The content of this review was originally posted on the online music and popular culture magazine I See Sound in March of 2006. Earlier that month, I had the opportunity to sit down with Tyson Vogel and Adam Stephens of Two Gallants in Austin, TX, at SXSW.
The Wheel's Still In Spin: One of the things we present on I See Sound is Blind Taste Tests. We take individual songs and send them to our writers with no tags or information about the songs to get unbiased reviews of songs. We did that with one of your songs and people guessed your influences to include Credence. Especially after seeing your show, you guys obviously have diverse influences. There's blues guitar with folk lyrics with punk singing. And your drumming has got to be somewhere in between Buddy Rich and Dave Groehl. What are the influences you each brought to Two Gallants?
Tyson Vogel: We should speak individually I guess. Well, it's kind of cool that you bring up the Buddy Rich and Dave Groehl thing because I think musically I've always taken a lot of reference or inspiration from music that has sensitivity to it. Both those drummer are very diverse drummers essentially, but heavy at the same time.
TWSIS: Pretty intense.
TV: Yeah. So is Elvin Jones, who's one of my favorites, and Max Roach. Intensely focused, and emotional, but still have a good basis. And similarly, we both listen to a lot of old country and country blues and that's pretty similar. Like John Fahey is quite a big influence on me, if you can believe it on the drums as well.
TWSIS: It seems like you had your kit set up with a jazz style. Playing a jazz type style, but with a lot more intensity and harder than any jazz drummer I've ever seen (laughter). And there's obviously many influences. In one song you can hear about 5 different influences. It's that diverse. There's the country blues. The lyrics are very narrative and poignant, but smack you in the face. There are great stories, but told in a way that puts me on the edge of my seat. Adam, what are your bringing into Two Gallants?
Adam Stephens: I suppose in the guitar playing there's John Fahey as well. Also, Skip James is a big influence on the way I play. I suppose lyrically, Arthur Rimbaud, William Faulkner, and I could say Bob Dylan but that's kind of obvious.