Generally speaking, a performance from Two Gallants will leave your ears a bit beaten up. Tyson Vogel roughs up his drums pretty good, while singer Adam Stephens snarls his way through a wall of hollow bodied distortion; a glorious thing we've witnessed before. But the band's newest offering The Bloom and the Blight (their first in four years) has some inverse offerings; alternately explosive and curtailed all at once. It's the spirit of the later which our recent cabin session with the boys draws its' inspiration from. For those of you at home, that means a beautiful but somewhat raw dose of finger picked acoustic guitar, rusty and weathered pulls on a harmonica and the most sporadic dabs of percussion we imagine Tyson's ever held himself to. Still, it's a beautiful noise...one we can't wait for you to hear in this unique session.
this song is called Broken Eyes. Hey there girl with the broken eyes Ain't my love been true There's no need to act surprised when it comes back to you When it comes back to you The wind blows high and the wind blows low, long as I have known Everything that blows away, soon's gonna come back home Soon's gonna come back home Standing there in your raven hair, acting like you don't know Lips that launched a thousand ships, that's where my money goes Where my money goes I know they say I'll rule the day, I gave you a piece of my heart It's do re mi, and dust to dust, soon keeping all us apart Soon we all must part So, hey there girl with the broken eyes, ain't my love been true There's no need to act surprised when it comes back to you When it comes back to you The wind blows high and the wind blows low, long as I have known Everything that blows away, soon's gonna come back home Soon's gonna come back home Soon's gonna come back home Soon's gonna come back home We both kinda did some other things. - I don't think that either of us really had anticipated it being so long. So I mean, you know, we've been touring really, really hard and kinda driving ourselves I think for, you know, the good seven...75% news and kinda just needed sometime to digest and kinda do some other things and try to like live life a little bit more, I mean, I guess traditionally like need to grow. So I think that in that time...In the time that we took off to go pursue like other projects and sort of learn the language of music in a different way, I think we both learned a lot in the process and just... I mean, we had talked about playing together for a while and then I've gotten into this car accident so that's why they can't push it off. And then we just kinda, you know, started playing again and all these songs just kinda came out and I think that we both just sort of missed the connection that we have in this band. It's just different, you know, like every band, every, you...any room is made up of a chemistry with individuals, and it changes like that. And so, having spent so much time together I think that we sort of we are able to appreciate what, you know, the chemistry that we have as a band and as friends. In the winter of your youth With a string tied 'round your tooth Your mother slammed the door She's gone forever more She's gone forever more From the corners of your mouth As the truth came wandering out You longed for something else Than your life upon the shelf Your life upon the shelf Out all alone the open road The day that counts your own Such a lovely day to die And all these things I have seen within your two blue eyes Dadada Dadada Dadada Dada Dadada In the silence of this town As the truth came wandering round Your neighbor slammed the door Don't wanna hear no more Don't wanna hear no more Out alone the open road The day that counts your own Such a lovely day to die All these things I have seen within your two blue eyes Dadada Dadadada Dadadada Dada Dadada Dadada Dadadada Dadadada Dada Dadada Dadada Dadadada Dadadada Dada Dadada Dadada Dadadada Dadadada Dada Dadada The album tell if ...for us the album titles kinda come last. You know, wanna make sure the songs are all there and you can't really anticipate half the perspective until, you know, you have all these things in front of you. This kind of like a little bit of our approach and I can bet the titles sort of hints, the title of the record kinda hints out of a little bit of, you know, a bit of what we learned over times since like we last put out our record, you know and observations of what we've seen and then through...would also that I think it just, it touches upon a little bit of the dichotomy of sound and the songs, you know. - I guess we have this much of appreciation for like the loud, heavy, nasty noises we do for like that soft and gentle kind of fogyish acoustic stuff. This one, this album's a little bit more weighted on the loud, grungy side I guess and whatever you wanna call it, but you know...I don't know, I guess we just kind of wanted to try to maintain a slight bounce just 'cause, I mean all ears get tired regardless of what kind of music you like and it's just nice to have a little bit of a change of pace and the songs just usually kinda dictate the way it goes, you know. I have seen the summer sun come rest upon your cheek And I have seen young Hercules grow feeble and grow weak Memories, memories of what I gave away Lost love all the love that's lost and gone away Slow down Let me hold you once before you fade And when all of my leaving's done then I will take my rest Count all my possessions when there's no possessions left Memories, memories are what I gave away Lost love all the love that's lost along the way Slow down Let me hold you once before you fade And all my friends and family and lovers I have known You know you mean much more to me than I have ever shown Memories, memories are all I have today Lost love all the love that's lost and gone away Slow down Let me hold you once before you fade - A lot of people have come up to us and told us that our music has helped them through like pretty serious times of really dark times in their lives. And, you know, I mean that to me is like one of the greatest...like accomplishments to have written or worked on something that like really helped a total stranger, you know. And so, I mean, if this record can...has...that effect as our past records have for certain people then I'd be...I'd consider it a great accomplishment.
Alternately explosive and restrained, the aptly titled The Bloom and the Blight is a meditation on past and present melodic fury matched with the eloquent, confessional lyricism that has made Two Gallants an enduring favorite of both fans and critics.
Capturing the sound of a new beginning, the duo's ATO Records debut The Bloom and the Blight celebrates the band's much anticipated reunion following a multi-year break. It is the work of Two Gallants, fully matured, the band fearlessly exploring new ground in search of a sound that defines a very personal catharsis.
"We've both gone through some hard stuff personally, so this album has that element of the cathartic, of a release of tension, explains Adam Stephens (guitar/vocals), "We had taken time off, and we did different things, played in different bands. And in doing those things, being apart and redefining ourselves in that way, we were able to come together with a fresh approach.
That approach includes everything from the distorted ferocity of "Halcyon Days to the heart-wrenching acoustic ballad, "Sunday Souvenirs. Songs like "Ride Away boast all the prowling, anthemic strut of classic metal; while tracks like "Winter's Youth start sweet and sad, than shatter into huge and heavy choruses.
The album's first single, "Broken Eyes, has already become a crowd favorite with its raw, aching harmonies and weeping harmonica.
"Our past albums have been a lot more folk and blues-based, and I tried to move away from that to some extent, Stephens says of the band's fresh direction, "I wanted to find a rawness in the music and take us back where we'd come from, from punk rock and grunge in particular, to our childhood, in some ways.
Friends since they were five, the band grew up playing music together, from early teen-age house parties in their hometown of San Francisco, to multiple world tours. Throughout their extensive travels over the past 8 years including recent tours through China and South Korea Two Gallants have continued to evolve, both musically and personally.
The bands' very first single, "Nothing to You (from their 2004 debut The Throes), started off a string of cult classics that helped define their signature sound. The success of the sophomore album, What the Toll Tells (2006), delivered a few more singles, including "Steady Rollin' and "Las Cruces Jail. The wistful "Seems Like Home to Me from The Scenery of Farewell EP (2007) and "Despite What You've Been Told from 2007's self-titled album, provide the framework of the bands development into The Bloom and the Blight.
"This record is important for us as a next step," explains Tyson Vogel (drums/vocals), "It's a passage into adulthood in a lot of ways. We had a hiatus of a few years, and each of us went through things that we had to go through. This record breaks the silence.
In many ways, The Bloom and the Blight reflects the separate journeys of the duo during these past years apart. We hear Vogel finding his own distinct musical voice on the guitar-driven track he penned for the record, "Decay. "It's about a fissure of self, he says of the song, "how things you can't control, can wound your heart.
And everywhere on The Bloom and the Blight is an urgent, emotional poignancy, a visceral undercurrent that stems, in part, from Stephens' experience recovering from his injuries after a serious van accident.
"I wasn't able to play guitar or piano for about four months, he remembers, "but I started writing songs for the record as soon as I was healthy enough.
Recorded by John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, Modest Mouse, St. Vincent) at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley and Tiny Telephone in San Francisco, the sound of The Bloom and the Blight is nothing less than epic. The duo roars and sweeps, guitar and drums fusing into something larger than life.
"He's an artist in his own right, Vogel says of Congleton, "he put his own emotional investment into the songs. And as a result, he took us to another level.
Indeed. The Bloom and the Blight is Two Gallants not only pushing themselves to that next level, but also exploring a multitude of new directions along the way.
"We went on different paths these past years, explains Vogel, "but I think we share a common feeling, a commitment to try to transcend what we've gone throughand build something stronger out of it.