on a ukulele. It’s just a much simpler instrument, which I really like. I’m used to writing songs with hooks, but on ukulele you pretty much have to just play chords. It was really good for me though because it opened up my vocal range more, since I couldn’t rely on riffs. I mean I guess I could’ve gotten a flying V electralele (which actually do exist) and written some badass stuff on that. Maybe that’ll be my next genre: Metalele.
Which three records should everyone listen to?
Wow. For a music nerd as myself, that is an EXTREMELY hard question to answer. I’ll do my best, though. Normally, I’d probly just list every single Beatles and Radiohead album, but I’ll just go with the 3 albums that influenced me the most: 1. Radiohead – The Bends. 2. The Beatles – Rubber Soul 3. Midlake – Trials of Van Occupanther. All these albums changed me musically forever.
You’ve got a degree in music production. What would be your top tip to people recording their own music?
Haha, well when I imagined recording my own first EP, I never thought that i’d be recording with just an Mbox and a 57, but that’s all it took and I’m surprisingly satisfied with how it all came out. So i guess my advice would be DON’T WAIT AROUND! Just make it happen. Make it happen NOW.
I had always been in these bands that were so fixated on making the “perfect album” or trying to create the “perfect show”. It’s a load of crap to me. I mean yeah you have to have a good recording (whatever that means, look at Iron & Wine, his first 2 albums were recorded in his bedroom with a tape recorder! and they’re great!) and a good live show, but the truth is people like to watch bands develop and progress. As long as the songs and the vision are there you’ve got a decent shot. I would say to people out there in my position, just go for it.
Don’t worry about making a “perfect recording”. That’ll come later if the the songs are there. I don’t think I’ll look back and wish I had done anything recording wise differently because my lack of recording equipment, which I can’t afford I guess kind of fits the whole theme of my EP Our Lost Generation.
The songs on Our Lost Generation are very sparse and delicate. Is that out of necessity or is that you ultimate vision for Galapaghost?
Yeah the songs are very sparse and delicate on my EP. That’s mainly my vision for the recordings, but also partially due to serious lack of recording equipment. I want my songs to come off as simple and too complex where the listener gets overwhelmed. I actually think that some of my recordings can be quite dense, like in the song Lost Generation, i have drums, bass, 3 guitars, ukulele, 3 part harmonies and hand claps, but it doesn’t feel too overwhelming to me.
What are your plans for 2010?
My plans for 2010 as of now are to move back to my hometown of Woodstock, NY in February because I can’t really handle the stress of the city anymore. I’m planning on moving back there til around June and then I’m moving to Austin, TX in the summer. I’m very excited, I have a big year coming up.