Q&A: Dooms De Pop's Garo Gallo on Drama-Free Music
Photo by Chris Bellus
of the South Florida Scene is devoted to the
artists thriving within Broward and Palm Beach counties featuring
interviews with the folks making it happen.This week, Fort Lauderdale's Dooms De Pop.
A good portion of our interview with Dooms De Pop mastermind Garo Gallo appears in print right here. For the hungry readers who want more about the power-pop trio and its delightful new album, Ticker, we present some bonus cuts below.
So the band line-up has changed, but the song-making process really hasn't. Tell me about it - the songs that come all at once, the songs that you kick around for awhile. With this new version of Dooms De Pop, has the process been altered even a bit? New contributions, new inspirations?
The songs that come fast are just that: situational, human condition nonsense that the brain and heart take very seriously. They are inspired bursts that materialize musically. I present 'em to the band and they sink or swim. The sinkers go on as imaginary solo album candidates. The kick-arounds write themselves. Maybe it starts with a beat Darryl likes that we haven't explored, or a riff Brady warms up with that perks our ears. It's steam-blowing improvisation that turns into serious song possibilities and genuine band collaborations. It kind of forces me out of my comfort zone, which is good, because I'll stumble upon stuff and do something I would have never done on my own just sitting with an acoustic guitar. I guess what's changed is that we have a refreshing, drama-less, creative environment. When everybody's smiling, we know we did something right.
How did you meet the guys who are in the band now?
When we first started recording the record, it was a completely different line-up: me, James Pelligrini and Rich Goldberg. Rich was going to be leaving to Colorado pretty soon. At the last show we played with Rich, we performed with Band Number 12 [for whom Darryl was the drummer]. I've always admired Darryl's drumming; he's a seasoned rock veteran. He was in the Vacant Andys with Chris Carrabba, for example. We were always that band that was just trying to come up while his bands were doing really well. I didn't even assume he would take me seriously; I figured he thought of me as this little jit who had a strange style that didn't necessarily fit. After James left the band, I was able to rewrite a lot of our songs. At that time, we got Mike ["MJ"] Johnson of Blowfly and Hello Human on bass - he was a really strong bass player, and Darryl was one of his best friends. After John Owens, the singer of Band Number 12, left for New York, MJ called Darryl up and we had a little courting period where we jammed a bit and he joined. That's kind of rare - Darryl has never really jumped in on a band; he's always been in bands from their inception. I got lucky.
After MJ left, there was this moment of like, "Oh shit, what are we going to do now? Our songs are weird enough; it's not going to be easy for someone to just jump in." It's not that they're incredibly hard to play, but they're a little bit untypical, with weird time signatures. Luckily, I'd been hanging out with Brady at the time. He and his brother Travis are in Catalonia, and we'd been doing a lot of art shows, and I'd just been jamming with Brady. I was just like, you know what, Brady can hang and is creative and he can sing. I called him out of the blue and he accepted and we started right away.
I already asked you about your contribution to the local visual art scene. As you see your band growing, and the direction in which it's headed - which seems to be a positive, innovative one - maybe you could draw a parallel with the art world, which also seems to be taking a positive, innovative turn. What are you hoping to see happen - not just with your band, but with all the creative work you see happening here?
The cool thing about the scene down here is its individuality. Like I said before, there's no style or stamp that you can say is particular to South Florida. There are a lot of individuals - loners, if you will - just doing their own thing, trying to get ahead. I'd like to see more collaboration within all the little microcosms. There are a lot of things happening - there are new artists, new warehouses, new little collectives constantly popping up now. It seems like more people are losing their fear of going through an investment that has to do with the arts. It doesn't seem like an unsafe bet to invest their time in it. There's a safety net of support happening now. I just want to see bigger events happening. More collaboration, more coordination. As far as the creativity goes, it just seems to be getting weirder and cooler, which I like. People are taking more liberties to be themselves without any stylistic confinement, and I want to see more of everything. I'm probably not alone in saying that.
You have a digital release of Ticker. When can we get a physical copy?
Right now, I'm in the process of working out the graphics with Chuck Loose of Iron Forge fame. As soon as the layout is done, it should only be about a few weeks after that. I'm shooting for October or September, but if I can get it out earlier than that, that'd be great. I'm kind of overshooting it. But because of this bridge of time that's passed, the EP that's going to follow Ticker up is almost finished being written. We're going to try to put out a four-to-six song EP a few months after the album is released, or at least have it in the studio. The songs for it are being written now. We're already playing one of the EP songs live - "Spring Chicken."
And you're self-releasing everything?
Yes, it's completely independent. Hopefully we turn some heads with the record. I'm really pleased with the quality that Rich did on the engineering and all that. How that record materialized, the adventure it took - that's a whole other story in itself.
Dooms de Pop, with Alexander, Attention Radio, and Arsenal 88. 9:30 p.m.
Friday, June 3, at Monterey Club, 2608A S. Federal Highway, Fort
Lauderdale. Tickets cost $7 for 18-20, free for those 21 and up. Call
954-598-1887, or click here.
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