We sit down with Galleri, the six piece band from Green point who bring mainstream music to its knees with their earthy, cool and new style of music.
Did you all grow up in Green Point?
James: Yeah, pretty much. Levi, John and I have been friends since we were young guys. Our drummer Josh is from Sydney and made the move here for the music.
Luke, our trumpet player, has also been a long time friend, and Brian, who plays the harmonica, joined a while back. We’re all good mates.
> Who came up with the idea to start a band? Was it born from an accidental jam session, or something you aspired to from the beginning?
James: Levi and I always played together. Two years ago after Levi came back from a stint in Cairns, we started full time. It seemed as time went on, there was another piece of the puzzle that added to the band, and finally we had formed Smokehouse.
Levi: Unfortunately, there was another band in Green Point who had the same name. So of course, we respected their wishes and opted for Galleri, inspired by the surroundings of our rehearsal space and art.
> How would you describe the sound of Galleri?
Brian: Galleri is a fusion of country, folk and psychedelic, and that’s because we have three songwriters in the band. You can add a bit of funky into the category too.
Levi: Three different styles, but all blended together. Songwriting consists of showing the guys what you came up with and gradually adding or improvising to build the final product.
> Any obscure instruments or aspects to the band?
James: Luke plays the trumpet, Brian is on the harmonica, and the two work sensationally together. As far as obscure aspects, the idea of having a range of vocalists and songwriters brings a versatility to the music. There is something different to every song.
> Luke, how did you learn to play the trumpet?
Luke: Well, it all started with a homeless man on a street corner … no, just joking. I was a typical nerd. I was about the same size I am now, which means ball sports are out of the question. Especially high jump. So yeah, I started in the school band. (Laughs).
> Growing up in the sort of artsy environment of Green Point, do you think it made you more creative as musicians?
Luke: We have been playing a lot of gigs lately, and the feedback we have received is that we are not really like anything else people have heard of.
In places such as Sydney, there is a lot of processed and manicured music, so it’s a great compliment to get from listeners who believe that we are more organic. And for sure, I think it is definitely a reflection of the sort of vibe from around here.
James: Perhaps it is just that Sydney bands are just a lot more tighter than us, really! (Laughs).
Luke: For sure! But truly, I think it’s really great to be here in the area and not have too many bands around to copy or feed off. Instead, we come up with these quirky ideas, that either work or don’t.
Josh: Coming from Sydney, it’s so good to play in a band that is completely natural. The lifestyle change is amazing, with lots of surfing and blazing. (Laughs).
> Who would you say has inspired your music preference then?
James: One of my favorite musicians is Conor Oberst, the front man for Bright Eyes. The way he writes is amazing.
Luke: I just feed off these guys, really. We get together out at Green Point and jam, and I am inspired by the flavours of all of them. It’s a lot of fun.
> What is the vibe like when you get on stage?
Levi: We have so much fun. There is definitely a party when we play.
Luke: I call it musical turrets. I can’t help but to yell out and scream and start banging my knees.
Brian: You’re like that, even in rehearsal. (Laughs).
> Where do you see the band in five years time?
Levi: ******* rich and famous. (Laughs) Just kidding!
James: It would be nice to be able to play music as your job. That is my definition of successful.
Brian: I’d love to be on a national tour.
James: But for now, it’s all about finishing the album.
> Are there even any heated moments as a large band? (Laughs).
James: John and I have a few head to heads. That’s about it!
> Any groupies?
Josh: Heeeaaaaaappppps. (Laughing) Just kidding!