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bio

"Music has opened doors inside of me that I didn't know existed."

Born and raised in Hull Québec, Alain Galarneau was a quiet and sickly child. Looking back, he speaks of music resonating within him that belied his outward silence. "I can remember walking down the hallways of my school but hearing tunes deep inside me, feeling them throughout my whole being. It was so much a part of me that sometimes I had to hold back from breaking out into playing air guitar right then and there."

Playing with an old guitar at home fueled his interest. "We had a cheap acoustic in a beat up blue gig bag, tucked behind the sofa from when my sister had tried to play in the 60's. I couldn't play, so after getting tired of strumming strings that were horribly out of tune, I would flip it over and play it like a drum. Like a lot of guitarists, I originally wanted to be a drummer."

Galarneau lists Peter Criss of Kiss as one of his first influences. "The only drum set I was ever able to get into the house was a little Muppets single snare drum. I'd written KISS on it with black ink." But Alain's first opportunity to take lessons was for the guitar when he was 12, and he jumped at it. He moved on to the electric guitar very quickly.

"One night, my older brother and his friend, Vincent, went out to see a movie, and Vincent left his Gibson Les Paul Goldtop in our basement. I had an awful migraine that night, but I pulled that guitar out of its case and started strumming - and the headache just didn't matter anymore. I remember the feel of that guitar, the sound of the strings...even unplugged, it felt like pure quality. It was a revelation! All of a sudden, the Yamaha classical guitars I was playing in high school seemed boring. I HAD to get an electric guitar!"

Vincent gave Alain an old Lero Telecaster that had been passed down from his older brother. "One day, he showed up and just gave it to me. I didn't have an amp so he showed me how to take an old reel-to-reel tape deck and plug the guitar into the MIC input, then plug our little sound system into the EAR Output. You turn the tape deck on with no tape in it, you set it to record, and then crank the volume to 11." The distortion of this setup was similar to a 60's Fuzz box, and set Alain's music in motion.

Throughout the years that followed, he rarely left the instrument for long. "There were occasional pauses when I would drift away to find other parts of myself," he says, "but fate would always bring me back."

"I've owned so many guitars...I wish I could tell you how many, but I'm not sure." The guitar has served as the voice of this otherwise quiet man throughout his life. Most of his time has been spent playing solo, but then he ventured into a Classic Rock cover band in 2007. "After that, I got involved in another project with an amazing bass player. We created some great instrumentals that will one day see the light of day, but first I felt like I needed to produce my own music."

Begun on the night of his 41st birthday, Alain's first CD, Well...it's about TIME! is a distillation of his musical influences across 30 years interwoven with the music he's always heard inside. "So, basically, I'm sharing the sounds in my head with you," he grins. "Funny how, if you hear voices they call you crazy, but if you hear sounds then you're an artist."

Alain plays all guitars and bass on his CD. Mike White, the producer, plays drums. They are looking forward to taking this project to the stages in the Ottawa region in the coming months, and then playing gigs further away in hopes of spreading the music.

Alain is contemplative. "I suppose mine isn't a dramatic story," he says, "but it's kind of a story of inevitability. Music has opened doors inside of me that I didn't know existed. One thing I know: Follow your passion, and it'll take you to where your soul belongs."