interview med Shadow Gallery

What is the name of your band?  Brendt: Shadow Gallery

What does the name "Shadow Gallery" stand for? Brendt: It's from the comic book "V for Vendetta" from Alan Moore, which came out in the 80's.  It represented a secret hide away for the main character, which was a refuge of all the art, music and film that he could collect.  I thought it would make a fine name for a band one day and loved what it stood for.  Luckily, the rest of the guys in the band liked the name, so it stuck.

What made you call the band "Shadow Gallery"? Brendt:  I am a huge Alan Moore fan and really loved the name.

How was the band formed?   Brendt: This band actually started out as a cover band in the LeHigh valley in Pennsylvania.   I joined the band in 1989, at a time when the founding members where taking some time off from playing live, so they could work on writing music.  Luckily for me, I really liked what they were doing and decided to join up with them....and then I did my best to change the course of the band into a more progressive sound.  It worked!

What made you form the band?  Brendt: Well, as I said, they were a working cover band, playing Rush and Malmsteen and Queensryche, but stopped playing out to concentrate on writing songs.  I was lucky enough to meet them and was asked to join.

Can you briefly introduce your band and who you are?  Brendt: Gary Wehrkamp is a main song writer and producer who plays phenomenal Guitar and keyboards and is also a great drummer and generally all around great guy to hang around with.  Carl James is our bass player and principle lyricist and vocal writer.  Carl is like no one else you will ever meet.  Brian Ashland is our singer and third guitarist and also plays keys very well.  Joe Nevolo is our insane drummer.  One day the world will hear how well he plays jazz day.  and I (Brendt Allman) and also a songwriter and guitarist that plays keys and writes the occasional drum part or vocal melody.  Smash all of that together and you've got Shadow Gallery.

Where are all band-members from?  Brendt: Joe is from new Jersey, Carl, Gary and Brian are from Pennsylvania and I am from Texas.

Who does what in the band? Brendt:  I play guitar and some keyboards, Gary plays guitar and a lot of keyboards, Carl plays bass and flute, Brian sings and plays guitar and Joe bangs on things.

What was the ambitions of the band when you started? Brendt:  To be rich and famous...but then we found out you can't really get rich playing progressive metal...or at least we couldn't :)

Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you?  Brendt: Take equal parts Queen, Metallica, Yes and Pink Floyd and you will have someone of a blueprint for the Shadow Gallery sound.

Where was your first gig? Brendt: As Shadow Gallery, Barley Creek, PA

Where was the latest gig? Brendt:  Progpower USA in Atlanta.

Who writes your songs?/ who writes the music who writes lyrics?  Brendt: Carl writes many of the lyrics and vocal melodies, while Gary and myself are writing most of the music.  Brian will contribute to the ext record as well.

Who has the best since of humor in the band? Brendt: I'd say Gary.  He's funny, even when he doesn't mean to be.

What's good/bad with the band? Brendt: It's all good :)  It's good that these guys are my friends and that they aren't a bunch of assholes.

What genre do you feel you are? Brendt: Progressive Metal is the closest label I'd give us, but it really doesn't apply to half of our catalog.

Why did you pick that particular style? Brendt: This is the style of music that we were all most interested in.  Now, sometimes I wished we'd picked a more lucrative music to be interested in :)

What are your songs about? Brendt: I'd say many of them are about truths that may not be popular, or love, or loss, but most of them are about hope.  I get a lot of hope out of our messages.

Do you write your own material or mainly covers? Brendt: 100% original music.

Have you made any albums? Brendt: we have 6 records out since 1991

If yes what are they? Brendt: Shadow Gallery, Carved in Stone, Tyranny, Legacy, Room V, Digital Ghosts.

Do you have any clips on YouTube? Brendt: We have an official video for "Gold Dust", but other than that, there are hundreds of things on youtube from various records or shows.

How old are you? Brendt: Old enough to not want to answer that question :)

What got you started in music? Brendt: Hearing Back in Black, from AC/DC

At what age did you start playing? Brendt:  I picked up the guitar at age 12.

How old were you guys when you first stood on stage? Brendt: I was 14 when I played my first gig.  I think the rest of the guys have similar starting times and stories.

What year was the band started? Brendt: I'd say the incarnation that was signed was started in 1990.

How old were you the first time you saw a liveband play? Brendt: I was 13 years old when I say my first live band.

How old were you at your first gig? Brendt: 14 years old

Best/worst gig you've played? Brendt: My favorite gig was in Athens, Greece and my worst was in Essen Germany, but only because I was very, very sick on stage and the medicine I was taking gave my the dry heaves and I was kind of hallucinating due to dehydration.  I still sang that night though :)

What places will you be playing in in the intimidate future? Brendt:  Barloo Netherlands,  Essen German, Milan Italy, Acona Italy, Switzerland, Athens greece.

Where have you played from then till now? Brendt: We did the ROSfest in Gettysburg PA and Progpower USA in Atlanta so far this year.

What songs are in your live set's? Brendt: a lot from each of our records, but we are doing a block of songs from the Tyranny record, due to the fact that it's the 15 year anniversary of that record.

Is it always the same set's live? Brendt: I think that may depend on local sound ordinances and if we have to cut anything short due to time, but most likely we will stick with the same set list on each of the new tour dates.

What has been the best/most promising gig so far? Brendt:  Well, Propower USA in Atlanta was certainly a fun time, but we had a great time in Milan and Athens and many other places as well.  Many of the fans in Bratislava where so nice to hang out with as well!

Have you had any bigger tours from start till now? Brendt: No

How big crowds do you usually play for? Brendt: I don't even know.  I mostly just want to know where I can get a shower after the show 

What are the plans for the rest of the year? Brendt:  Finish this tour and enjoy a few months off from the band and to spend time with my wife and play lots and lots of billiards upstairs in my house.  I'll be working on new music as well.

Where do you usually play? Brendt: Europe

How do you get psyched up for a gig? Brendt: I don't usually get psyched up until I'm actually playing the gig.  The rest of the time, i don;t really think about it much other than to make sure I know where my marks are and what my harmonies are.  I mostly just laugh and have a good time before a gig.

What are your goals with your music? Brendt: To stay interested.  If I'm not interested in a piece of music, I can't expect anyone else to be.  I just hope to have some effect on our listeners.

When did you decide to go all in for the music? Brendt: Well, we all practiced out asses off when we were younger and some of us still do.  It's something that sticks with you, especially when you find that there are people willing to listen to what you do and sometimes pay you for it.

Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? Brendt: it depends on the mood I'm in.  It get inspiration from lots of things. Movies and books are very inspirational as well.

What are your sources of inspiration?  Brendt:  a fine jazz record, a sweet melody, a rich harmony, movies, books, life.  there's so many things one can draw inspiration from.

What's the first step when making a new song? Brendt:  Taking a shower.  All my best song ideas happen when I'm in the shower and have no access to an instrument other than my voice and imagination.

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? Brendt: It's helped some bands become more popular while making them broke at the same time.

What would be your dreams for the band? Brendt:  To grow old playing the kind of music we love to write and play and to be paid well in the process.  More than anything, I just want the guys to have full and happy lives.

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? Brendt: Jazz

What do you hold most dear? Brendt: My alone time.

What would be your greatest fears for the future? Brendt: that we actually will hit peak oil when it's predicted.  That will be very bad.

When you are on stage, what do you fear most then? Brendt: equipment failure.

What songs and what years were they released? Brendt: I have no fear of songs....just fear of equipment.

Have you been part of any other projects? Brendt: yes, but not nearly as many as Gary has.  Gary is a hard working man.

Have you been in any other bands? Brendt: Several, but none worth mentioning.

What do you work with outside of the band and the music? Brendt: My yard.

What would you do if there was no music? Brendt: I would find a way to bring music back.

How important are your fans? Brendt: The fans are the only reason to do this kind of music.  It's certainly not for the paychecks and the chicks :)

What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you? Brendt: Someone had given us Italian football jerseys before a we all wore them on stage for our encore in Milan.

How often do you rehearse? Brendt: Several months before we go on tour.

Where do you rehearse? Brendt: Various places, but mostly at Garys studio.

Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment? Brendt: Alaska and Christmas Day

What do you feel is the best liveband you've seen? Brendt: Pat Metheny 

What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? Brendt: The fans and the music

Do you have any webpages?Brendt: 

Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there? Brendt: Don't do it for the money.  Do it because you'd die inside if you didn't.

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