It’s about time you’ve heard of Galactic. Perhaps you’re in the know and your tickets to their show this Friday night at The Capitol Theatre are already secured. But in the off-chance you’re not, we’re here to share with you the gospel of Galactic, one colored with such distinct and progressive sounds you’d be remiss to place the group in just one genre.
The sextet has used the term “funk pop ‘n’ roll,” but even that doesn’t cover the house-shaking, bone-breaking, and soul-moving presence this New Orleans-bred instrumental outfit brings into town. To top it off, the band is known to invite a diverse array of talented (and often fellow New Orleanian) vocalists and musicians onstage with them — like Anjelika Jelly Joseph, a former American Idol finalist hitting this tour with Galactic — in order to bolster their larger-than-life performances.
Below we have an interview with Galactic drummer Stanton Moore, himself a widespread presence in the music community with a slew of side projects; his own music school, the Stanton Moore Drum Academy; and a percussion manufacturing brand, The Stanton Moore Drum company.
Westchester Magazine: Galactic has played at The Cap many times. What do you love that venue?
Stanton Moore: Peter Shapiro, he’s a good friend, so I love that he was able to take the place and renovate it, turn it around, and turn it into a real magnet for music. Peter was able to see potential and turn it around and really make it into a place that’s one of the great venues to play.
WM: What upcoming tour stops are you looking forward too the most? Any cities in particular?
Stanton Moore: Well obviously, coming [to The Cap], but you know we love all the places. Everywhere we go we have places that we like to eat and visit, people we like to see, so I try not have favorites ‘cause then if you’re not at your “favorite” then you feel like you’re missing out.
WM: You guys are hot off a new album Already Ready Already. Which of those tracks have ‘already’ become crowd favorites?
Stanton Moore: One of the ones we’ve been playing a lot is “Big Whiskers” which is a instrumental that we’ve been doing. “Going Straight Crazy” [has] been a good one that’s doing pretty well on the radio, too. I think those two are pretty fun ones that we’ve been enjoying.
WM: I really can’t get enough of “Goose Grease,” I love that track.
Stanton Moore: Yeah, I like that record a lot. It’s a fun record.
WM: In the past couple years how has the band dynamic and sound evolved from your perspective?
Stanton Moore: Several records from like 2007 — From the Corner To the Block, starting with that record, and then … Electricos and Ya-Ka-May — we did several records that were really production focused. I think lately we’ve been trying to get a little bit more band focused, a little more focused into how we play together. If anything, in the last couple of years we’ve been trying to get … not completely organic, but a little bit more in balance blending the organic with the production value.
WM: Are there any specific influences that are directing this evolution?
Stanton Moore: Robert [Mercurio] and Ben [Ellman] produce our stuff and they’re listening to all kinds of stuff all the time, so really it’s just a complete hodgepodge of influences that are all always coming across our radar. We kinda borrow from things that we like or hear and go oh that’s kinda cool you know throw that into the mix. It’s really kind of a vast array of influences always coming in our radar.
WM: What have you been listening to these past couple years and what’s really been affecting how you play the drums?
Stanton Moore: I wind up listening to a lot of mixes and recordings of gigs that I’m doing, so I actually critique a lot of what I do. I have a weekly gig with my piano trio and I record that every time I do it when I’m in town, so a lot of weeks I’m there and then we record and listen to that all week and I’ll try to figure out what I can improve on. A lot of times I’m critiquing stuff that I’m working on. A lot of times I’m listening to stuff for work purposes. And then drum academy online lessons I’m always having to watch edits, edit lessons, so a lot of my listening is work oriented.
WM: Beyond this current tour what’s next for Galactic, any cool upcoming projects you can spill the beans on, or for you personally?
Stanton Moore: We’re always working on the next record, but I’m on my way to London right now with my organ trio. And then I’m planning on releasing three organ trio records over the span of several years and were going to release them on vinyl this year, and we’ re-releasing those records and putting them on vinyl. You know they’ve never been on vinyl before so I’m looking forward to that and I’m always working on drum academy. So that’s always fun, that’s always something that I’m enjoying so, just trying to keep all the balls in the air.