Ron Gallo – PEACEMEAL – Track by Track
When it comes to releasing music of course there tends to be no greater pressure than releasing your debut album. However, I do feel like often that can be the most freeing moment because up until that time there are no expectations from you.
And then comes the second album where all of a sudden things change and shift and now people know who you are and have certain expectations of your music and what they want you to sound like. For Ron Gallo who is here following his debut album with its follow-up PEACEMEAL.
Having already released Hide (Myself Behind You), and Can We Still Be Friends. The rest of the album follows on Heavy Meta which saw Ron taking the world by storm playing at stages such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, Governors Ball, and Bonnaroo to name a few. Blending familiar sounds as well as sounds that are new and timely, that fans can enjoy as we come into springtime and move towards somewhat better days.
Breaking down the album Ron gave us a track-by-track analysis of PEACEMEAL and telling us everything behind the production lyrics and the story behind the album
“(UOY DNIHEB FLESYM) EDIH”
There was a day where I got really into putting everything in reverse – guitar parts, vocals, drums, etc. Then I tried it with full songs and the original demo of “HIDE” sounded really beautiful, like a mantra and decided to make it the intro to “HIDE”. Feels like a good way to open the record, it’s like rewinding back to the very beginning of it all and that’s where this record starts, with no preconceived idea about me or the music I make
“HIDE (MYSELF BEHIND YOU)”
This is the oldest song on the record. I wrote it on valentine’s day 2018. It’s a pretty tongue-in-cheek song from observing the idea of love today. I wanted to write from the perspective of what people are subconsciously doing in relationships – falling in love with the idea of someone, or how someone makes you feel instead of the actual person. It sounds super happy but is sort of dark and that’s my favorite territory to exist in creatively. I struggled with how to arrange/produce this song for a long time and the “aha” moment was in the studio in Italy when I had the drummer go in blind and play the first thing that came to mind which resulted in a Beatles-y feel, then we went back and I told him to approach it like a hip-hop song, then one more take pretending it was a John Coltrane free jazz thing and the end result is a combo of all three.
“WUNDAY (CRAZY AFTER DARK)”
I wanted to write a really upbeat, 90’s kinda party jam about self-isolation, being introverted and wanting to shut everyone out and enjoy some you time. But at the end starting to go a little crazy from the solitude and wanting to be around people again.
“PLEASE DON’T DIE”
I wrote this song after Chiara fainted on the sidewalk one day after receiving some bad news in regards to immigration/visa stuff. I’ve struggled to write a love song because I feel like the topics been covered more than enough times but this gave me an alternate perspective on it – realizing how loving someone is amazing but also terrifying because you know you have to lose them someday – you can’t have one without the other and in an odd way that makes you want to appreciate people more. I guess I would write a love song with that title, but I feel like love and death are not all that different.
“SATURDAY PT. 1”
This is a very genuine fantasy about being rescued by all your favorite celebrities while sitting home alone on a Saturday night while the whole world is out, spoken from the socially awkward, but pure child-like voice in my head. I think I was subconsciously inspired by GMCFOSHO, who is an oddball hero of mine. Also got to use the words “pasta with shrimp” in a song and that feels like an accomplishment.
I made all the music for this one then did one take with a sheet of words written out and this is basically what came out. I’ve been obsessed with the place Easter Island since I was a kid so it’s a bit of a Mecca for me, so felt like the right symbol to use for getting to that place internally. Also, being in quarantine I thought a lot about all the places I want to go in the world again when it’s possible. There was definitely some Tyler the Creator inspiration on the production side with this one and the closest to jazz I’ve gotten.
“A PLATE IN MY HONOR”
A song about being gone all the time and how you slowly become a ghost to the people back home. Written about touring for 4 years straight but then it took on a whole new meaning the last year. Missing human connection and lots of things we take for granted until it’s removed from the picture. Centered the whole song around looping that bassline and having the words and vocals be the dynamic. I feel like it’s a cross section of my new wave and jazz influences, it’s maybe the most chilled out punk song there is.
“SATURDAY PT. 2”
A continuation of SATURDAY PT. 1. Where the fantasy you had was not what it seemed and you want to be return back to being alone again.
“CAN WE STILL BE FRIENDS?”
People love to be close and involved when things are fresh and going well, and they love to flee when things get a little challenging or you step back for a little. Especially in the music industry. I try and approach every relationship on a genuine human level, so finding out a lot of relationships are not that is tough to swallow. And this song is facing and coming to terms with that. The good news is this is how you get thicker skin and learn how to say fuck it and just build your own world with the real people.
A sort of surreal, joking nonsensical comment on cancel culture and the various ways people get cancelled by other people or the system at large. One note in the whole song!
“YOU ARE ENOUGH”
This is message of affirmation for people feeling devalued or down on themselves in a world that encourages that mentality by making us feel like we always need to become something more than what we are. I know I’ve been there a lot the past few years and I think it’s something we all share and I hope it can be a good reminder. I was letting my 90’s R&B cheese dreams shine thru on this one and I think it helps with the sentiment in a way.
“ALL THE PUNKS ARE DOMESTICATED (2020 VERSION)”
I had a moment during lockdown where I was playing thru the song “All the Punks Are Domesticated”, which is the closing track on my record “HEAVY META” that came out in 2017, and realized all the images and things I said in the song came true over the last year. The song was written originally back then as a dystopian future foreshadowing that would come from a period of complacency and it was very bizarre singing it as I was living it. So, I felt like I needed to add a new verse at the end about 2020 and re-record this new version. Also, want to shout out Rachel Antone, who played saxophone on this track. She’s a young musician from Chicago that hit me up on Instagram saying she liked the music and offered to record or play sax anytime and this was her first ever time playing on a record
PEACEMEAL is out now, for more info visit www.rongallomusic.com
By Seneo Mwamba