Talk Talk: An Interview With Ron Gallo
The world is completely fucked. And the universe is inside you. Straddling those conversely negative and positive outlooks is something RON GALLO does with an intense clarity. The Nashville based Philly native's debut solo LP Heavy Meta is layered with catchy, garage punk riffs and pop hooks that provide platform for the the type of lyrical insight that wouldn't be out of place at a spoken word rally.
It's a social commentary on modern living as a millennial written during what Ron describes as the most transformative period of his life. Themes both serious and trivial and seriously trivial. Bad parenting, the gentrification of punks and the click-bait low attention span of today's culture.
Ahead of his headline show at The Shacklewell Arms in London late this month, we spoke to Ron about the album, his inspirations and how we all need to take responsibility for the future.
You said in a previous interview that HEAVY META came from a desire to challenge everything you thought you were. How do you feel now you’re out the other side?
Way better! Much more compassionate and aware. Just angry enough to stay productive. More alive.
In what ways has millennial culture affected your song-writing?
Humans are more complex, medicated, hysterical and distracted then ever before. All because of this constant connection and advancement. We are moving further away from our truth, purpose and essence and I've never been more interested in it.
The fact weve gone too far in a lot of ways is a huge motivator for me to combat it and make sure we are keeping a sense of awareness of what we are doing, how were doing it and where it will go if we keep stumbling blindly forward (literally people drive cars and cross streets while looking at their phones). Which is maybe a microcosm of the bigger picture. Pay attention. Take responsibility.
Do you see any positivity coming from the current political climate as an artist?
That people are actually using their voices. I don't know where they all were when it mattered most. But I think people need to be rattled from their complacency - we only ever grow when in discomfort.
Besides music, what are some other things that you seek inspiration from?
Comedy, meditation, chanting, yoga, practicing inner exploration, skateboarding, highway rest stops, long walks.
How did people react during the video for Please Yourself? Were people driving annoyed?
I honestly don't know, it was such a blur and in the moment thing. I wasn't very aware of anything besides not messing it up. But when I watch back I hear car horns, cheering, people taking selfies. So seemingly good. Cops were cool and hopefully the drivers were okay with spending 90 seconds of their day witnessing a few idiots block traffic to play a song on the back of a truck.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?
Quiet, porch, light skateboarding, meditating, jazz, walking, writing.
With such a strong country music scene in Nashville, did this influence your music in any way?
Not at all. I was drawn to the weirdo rock and roll/garage scene that's happening here in a big way. All my friends are geniuses.
Who else should we be listening to from Nashville at the moment?
Microwave Mountain, Thelma and the Sleaze, Jordan Hull, Ian Ferguson, Twen, The Minks, Chrome Pony, Erin Rae, Charlie and the Evil Mothers, Black Venus, Kat Milk Blu, Coco Reilly, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Daddy Issues, Telefones, Liz Cooper - there so many good ones and im sorry who I forgot but check out Cold Lunch Recordings - they are cultivating a great scene and putting on great shows. Also Infinity Cat.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve heard about London? What are you looking forward to the most?
I have no idea or expectation! I hear that there is a love for American music though. Excited to just go there for the first time.