SHANE GAALAAS (Sign Of 4)
Shane Gaalaas has drummed with some big hitting vocalists including
Glenn Hughes, as a solo artist and with the Hughes-Turner Project
(HTP) and most recently with Phil Mogg in Sign of 4.
Thanks to the legendary Batttttty again for arranging this.
|1. What are you currently up
At present, I am taking some time to heal my wounds from this year of
debauchery. I will take morning strolls through the yard with my
favorite feline variety. I will then bask in the afternoon
California sunshine, maybe take a slapshot or two at my neighbors
house. After that it's..well, play catch up with the fam.
|2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to
Luckily, I have been blessed with mostly highlights throughout my
career, I can't really gripe about to much. If I had to dig, there
was a period of uncertainty around mid 94. I had some looming visa
issues (Canadian living abroad) that were troublesome. After
detainments, INS discrepancy, just about the time when they were
going to kick me out, I got a call for the Malmsteen gig, thanks to
gentleman/Drummer Extraordinaire, Dean Castronova (Journey). Dean had
put in a good word to Yngwie and was responsible for getting me the
gig, thanks Dean! That was pivotal for my career. I have had the
pleasure of working with some amazing people and this year I had the
luxury of working with a Japanese rock Icon called B'z. It was truly
an amazing experience. Aside from the music, the whole thing really
left an impression on me, spiritually and emotionally.
|3. Sign of 4 recently did a UK tour. How did it go? What was the
highlight for you (apart from meeting Batttttty)? Any more tour plans yet?
Well, aside from meeting Batty, how is that spelled anyway
tttttt ?? There was a plethora of humorous scenes that took place
throughout the course of the $ tour. I want to read Maloney's
detailed account, I'm sure it's bound to spark up some controversy.
The tour was a lot of fun, we had some great shows. It was cool
hangin' out with my bro's and rockin' down. For me the best show was
the Marquee in London. I think we tore the place apart. Phil was in
fighting shape and sounded better than ever. Jeff was his usual
brilliant self. Mark Renk is primarily known for his vocal prowess
but has some serious key chops under his belt. Mark ruled! despite
having his lower intestine protruding out of his groin. Christopher
Maloney had a rock revelation, kind of morphing into some primal,
molten-metal beast sloth. With avant guard stage antics. When
approached about this matter, his reply was, "The Power Of Rock,
Dude" !! Love em!
|4. On the Sign of 4 album there is great percussion ('Clap
Hands', 'Beautiful Friend'). Did you compose this or was it a band
effort? Which fellow drummers do you admire?
First off, thank you! While we were tracking that one, I just
grabbed some toys and messed around with a few things. There are
takes in there where me and Jeff were playing stuff (percussion)
together on the same take. It's funny, Jeff was tracking and
stumbled on to this cool thing on the intro (Clap). It's all the
slop that get's accumulated on tape from multiple tracks. You always
hear that stuff before the song starts, the stuff you usually edit
out. While he was laying down a part, he had left all the tracks
up. There are all these tracks of pre downbeat stuff that is not
really relevant to the song but oddly enough they just seem to fall
into place just before the first measure of the song. We thought it
sounded so bad that it was cool, so that is what you hear on the
As far as Drummers I admire, well that's a tall order! I'll try and
give you the short list of influences. Peter Criss, John Bonham,
Alex VanHalen, Tommy Aldridge, Neal Peart, Dean Castronova, Vinnie
Paul, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Dennis
Chambers, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta.
Glenn Hughes - how did you hook up with the 'Voice of Rock'? Do
you write as a band or individually by bringing your ideas into the
I met Glenn while on the road with MSG in Europe. We were on the
bill together along with Thin Lizzy. We just seemed to connect
together during that time. Back in the states I got a call from Glenn
to do some Euro shows and the rest as they say is history. For HTP,
all of the songs were pretty much written before my involvement.
Glenn handed me a tape with the ruffs. I worked up my parts and then
we went into pre-production. Usually, if the stuff is worked out
before hand, I'll add my 2 bits in pre-pro.
|6. Glenn Hughes has a new three piece planned for next year. Are you
involved in this? Highlights of working with Glenn?
I have had an absolute ball working with Glenn, he is just a
charming guy. He makes me crack up so hard that I think I will go
into convulsions. When it comes to music, he is the bomb! His
talent is ridicules and his voice, forget about it! On the live
show's, when he sings, I get goose bumps. I have never played with
anybody with that kind of energy, and he keeps getting better. I
will be working with Glenn next year to some capacity, I can't wait!
|7. Do you enjoy having various projects on the go or would you prefer
to be in one band only? Any chance of a solo album from yourself at some stage?
I like doing different things, it helps keep it fresh for me but I
must confess the older I get the more I long for a band type
situation. It is hard sometimes, in a perfect world, you have your
band and you sell millions of records and everything is great. In
the real world, you gotta eat and pay the rent. So if were lucky we
end up doing many things to stay afloat. If were not, we go broke!
Hopefully, we can maintain some sort of integrity in all of our
endeavors along the way. Solo record?? sounds like fun, ya! maybe
|8. Is there anything else you want to achieve in the music business?
Who would you have liked to and/or would like to work with?
It would be fun to produce a young band with an original sound and
great songs. I would love the opportunity to work with Sting or Peter
Gabriel or maybe Slipknot, ya!
|9. Outside of business, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Spare time? when? .. I dig hangin' out at home with my wife Mary
and our 2 cats Gert and Chaz. I'm into mountain biking, movies, outdoors, and
I'm a big Hockey nut.
|10. Message for your
Thanks for all the support, it means a great deal having it. Keep it
honest, DON@T BURN CD'S! Give back to the artist, they put there
heart and soul into it! So go spend the $$$$ and buy the record!!
Thank you and I hope to c-ya soon!
Interview © 2002 Jason Ritchie/
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