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