An Interview with Gary Wehrkamp of Shadow Gallery


Interview by Nick Katona

NK: How does it feel to finally showcase the band Live?
GW: It is an equal portion of Exhaustion, Excitement, Exhilaration and Endomorphatcicsmness. Well, not that last word. I must have taken a lot of Vitamin E this morning.

NK: What are you doing to prepare for the upcoming tour?
GW: I would like to tell you Sit-ups and yoga, but it has been more about keeping me caffeinated so I can work later into the night. I am doing this at the same time I am trying to cut my caffeine by drinking half-caf coffee in the morning. We are rehearsing as a band. Not 4-5 days in a row like most bands, but on Sundays. Also, 1-2 of us get together at other times during the week and rehearse specific passages. It is not hard to perform the music, but quite a challenge to figure out who is doing or singing what and when, especially for the older songs we haven’t touched in so many years.

NK: Any plans for upcoming US dates?
GW: For the moment we are taking it one-adventure-at-a-time. Presently, we are still booking dates in Europe. We are certainly discussing a US tour, trying to find the gaps in all of our schedules. Of course, if we really want it to happen – as a group, then it will happen. I would say look for some news on this in November.

NK: Why has it taken 25 years to perform live?
GW: Is that all? It feels much longer! When I auditioned for Shadow Gallery, it was for a tour of Japan in 1993. It got postponed so we could finish our album, and then more records kept coming. It has been a fun ride but we have all been very busy with non-music work as well. We prefer to live in the NOW and make it all happen now, so we don’t think about why it didn’t happen sooner- although I would ask the same question if I were you.

NK: Tell us a little bit about the new album?
GW: It is dark and damp like Carl’s basement… OK, that is not true, his basement is dry and cozy. It is a challenge for us to address this. We like the new disc. There are many obvious changes and some not so obvious. We like the writing. We like that is a bit more on the heavy side coming off of ROOM V, which had a good share of less aggressive, symphonic moments. As far as the record being “new”, that is an odd sounding word, as some of the songs were begun as long as four years ago, in 2006. I would say I am ready to write some new material as soon as we get back from Europe.

NK: We I asked you the band to pick 3 tracks off each album for the 7th Day how did you pick the tracks and why these tracks?
GW: We did this in the car on the way back to my studio from a radio station interview. Our promotion manager was driving as asked us- Brendt Allman (Captain Awesome) and I picked them quite easily. In some cases we were influenced by what we might be playing live (but do not read into this too much – or you may be surprised)

NK: How has the internet and social networks affected and or befitted Shadow Gallery?
GW: It makes promotion a game everyone can play.

NK: What’s next?
GW: Other than this question, I would say your next Question. ;-P After that, another interview and then more tour promotion. If we have time to breathe, we may shoot a new video when we are in Greece. We hope to film the shows in Northern Europe. If this happens, we will be mixing the audio for that once back in the states. We will then talk about more shows in 2011 and start writing and demo-ing new songs. I think it might be time for another new exciting SG adventure so we will drum up something different and unique. And I do not mean the songs…

NK: Anything you want to tell your fans?
GW: We read your emails and try to respond to every one of them. If we have not yet, we will. The respect we have for the feedback we receive is enormous. It drives us when the moments come that say “It makes no sense to keep doing this in a collapsing music economy.” We are then reminded, by your comments, your emails, cards, and letters- that while we write music for ourselves, we record them to share with you, our fans! This is the essential point of Shadow Gallery’s existence as a band. Thanks for helping us define our role and for your guidance on our musical journey. We hope to meet you all along the way and share a laugh.

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