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Gal Go talks us though nurturing musical connection

“After I finish a tour it feels like I’ve done a year of therapy”

After only three weeks of arriving in London and playing his saxophone against the ambient backdrop of the Walthamstow Marshes landscape. Gal Go‘s talent was noticed by none other than the enigmatic King Krule, who was south of the river at the time, working away at his sophomore album. The following years for the Argentinian-born artist were marked by important collaborations, extensive touring, and an undying need to channel energy into music.

Known for his ecstatic and trance-inducing stage presence, Gal Go has been captivating audiences with his ability to turn music into a language that cannot go unspoken. With lots of new projects on the way, be sure to check out his latest single Oaxaca !! There’s much to look forward from this emerging musician, who continues to experiment and explore the various realms of music. In our conversation with Gal Go, we discussed his musical journey, the importance of making melodies ‘growl’ and how to unearth the cathartic powers hidden amongst the frequencies of sound.

Can you share your initial encounter with music?
It comes from home. My mum and dad have a good record collection. And then when I was five I grabbed my mum’s guitar. I was really obsessed with Jimi Hendrix, I tried to play like him haha.

Nice, and when did you first start writing your own music? 
When I was 11/12 I had my own band with my schoolmates making silly punk songs. We used to stay up all night making panqueques con dulce de leche, drinking smoothies and writing music.

What was the name of the band? 
Well I had a few actually but the first one was called ‘Atípica’, which means nontypical, atypical.

As first band names go, thats pretty good! How did the saxophone come into everything?
It was quite by chance. When I was travelling in New York, I was listening to a lot of jazz and I really wanted to learn a wind instrument. So I went into a shop and bought a trumpet but I tried to play it and realised it’s fucking tough! So I was like shit… I’ve got the wrong instrument haha. So I went back into the shop the next day and swapped the trumpet for a sax, and then instantly I had a connection with it. I haven’t stopped playing since.

What’s your approach to making music? 
I like exploring. And music is like a mediation for me, it connects me to something outside my mind. That’s how I guide my creativity.

How did you meet Archy Marshall AKA King Krule?
It was at a moment in my life, where I felt a bit lost..I just arrived in London and I didn’t understand what the fuck this city was. I was staying at a house in Homerton and I couldn’t play my saxophone there so I would go the Walthamstow Marshes. Under the bridge the acoustics were so good and around that time I sent a video of me playing at the marshes and a recording of one of my own tracks to the King Krule facebook page.

What was his reaction?
He replied a few weeks later, invited me to a gig, and I met him. The day after he asked me to the studio while he was at the beginning of recording the second album, The Ooz. Everything just made sense and we had a really good connection. He asked me what I was doing the next day, I said ” nothing”….like what what would I be doing haha. So then we went to the studio again, after that, I slept on his couch…then the day after we went to the studio again…

And then?
Well, I actually left the UK for a while, then Archy was like “what you saying you wanna come to London and make more music” and I was like “yeah fuck it”.

Yeah! Like why not haha. Could you elaborate on what it was like making these albums together? 
Mostly freedom and deep inspiration. Just being in the room and feeling like you have something to add and then you try it.

How do those ideas and melodies come to you?
It’s like a language. I’m saying something. It’s not just notes, it’s like I’ve got this feeling. It’s about how you swell or growl that sound. It’s how you respond and interact with the music. It’s about communication.

And on stage, this sense of expression is evident not only in the way you play but also in the way you move around. Could you walk me through the emotions and energy you experience when performing live?
I think I’ve always been intense on stage as it’s a place where I can express myself. As I said I love Jimi Hendrix and he’s mad on stage.

Maybe you could be the first one to light a saxophone on fire…Hendrix style.
Yes, especially with this weather!

People connect with the energy you give on stage. We feel like it communicates something in itself.
Cheers, appreciate that. I used to practice Taekwondo when I was a kid because I had so much energy. It was such a good release. Now I always try to find that release and it feels really cathartic. After I finish a tour it feels like I’ve done a year of therapy. I’m quite chill the rest of the time you know haha.

Haha, that’s great. Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I like warming up. On tour everyone in the band is sleeping in the morning, I like to get to the venue early. But also have time to rest because it’s a very physical instrument. And also maybe a little drink on stage.

Of course! We feel like there’s such a strong dedication and sense of discipline between you and the saxophone.
Yeah, there’s definitely something spiritual there. It’s about nurturing energy, if I go too long not playing I feel strange. Playing music balances me. If I don’t direct my energy towards music it can go to places it doesn’t need to go to.

If you could have one jam session with any musicians dead or alive who would it be? 
Ummm, I’d like to hang out with Charlies Mingus or actually maybe Thelonious Monk.

Play with them both, it’s your dream man!
Yeah, fuck it why not haha.

What are you manifesting for 2024?
I’m about to drop some of my own music very soon, which I will also be releasing throughout the year and I’m looking forward to playing more gigs. Me and Tom Grey are going to be releasing more music under our Gal Go Grey project this year. I also want to be more present in the world, as it’s a complicated place… try to be there for others and help in any way I can. I want to be there for the things that I think and feel because sometimes there’s a feeling of distance that shouldn’t be there.

Yes, being present during a time like this is so important. Thank you for talking with me today, and we’re really looking forward to hearing the new music <3


Words by Dexter Burningham
Images by Mal Bea