Two Gallants: On the road again

There is not much downtime for touring musicians. There is constantly a show to play, a hungry audience to feed, a flight to board and an album to record. It’s a tough life to live, but a fulfilling one also.

It is no different for San Francisco duo Two Gallants.

The band consists of Adam Stephens on guitar and vocals and Tyson Vogel on drums and vocals.

“We play at least two hundred shows a year,” Vogel said, while sitting at an airport in San Francisco, preparing for a flight to Hoboken, N.J. “And it doesn’t get old. We still have the same exuberance for touring that we’ve always had.”

The Hoboken show is the first stop on a four-day romp through the Northeast, which includes a show in Hamden, Conn. where proceeds from ticket sales will go towards aiding the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

“It is actually our first show ever in Connecticut,” Vogel said. “It seemed appropriate for us to try to help out in whatever way we can.”

Two Gallants will eventually bring their rowdy live show to Bellingham at the Shakedown on Jan. 16. Vogel said he thinks it will be the only the first or second time the band has actually played a traditional music venue, as far as he can recall. The tour is in support of their newest album The Bloom and The Blight, which is their fourth album and was released in September.

“Being on the road all the time is what keeps us alive,” Vogel said. “But, the lifestyle can wear you down. We’ve definitely learned how to take care of ourselves while on the road, but it is hard to remember every show. I guess it’s a sacrifice we make for our art though.”

If you have ever been witness to the spectacle that is Two Gallants live, then you may have an inkling of why it can wear you down—especially when considering how often they play. To describe their shows as raucous would be an understatement.

In the Pacific Northwest, they have garnered a reputation as a house show band, and have graced many a living room and garage all down the I-5 corridor. During the summer, they played a surprise house show in Seattle that resulted in a sweaty, drunken mass of Seattleites.

“For us, every live show we play is like going to school,” Vogel said. “We learn something new every time. It is literally like we are just learning how to play music every time we step in front of a crowd. I see it as our duty to adapt to whatever environment we are in and provide the most heartfelt show we can.”

Vogel said that the Pacific Northwest has always been a place they look forward to playing because it reminds them of the scene they came from in the Bay Area.

The Bay Area has been home to some of the greatest folk musicians on the planet, and just about every publication that mentions Two Gallants categorizes them under the “folk” label, although the label can be very misleading.

Vogel said he doesn’t really understand the folk label that the band has been put under.

“It does really bug me to be called folk,” Vogel said. “I mean, there is no doubt that we draw a lot of our influences from folk music, but I think we are more than just that. I guess it is just the easiest way to describe us, and we do pay a lot of attention to the songwriting and the lyrics. But, still we are loud and heavy too, and that gets left out with the folk label.”