Barbagallo is the ingenious side-project from Tame Impala drummer, Julien Barbagallo. Taking more of an indie/folk sound than the Australian psychedelic band, Barbagallo’s music is incredibly beautiful and mesmerising and a pure delight on the ears.
With an upcoming gig at The Cluny in Newcastle on Thursday 15th February, Samantha Hall speaks to Barbagallo to find out more about his latest album and upcoming European tour.
So your upcoming album ‘Danse Dans Les Ailleurs’ is coming out in March. What can we expect from it? Is it going to be similar to what we’ve heard in previous albums?
Musically, this new album is more direct; there is less synth for example and fewer effects. I wanted something that sounded more simple, more organic. Lyrics-wise, I tried something a bit more abstract and adventurous, something that gives space to the listener to dream and make his or her own story. I had all the songs translated into English. The translation will be available online and hopefully in the booklet. I wanted non-French speakers to get a full experience of the album.
You recorded the album at Studio Barberine in the south of France. What was that like?
It was really magical. It’s a beautiful medieval farm lost in the countryside in the south of France. It used to be the home of Nino Ferrer, an iconic French songwriter. My wife and I were sleeping in a roulotte in the forest. My friend and sound engineer, Angy Laperdrix, and I were recording from 10am till 1am. We only had 10 days to record the album. It was really intense but also very joyous. We were in a beautiful bubble.
You’re going out on a European tour this month. Is there anywhere that you’re looking forward to visiting the most?
Playing in the UK is going to be very special for me because it’s the home of most of my influences from back when I was a teenager: Teenage Fan Club, Oasis, Super Furry Animals, Belle and Sebastian, they really helped me build the musician I am today.
In general, as a French-singing artist, playing outside France is really exciting. I’ve played Toronto, Grunigen and Hamburg before and every time the response of the audience was amazing. Something happens beyond language. It’s all about the power of music and the pleasure to share it together.
What should fans be expecting from your shows?
On stage, I sing and I play drums at the same time along with 3 others musicians. I think it’s a pretty unusual setup and I hope people will enjoy it. The live versions have a rough side that I really like as they’re very real and direct. It’s different from when you listen to the albums. I love the human interaction that happens at gigs without all the filters from the studio work. We’ll play songs from my three albums.
After this tour will you be going back to writing/recording your own material? Or will you be focussing on Tame Impala?
There will probably be more touring along the year. I’ll also start writing again at some point but I’m not sure when though as it always takes me by surprise. Tame Impala will play a few festivals in July and I’m very excited about it – I love playing big shows too!
Barbagallo plays The Cluny, Newcastle on Thursday 15th February. Tickets, priced at £11.00 (including transaction fee), are available from thecluny.com.