Musical Rooms

May 10, 2009

Musical Rooms Part 73: Le Galaxie

Filed under: Interviews,Music,Musical Rooms Series — by Sinéad Gleeson @ 11:36 am
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legalaxie.jpg

“Our favourite space to create music is our basement room we keep in the centre of Dublin. It’s completely central (just off Georges Street) so is kind of invaluable in that a) sonically, it’s a place of silence in the middle of mayhem b) it’s somewhere where can keep everything we own and create. It’s small, but there’s enough space not to feel claustrophobic and work by yourself if need be. The walls are a combination of plain white, bright orange and blue blankets and artwork/photos of various band members in (sometimes) none too flattering poses.

There’s a lot of drum stuff here, as Alastair seems to have developed an unhealthy eBay habit. Other than that there are many synthesizers ranging from the very tiny to the gargantuan, most of these get a run-out at every rehearsal/recording session. The newest addition, a MicroKorg Vocoder, is still trying to find its niche. Essential to the space is volume, as the music we make really needs to be fully tested before we can think that other humans could stand it. We have to play it at the level of immediacy and intensity that we would live, and that kind of renders every rehearsal session quite the test on your brain and body.

We have a fairly tight schedule. It’s Tuesday evenings and all day Saturday, with a kind of laptop/creation session elsewhere on Thursdays. The best thing of all is that you can play really late into the night, which is great for the drummers in the band! Isolation isn’t really important, just tolerance from those around us who don’t mind hearing some very strange sounds coming from the room as we try out different sonic messiness. We usually come to the space with ideas and work from there, we don’t jam out whole songs much, there’s a gestation process.

We’re all fairly techno savvy, so there is a lot of parts recorded and thrown down outside the rehearsal environment, and then introduced as elements or starting points for songs when Le Galaxie get down to work. Our best work has come from almost mathematically thought out structures, and our worst has come from free flowing improvisation. It just doesn’t work for us.

We use a Toshiba laptop running Reason and Cubase, and a Korg keyboard for midi from these. That opens up every angle possible for sounds/beats/loops. For myself, it’s a Fender 1972 Telecaster Custom re-issue guitar, with a Sound City 50 Plus valve amp (1975) hooked up to a 4×12 Cab. Anthony uses a Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion and Fender Telecaster through a Marshall JCM 2000 amp and 1×12 Cab. For David it’s a Fender Precision Bass with EMG Pickups through an Ashdown amp. Currently Alastair is playing a 1971 Ludwig Silver Sparkle with Yamaha Japanese oak snare. Zildjian & Sabian Cymbals.

What we like most about the space is if it’s late and things haven’t gone the way you planned – and you feel if you get in a taxi you might throw up – then the room’s dusty smelly floor will always welcome you for the night. It never judges you.”

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Le Galaxie (formerly 66e) release their debut EP Transworld this Friday May 15th 2009 on Battlepulse Records. It follows the release last year of the singles ‘We Bleed The Blood Of Androids’ and ‘You Feel the Fire!’ The band features Michael Pope on guitar and synth, David McGloughlin on bass, Anthony Hyland on guitar and Alistair Higgins on drums. They play The Button Factory, Dublin on May 16th, The Pavilion, Cork on May 28th, The Roisin Dubh, Galway on May 29th, Whelan’s Upstairs, Dublin (Late Club) on June 6th, The Button Factory, Dublin (@ Musik) on June 18th, Electric Avenue, Waterford (supporting Fight Like Apes) on June 19 and at the Castle Paloooza Festival, Tullamore, Co. Offaly on August 1st. For more information, visit www.legalaxie.net.

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