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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 to?

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 date?

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 record.

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.

5. 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 band?

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 someday?

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 fans...

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! Out, Shane.

Interview © 2002 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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