Ron Gallo | Noisy, Chaotic, In Your Face Guitar Music

The garage punk artist on his latest album and book release

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Photographed by Roger Ho.

Fresh off his critically acclaimed album Foreground Music, garage-punk artist Ron Gallo is releasing a 106-page book titled Social Meteor to accompany the record and the release of his North American and European tour dates. Gallo is motivated to critique social and environmental issues through a humorous lens with creative dexterity, commenting on the absurd nature of the modern world. Social Meteor is made up of several unfiltered literary mediums, including essays, local reviews, graphics, journal entries, and rants. To accentuate themes of irony, Gallo is releasing the book on America’s tax day, April 18, bringing home his critique on the country’s consuming-obsessed capitalist culture. 

SOCIAL METEOR (2023). Courtesy of Kill Rock Records.

Foreground Music reflects Gallo’s genuine love and appreciation for people and the community at large, while also explicitly expressing his disdain for gentrification, the effects of corporate methodology spiking the cost of music, and the ever-pressing extremist culture dividing people by race and class. Song after song explores the ridiculousness of reality, and at the end, he concludes: “the world is completely fucked, but the universe is inside of you.” 

Gallo is celebrating Social Meteor’s release with a concert film, “Before the Building Goes Up,” with a rooftop livestream and a book reading on the same day of its release. Flaunt spoke with the artist about his creative interests and intentions, Social Meteor, and his current tour. 

What inspired you to start making music?

To be honest, I really don’t know! I got a guitar for Christmas when i was about 12 and had zero natural ability. Nothing said, “you should be a musician” yet here I am just still doing it. I think the songwriting aspect is probably what drew me to it in high school because I always wrote a lot and kept journals and music seemed like a good vehicle for ideas. Maybe also a good vehicle for travel and being a part of something. After all these years -  I think that is still it.

You’ve shifted from genre to genre before in the past, and this latest album is very garage-punk inspired. What draws you to it?

I think after experimenting with so many genres I realized that, while it’s fun to do everything, I am probably most natural at making noisy chaotic in-your-face guitar music and suits the message best.

The new album, FOREGROUND MUSIC, is self-described as an “existential crisis if it were fun”. How did that influence the sound of the record?

Anxiety, fury, and the general overload of feeling that comes with just existing in the world today can feel very intense, chaotic and unavoidable. I think it sounds like how life feels right now and it should.

With the release of a new album and the new SOCIAL METEOR book on the horizon, it’s safe to say that you’ve been experiencing a lot of creativity lately. Where do you draw inspiration from when you’re writing a written piece or music?

It’s always just been observation. Looking around and trying to understand what it is to be a human being alive right now via the smallest little experiences, anecdotes, or sometimes bigger events or ideas.

Photographed by Chiara D'Anzieri
SOCIAL METEOR (2023). Courtesy of Kill Rock Records.

How did you discover your passion for writing literature? Did you discover it before or after writing music?

Definitely long before music. I always had notebooks and journals since I was a tiny kid and was always drawn to creative writing. Even just the physical objects of a notebook and a pen I've always loved.

How do music and literature intertwine in your life? What significance do they hold?

The significance is pretty much only in making things. I wouldn’t consider myself a big reader or deep into literature, because honestly I don't have much of an attention span haha. It’s never long before reading or listening to something makes me want to put it down and go make something out of it.

What is your favorite segment, chapter, rant, piece, etc. that’s in the book Why?

I like the way it starts because I think it’s a very real assessment of how the last few years have felt and sets the whole tone. It feels good to be straight up about how not-good it’s been lately because anytime I have, I find that it hasn’t been easy for anyone. That’s a good way to start the conversation that is this book. I also like the reviews section because that’s a pretty unfiltered view into my daily nonsensical sense of humor.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Tour! Traveling and playing for people is my only focus right now since we’ve been cooped up for so long and a lot of the creative stuff is done– I am ready to share. Just excited to be in rooms with people again and in motion. 

Photographed by Chiara D'Anzieri
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Ron Gallo