The Gallery’s Brendan and Ryan Cooney talks about their new album "Restless"

The Gallery is a four-piece indie rock band that originated from the eastern New England area of the United States. The band consisting of Dave Mozdzanowski, Ben Lozan and brother’s Brendan and Ryan Cooney have been making and performing music together all of the states now for almost 5 years. On February 26th the band will release its new full length album titled “Restless”. Media Mikes had the chance to talk recently with both Brendan and Ryan about the bands formation and the making on the band’s new album.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on how you all met?
Brendan Cooney: Ryan and I are brothers, so we have known each-other quite some time now. (Laughs) Ryan and Dave started playing together in a band (under a different name) during high school, which I later joined. After a few member changes we became “The Gallery.” We stuck together through the college years by all transplanting to Florida, until we hit the road for our first national tour in 2009. Now fast forward to 2012. Our new guitarist, Ben, was attending Berkley College of Music when he responded to a Craigslist add we had posted, after recently losing our guitarist, Shea. He was very persistent in getting the opportunity to audition, so we figured there was nothing to lose. He showed up to practice having learned all of our current songs flawlessly. We were all really impressed, but most importantly his personality fit the dynamic of the group perfectly. Long story short, Ben dropped out of school and packed his bags for California. I don’t think he has any regrets as of yet.

AL: How does the new album differ from your previous EP release?
Ryan Cooney: I think one major difference is the addition of our new guitarist Ben. Naturally our sound changed a little bit because of his different influences, tendencies, etc. As a group we decided we wanted to pursue a “rockier” sound for this album while not straying too far from our roots.

AL: Can you tell us how you got involved with indie gogo?
BC: Our producer Warren Huart was encouraging us to get back in the studio, but finances were a concern. We were kind of on the fence of doing a fundraiser, because we felt it is was a lot to ask of our fans, friends, and family who have already done so much for us. But after looking more into it, we decided it wasn’t so bad of an option as long as the rewards were worth people’s donations. In the end we raised the funds needed and we couldn’t be more appreciative of all the support from those who donated. Without all those people this project wouldn’t have become a reality.

AL: What was your initial response to the fans donations?
RC: Well, we have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people over the years through this band. People encourage us with their words all the time, and it’s a whole other level when they trust you with their money to go in and make a record they haven’t heard. It’s crazy when you start to realize that people besides our moms like our music. We are honored to have the opportunity to make this record because of the generosity, and faith that our friends and fans have.
BC: At first we were worried we wouldn’t raise enough. In this economy it’s hard to let go of money for something that you may not reap the benefits for until months later. Our initial reaction to the generosity of our fans was shock. We couldn’t be more thankful that so many would invest their money into something that they haven’t even heard yet. Without that kind of faith, we would still be brainstorming how to fund this project.

AL: What was it like working with producer Warren Huart?
RC: It was great. Warren has such a great ear, and a real ability to translate ideas or a vision into a great sounding recording. We have a lot of fun doing pre-production for songs with him, and seeing them really come together as a team in the studio. He helped us out in so many ways over the last three years, and we wouldn’t be where we are now without the opportunities he’s given us. He has had some great experiences, working with Jack Doulas, Aerosmith, and some newer bands we love like Augustana and The Fray, so after hearing those records we knew he’d be great for the kind of record we wanted to make.

AL: Do you have plans to make a video and or tour in support of the release?
BC: Yeah we are currently brainstorming video ideas for a couple songs with film guru/ friend Mike Barone. Be on the lookout for those shortly after the release.
RC: As for touring, we hope to be on the road more than ever this year. We have 3 CD release shows booked for LA, West Palm Beach, FL, and Western Massachusetts, where we grew up to kick everything off. We can’t wait to play the record for everyone.

Brendon Small Talks about New Solo Album “Galaktikon”

Brendon Small is the creator of the popular Adult Swim series “Metalocalypse”. Brendon is also the guitarist/vocalist for the live version of the band Dethklok. Media Mikes recently had the chance to talk with Brendon about his upcoming solo album titled “Galaktikon”.

Check out our interview with Brendon Small about Season Four of “Metalocalypse”

Adam Lawton: What can you tell us about your new album?
Brendon Small: To start with people who want to hear the album before its release can go to my website and sample the entire album. It’s different than I guess what I am known for at this point. I tried to coin a phrase for this album and that is “High stakes intergalactic extreme rock”. That is what this record sounds like to me. This album is a long concept album that I wanted to have different 70’s space elements. I wanted modern metal and rock sound in there also. The sounds really range from bands like Queen and ELO to Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins. This is something I am doing on my own time outside of Dethklok to be able to explore more melody. No influence was unwelcome during this process. Anything I felt like doing I just went and did it. I didn’t care because I wanted the album to sound like I thought it should.

AL: Can you tell us about the actual concept for “Galaktikon”?
BS: I had finished the guitars and bass for what would be the last song on the record. The track basically only had the rhythm guitars and a temporary bass track. I was improvising some vocals over the top of those and at the time still had no idea what the album was going to be about. While I was singing I thought that the song sounded like and energetic final battle chase sequence. I used some lines about a guy going to save a girl. What I was really doing was thinking about a superhero on his way to save the girl but complaining about it. The end result was what if Superman and Lois Lane had a big, messy public divorce. She left Superman but still ended up getting into trouble all the time resulting in Superman still needing to save her. Even worse than that is what if she started dating Lex Luthor? She is going to have to rebound somehow. It’s an intergalactic divorce story. Each song takes on a part of the story and it progresses throughout the album. The story is kind of obliquely written and I wanted these songs to function almost like pop songs in a way. The songs do have a meaning underneath all of this stuff.

AL: Was the initial writing process different for this album as compared to when you are writing Dethklok material?
BS: These songs are a little bit more odyssey based. The songs take a lot of twists and turns. The first song on the record titled “Trident” has somewhat of a bridge and then it takes all these left and right turns. It is all kind of melodic and makes sense on its own logic. I did however experiment with a couple odyssey composed songs on the second Dethklok album. Generally for the stuff I do with Dethklok I will go into the studio with some drum parts and work with Gene Hoagland. We sort of cut and paste his ideas and my ideas together and then I will lengthen or shorten the guitar parts in order to fit the song. Digital recording really gives you an open session where you can just mess around constantly. It is like a gigantic sketch book that you are always changing and moving things. That’s how I work. I don’t have anything fully formed when I start out. I just have energy or a tempo. When it comes to melody or vocals it’s just me experimenting on top of stuff till they start to sound right. That’s how I do guitar lines as well.

AL: From start to finish how long did this album take to complete?
BS: This was a pretty long process. I think it took about 2 years. I had the recording done around April of last year but I wanted to pick the right time to release it. I thought now would be a good time as season 4 of “Metalocalypse” is set to come out as well. I think I will get more bang for my buck releasing the show and the album at the same time. The drums were actually record back in 2009 prior to starting the second Dethklok album. The contracts weren’t finalized yet to start that record but I had everything booked already.  I would have felt like a jerk bringing all those guys in and not having any work for them. I gathering up a bunch of riffs that were written back in 2005 that I knew wouldn’t work for Dethklok and told the guys they were now working for me not the show. We did the drums and they sat on a hard drive while I went on tour and finished season 3 of the show. Once I was finished with all that stuff I realized I had spent all this money on drums and that I needed to do something with them.

AL: Is there one track that stands out above the rest for you personally?
BS: I have no objectivity with this album. I will listen to the songs and think that I would like to fix certain parts or that I like another part. I think throughout the record you can hear me starting to sing a little better. (Laughs) By the last song I think my vocals have gotten stronger. I don’t necessarily have a favorite. I do have moments that I enjoy. Really anything with a guitar moment excites me. There’s a part in the song “Dangertits” where I think I have a really great guitar tone.

AL: Any tour plans for this album?
BS: I don’t have any tour plans right now. I am going to see how the album does. This record is totally independent. I financed this thing all myself. I talked to some labels but I knew I would probably get a better deal if I did things on my own. I am pretty much going to be selling it through my website. It’s not going to be a sound scan thing so people won’t know how many copies have been sold. I will probably put it on iTunes the day of the release but all the pre-order stuff is going through my website. Whether the album succeeds or fails I have learned a lot about being an entrepreneur.

AL: Do you have any other upcoming plans?
BS: I have some projects that I am working on where I would just end up being a producer on. I can’t really talk about those unless they get picked up. There are some things that I am really excited for. There is some stuff out there that I would also love to do. First things first is I have to get this record out and season 4 of “Metalocalypse”. There is going to be a whole bunch of cool announcements coming out related to the show. That stuff will probably keep me busy for awhile. I am a very lucky guy in that I have gotten to do what I want with the people at Adult Swim. They are great people and give me a lot of creative freedom.

CD Review “Brendon Small’s Galaktikon”

Brendon Small
Producer: Ulrich Wild
Tracks: 9

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Galaktikon” is the first solo release from “Metalocalypse” master mind Brendon Small. Produced by Ulrich Wild “Galaktikon” is a concept album based around a superhero’s divorce and the subsequent kidnapping of his ex-wife. Each of the nine tracks are arranged so that the listener can follow along on this space themed musical adventure.

Being a fan of Brendon’s work in Dethklok I was very anxious to hear this album. Along with Small are Dethklok alums Gene Hoglan and Bryan Beller. Together the three provide some very in-depth and technical arrangements that are quite a bit different than the ear splitting, guttural tracks the group is primarily know for. Each of the album’s 9 tracks feature some really great melodic elements that I feel will help the album appeal to a broader audience. Tracks such as “Beastblade” feature heavy instrumentation with a unique blend of echo infused vocals. While the track “You Can’t Run Away” feels like a metal infused psychedelic odyssey cranked way beyond 11.

Brendon Small’s album “Galaktikon” will surely feel right at home next to your “Dethklok” and other metal albums. However you do not need to be a fan of Small’s previous work to appreciate this album. Personally I would have liked to have heard a duet with Small and his character Nathan Explosion as that I think would have put this album over the top. One can only hope that we will be privy to something of that magnitude in the near future. If you are looking for something heavy but without the cookie cutter layout of modern metal bands then do yourself a favor and pick up this album.

Track Listing:
1.) Triton
2.) Prophecy of the Lazer Witch
3.) Beastblade
4.) Deathwaltz
5.) Truth Orb and the Kill Pool
6.) You Can’t Run Away
7.) Arena War of the Immortal Masters
8.) Dangertits
9.) On My Way

Eric Brevig To Direct Brendan Fraser in “William Tell: 3D”


Brendan Fraser Reunited with JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH Director

New Original Screenplay by Chad and Evan Law
Gary Hamilton’s Arclight Films Handles Sales
Toronto, ON, Canada – September 7, 2011 – Producer Todd Moyer has announced that Eric  Brevig will direct Brendan Fraser in the historical family action adventure WILLIAM TELL: 3D, to be shot in spring 2011 in Romania.  Brevig, who replaces Nick Hurran at the helm of the film, also directed JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and YOGI BEAR; both pictures grossed over $US100 million each domestically and over half a billion worldwide theatrically. Brevig is also known as a visual effect supervisor, who won a special achievement Academy Award® in Special Effects for TOTALL RECALL was nominated for PEARL HARBOR and HOOK.  Other VFX credits include MEN IN BLACK, THE ISLAND and THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW.
Moyer says, “We’re delighted to reunite Eric Brevig with Brendan Fraser; family action adventure is exactly what Brendan and Eric do best. Eric’s skills and experience will make this film compete with any studio film.”  Owing to the change in director, brand-new, original script by Chad and Evan Law (SIX BULLETS; THE HERO; THE HIT LIST), advancing winter weather in Eastern Europe and pre-production time, Moyer expects principal photography to begin in mid-March 2012 Castel Studios in Romania and on location in Switzerland.  The budget’s been upped to an estimated $27 million sourced from a Chicago hedge fund.  Gary Hamilton’s Arclight Pictures will handle international distribution of the film at Toronto.
William Tell is a legend in North America for shooting an apple from the top of his son’s head with a bow and arrow (it was really a crossbow).  What Americans don’t know is that he’s a revered historical figure in Europe.  In the legend, Tell just can’t leave well enough alone.  The local potentate of the Hapsburg monarch, Hermann Gessler forces Tell to shoot the apple because he refused to bow before Gessler’s hat, erected in a town square.  Tell succeeds in cleanly (and safely) cleaving the fruit and wins his and his son’s freedom.
But Gessler asks Tell why he had two arrows is his quiver, and Tell replies he was going to shoot Gessler with the second if he’d missed.  Tell’s defiance of Gessler ignited an uprising against the Austrian government which led to the formation of Switzerland.
A veteran of dozens of films and one of America’s most charming leading men, Brendan Fraser’s best known for playing amiable archaeologist Rick O’Connell in the three blockbuster MUMMY films for Universal; he’s also starred in EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES, GODS AND MONSTERS, CRASH and SCHOOL TIES. Fraser’s shot a number of new films in recent months, including the “fish heist” comedy WHOLE LOTTA SOLE, GIMME SHELTER, and the animated ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH.  Fraser’s repped by CAA, Joanne Colonna with Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Patti Felker.