After I attain Ron Gallo on the telephone, I study I’m conducting his unofficial Nashville exit interview. In late 2020, the chameleonic singer-songwriter-bandleader ended a five-year run in Music Metropolis by quietly returning to his native Philadelphia. Chiara D’Anzieri, his spouse and someday bandmate, went with him. She hails from Turin in Northern Italy and is quickly to launch her debut solo album in English as Chickpee.
“Again for good, at the very least in the mean time,” says Gallo. “Being in the home all final 12 months, questioning existential crises — questioning all the things — we finally determined we missed household, missed Philly, and that the Northeast was rather more fitted to an Italian relocating internationally.”
Gallo, who has household roots in Salerno and Sicily, met D’Anzieri on a 2018 summer time tour of Europe that went by way of his ancestral homeland. “It was loopy!” he remembers. “I noticed this woman throughout the way in which — it was virtually like sluggish movement. I ended up speaking to her. She spoke a bit little bit of English. And we’ve been collectively ever since.”
The Nashville chapter “was life-changing in loads of methods” for Gallo. This creatively fruitful interval yielded an EP and two LPs — three if you happen to rely the Stones-y album Heavy Meta, the follow-up to 2014’s self-released Ronny. Heavy Meta was recorded within the Metropolis of Brotherly Love and issued as Gallo’s debut for Music Metropolis-based New West Data in 2017. Peacemeal, out Friday, is his newest full-length.
“I’ve to confess, I do know I obtained dealt a reasonably good hand,” Gallo says. “I moved right here, met the folks at New West, signed the deal, went proper out on tour. I made loads of lifelong associates these first few years. However loads of them moved. And when everybody’s gone on a regular basis, friendship may be fleeting.”
Being away on tour for many of 2017 and 2018 made Gallo’s stints at residence more and more delinquent — agoraphobic, even. Working errands round city, he got here to dread speaking store with informal music-scene acquaintances a lot he made two songs about it. There’s the spoken-word “The East Nashville Kroger Conversation,” from 2018’s odds-and-sods Really Nice Guys EP, and “Can We Nonetheless Be Mates?” a standout from Peacemeal. “Can we nonetheless be associates,” the latter tune asks, “now that I can’t aid you?” When Gallo, bassist Joe Bisirri and drummer Dylan Sevey returned residence from touring their second New West album Stardust Birthday Party, Gallo discovered himself struggling on each a private and a musical stage.
“I wanted to take a break,” he explains. “I began to note loads of the friendships I had that I assumed had been real, weren’t. I do know anyplace with a music trade goes to have its opportunists, however that plastic-gentle method generally made me uncomfortable. I simply need to hang around, have a human connection — not discuss your enterprise, or what number of tickets you’ve bought.”
Gallo and D’Anzieri married in 2019, and he’d meant to spend a lot of that 12 months in Italy enjoyable and recharging. As a substitute, visa points obtained him barred from the nation for 3 months. “I used to be again in Nashville, and it felt surreal,” he remembers. “It was simply me, alone, in the home. And that’s after I wrote Peacemeal.”
Gallo performed practically each instrument on the 12-song LP, although you do hear some bass, guitar and vocal contributions from D’Anzieri. Equal components modern bed room psych-pop and optimistic traditional hip-hop, its laid-back sound is a complete 180 from the full-band Stardust’s shouty post-punk philosophizing. On the 2018 album, Gallo raved zealously on the significance of residing life solely within the current second — previous or future be damned — in a way seemingly devoid of irony or sarcasm.
After all you possibly can by no means be 100% sure about the best way to take the deadpan Gallo, who calls the late Andy Kaufman “an affect on all the things I’ve accomplished up to now, particularly the reside present.” He cites Iggy Pop and Tyler the Creator as musical touchstones: “I’ve all the time been drawn to weirdos, individuals who reside in their very own universe.” On Peacemeal, Gallo delights in blurring the traces between music and comedy, spoken phrase and efficiency artwork, improvised and deliberate, honest and satirical, pop songcraft and music-scene punditry. Almost each music appears parodic or nonsensical on first pay attention, then burrows itself into your head earlier than you even understand it — often inside the span of three minutes. It’s a direct line to Gallo’s thoughts as he navigates a transitional time in his life and profession.
“I’m an overthinker in every day life, however in the case of music I attempt to be a first-off, best-off particular person, maintain my head out of it,” says Gallo. “Stream-of-consciousness, breaking the fourth wall with the listener — that’s what I really like to listen to. In order that’s what I try to make: music that feels virtually such as you’re witnessing somebody’s ideas occurring of their head in actual time.”