RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW MANCHESTER BAND GALLAHERS GREEN
We caught up with Manchester band Gallahers Green, Hey up lads….
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
We’ve always loved music but it was hearing bands like Guns n Roses and Oasis that really sparked the idea that this is something we could do ourselves. To hear a song like Wonderwall which sounds so simple, played by lads who look, speak and dress like us just made it feel like this was something that even we could do and didn’t just belong to the almost out of this world rockstars of the day.
Introduce yourselves and your musical history.
Jon is the singer and is from County Antrim in Northern Ireland. Started life as a bass player and became a singer. Massive Rolling Stones and Guns n Roses fan.
Tommy Stretton is the lead guitarist and is from Todmorden. Always been into the heavy sound of Guns n Roses and ACDC. Was born with a Les Paul in his hands.
Ian is the bass player and is from Oldham. Started life as a guitar player and became a bass player. Big Oasis fan.
Tom is the drummer and is from St Helens. Drums through and through, big fan of Queen, Mike Oldfield and XTC.
What are your three favourite albums?
Our three favourite albums are Definitely Maybe, Appetite For Destruction and Sticky Fingers.
What song steered you into a musical path?
The first song that steered us into a musical path was probably Wonderwall. It sounds so easy to play and probably made an entire generation go out and buy an acoustic guitar. Jon and Ian met in Iraq in 2008 and realised the shared a love of the same bands. Both went their separate ways and got in bands of their own, but then at a Guns n Roses gig in 2017, realised that we were both without bands for the first time and decided to start Gallaher’s Green.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in. How do you feel you are doing?
We are happy with how we are doing so far in the industry. There have been lots of lessons to learn but we are happy with how things are going. Our first album has over 115,000 streams on Spotify alone with little marketing. We always felt that our music is strong, it just need to be put in front of people. We are clearly older than most new bands, which is unusual in the industry. However, we feel that we bring the life experiences that younger bands won’t have, which is woven into our lyrics.
What are your thoughts on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
Spotify is a double edged sword. It’s given unsigned bands like us the ability to get our music heard all over the world. We’ve had strong streaming numbers in Japan, Italy and South America, which would have been unheard of pre streaming era. We obviously wish it paid a bit more for streams but on the whole, very happy with the service they provide.
Tell us two truths and a lie about you.
We are on the next series on Britain’s Got Talent. We are on drummer number four. Our third album has already been written.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
We bought the studio time for our first album during the pandemic. Which some people thought we didn’t need but we are definitely glad that we did. We were the first band in as they opened the doors after lockdown one. We also used the time wisely and wrote a lot of the songs that ended up on that album. Mostly written and sent back and forward over e mail.
What was the worst experience on stage?
The worst experience on stage was at a gig in Ashton. We had been told that we would have a sound engineer on the night. That didn’t happen. There were no monitors, so our singer couldn’t hear if he was in key, everyone went deaf because of the amps. It was the most painful gig ever. We still got paid though which was a miracle! Ha
Tell us something surprising about each member.
Jon – Flies in to England from Northern Ireland each rehearsal and gig.
Tommy – Nearly jacked in playing guitar, but decided to give it one last roll of the dice when he saw the Gallaher’s Green avert asking for a lead guitar player.
Ian – Has done seven tours of Iraq and Afghanistan
Tom – Plays on time, turns up on time, and knows all of our songs (unlike every other drummer that we’ve had)!
What makes you stand out as a band?
The thing that makes this band stand out is the depth of meaning and the hard work that goes into each and every song. We have sometimes worked on a song for months until the lyrics and music are absolutely perfect. We stand by every single song on both albums and believe that they could all be singles in their own right. This isn’t the case with every band, even some of the big bands out there. They will put out albums with some ‘filler’ songs on them. That will never happen with Gallaher’s Green. We stand by our work and the high-quality songs that we produce.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it?
Our new album ‘Dare To Dream’ is our second album. As we’ve already said, we care about the quality of the songs above all else. We were actually surprised at how quickly after the first album we had enough songs to make a follow-up. Just as we did with our debut album ‘Lucky 13’, we have tested these songs out at our live gigs to see what kind of reaction they get and only the very best ones have made it into the recording studio. It’s a rock album but has a couple of ballads in there too. Our big aim for every album we create is to make sure that all the songs don’t sound the same. Some bands do this and it’s the biggest complaint that we hear about them. We don’t want that complaint about ourselves, so we make a conscious effort to vary the musical element and the overall sound of each song.
Talk me through the process of writing new tunes.
All of our songs start life on an acoustic guitar and usually get bounced between Jon and Ian for the lyrics. They will usually get jammed out in the rehearsals to check that the tempo and key is right. The drums, lead guitar, and bass will then be added. Tommy will usually record the rehearsal and take the songs away to put his lead guitar on top of it. We sometimes record high quality demos, but on the second album, we relied quite heavily on the rehearsal recordings because we wanted Jamie, our producer to get the ‘live’ feeling of the songs.
What was the recording process like?
We recorded Dare To Dream at Voltalab Studios in Rochdale. We recorded all songs as a full band to capture the ‘live’ sound that we are becoming known for. The whole experience from start to finish was amazing. Jamie and Laura are fantastic at what they do and put in some serious graft to get us the album that we wanted. The work ethic and deep understanding of how to properly produce a high quality album impressed us immensely. So much so that we have already decided to record album number three with them. No stone was left unturned in the entire recording process, and Jamie rightly pushed everyone in the band to produce their best work on this album. We are insanely happy with it and would honestly not change a single thing. We made a ‘behind the scenes’ documentary of our time in the studio, you can watch that below.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
The only thing we want to share with the world is our music. We are absolutely passionate about what we do and we pride ourselves on the time and effort we put into making our songs the best they can possibly be. We don’t chase trends or try to follow what everyone else is doing at the minute, we focus on writing songs that will still be listened to, and still be relevant 50 years from now. We aim for absolute quality in every song we produce and we hope that our fans know that they will always hear quality music from this band. If you want a straight up, no nonsense rock band, then we’re your guys.