Chad VanGaalen "Mutant Mussel"
When I proposed the session to Chad Vangaalen’s management team, I explained that we really wanted him to get as weird as he’d like, to feel free to let his freak flag fly. The response: “Chad will love that 100%.”
Chad Vangaalen is a modern day renaissance man. A Canadian musician from Calgary, Alberta, he’s been making music for 20+ years, and has released several records of his own material on Flemish Eye and Sub Pop Records; he’s produced records for Women and Alvvays; and he’s illustrated + animated + directed music videos for the likes of Metz, Shabazz Palaces, J Mascis, Black Mountain, and Andy Shauf. He’s a jack of all trades, and lucky for us, he masters them all.
Chad arrived with his bandmates on a cold and clear December morning. Watching them set up—Chad nestled amongst various pedals and a small synth, testing the sounds of his homemade clarinet as he ran it through FX pedals—I could tell we were in for something truly unique.
Recording began, and we soon found ourselves on a strange and imaginative sonic voyage, out of this world, exploring noise, jazz, and electronic music. Amongst the fray there was (what I can only assume was) a very custom drum kit of curiosities, played by Chris Dadge; a beautiful Ashbory bass (you know, the 18-inch scale fretless electric bass developed in 1985?) played by Scott Munro; a string of hand bells, rolled through the hands of Ryan Bourne (who also plays bass on the track) and like A HUNDRED effects pedals.
- Music by Chad VanGaalen
- Recorded live at Joyful Noise Recordings / December 2017 / by Postal Recordings: Tyler Watkins and Alex Kercheval