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I just uploaded another track from my 4th album ‘Advice to the Wayfarer’. It’s called ‘Witch Hunting’. Allegedly it sounds a little like ‘medieval psychedelia’. I’m pretty happy with that. I’ve recently been informed that there is a baroque style of composition at the core of my songwriting. I guess that could explain all the medieval comparisons.

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Instead of declaring just 1 winner of the genre competition I chose 5. They were Alan Lee for ‘Apocalyptic Folk’, Summer Lopez for ‘The Aquarian Movement’, Klaus Kappes for ‘Minorchordial Seashine Wave’, Matt Drone-Garden for ‘Ectoplasmic Resonance’ & Nigel J Kibble for ‘Progadelic’. Last week I mailed signed copies of ‘Scary Poppins’ to the US, UK, Germany and Sydney.

Since announcing the winners a couple of other genre suggestions have been made on the Facebook page wall. Two I really like are Melancholy Fusion Rock and Psycho-creepycool-demented-thunder-muffin.

It’s difficult to accurately describe the music made by any band or artist. I’d like to commend those people who suggested a genre or multiple genres. Thank you all. 🙂

When I tell people I’m a songwriter they invariably ask “what style of music do you play?”. As I answer this question so regularly and I only have quite elusive and somewhat contradictory labels to reference (such as psychedelic folk noir, post-rock, neoclassical and darkwave), I decided to pose the genre classification question to my fans. So far, genres submitted to describe my music include:
1. Apocalyptic Folk
2. Aquarian Rock
3. Brainmelt Fusion
4. Neofolk
5. Ectoplasmic Resonance
6. Glum Rock
7. Minorchordial Seashine Wave

I’m quite impressed with the effort people have gone to with these suggestions.

Another description of my music was posted online courtesy of IndieGuild: “Far from the mainstream, “The Mad Pride” gives his take on life in experimental, acoustic neofolk style”.

I found a definition online which seemed to encompass Apocalyptic Folk, Neofolk and Folk Noir:
“Apocalyptic folk (Neo folk, Uber folk, Folk noir ) is a term and phrase employed to describe a genre of folk-music which deals with dark themes of decay, decline, and/or destruction of Western civilizations foundations. This genre of music often, but not always has a underlying social philosophy. Other terms for Apocalyptic-Folk that have been applied to this genre of music are Folk-Noir, Uber-folk, and Neo-Folk.”

I recently received a message stating that it was ‘unethical’ to make my music free to download as it ‘undermines the value of music’. I responded to that message like this:

Hi Doug,

thanks for your message. If I only sold my music instead of giving it away for free then I’d be excluding poorer members of the community. I don’t see them as less valid listeners because of their socio-economic status. The agenda of my music is to create awareness about Neurodiversity. There is a stigma which is associated with ‘mental illness’ which results in those people being isolated from society and in some cases ostracised from the work force. As a result they end up poorer and unable to buy music. It would seem hypocritical of me to exclude the members of the community who my music is directly aimed at helping.

It would be nice if music was valued the way it should be. I just think there are bigger issues worth addressing such as war, poverty and environmental degradation. There is a cultural battle going on and by making my music free I hope to disseminate my message more widely. The lyrics in my song ‘history books’ are a good example.

I hope this message finds you well.

Take care,
Rowan

A while back I was asked what my song ‘Fade Away’ was about. I summarised it as best I could like this:

“Fade Away is about trying to help people who, after being hurt, have reacted by hurting others. The tendency for certain minorities to be demonised for societies problems is also a theme in the song. Above all I wanted to convey that those who love the most live the most.”

To fill in some blanks regarding my musical background. I started playing piano when I was 9 years old but gave up after a little over a year. My piano teacher realised fairly quickly as I neglected to turn the pages on the sheet music that I was playing by ear. I didn’t care for the counting and reading aspects which was why I gave up on piano by the time I was 10 or 11 years old. Then I didn’t try to play it seriously for almost 20 years.

While living on a mountain in New Caledonia with my father at age 16 I started attempting to play guitar. He had a nylon string classical acoustic guitar which I gladly began to tinker with. Having forgotten what little music theory I knew I started to write songs so I had something to play. So began my journey as a songwriter.

Once I started studying at Wollongong University I started jamming with friends. One was a drummer named Clinton Spence with whom I began an experimental indie rock band called Generic.

Generic experimental indie rock folk funk jazz metal blues ambient circus

Generic (clockwise from left): Rowan Galagher, Nick Cooper, Lakshal Perera & Clinton Spence

The other two members (Lakshal Perera and Nick Cooper) quickly came onboard and for a number of years we enjoyed local gigs but much more importantly an open mindedness to musical experimentation. The band lasted roughly from 2000 til 2004 at which point it was amicably diffused. Lakshal and Nick now have PhDs and Clinton is living in Texas where he relocated as the drummer of BugGirl after their 6th world tour. Clinton’s drumming can be heard in 2 tracks (Hold On & Julie #2) on the first The Mad Pride album ‘Hi Penthus’.

Generic (clockwise from left): Rowan Galagher, Nick Cooper, Lakshal Perera & Clinton Spence

A couple of years after Generic’s end I began a collaborative project called Moontown with Greg Hughes on electric guitar. We played together as a duo for a couple of years. His style of lead guitar playing was often compared to Dave Gilmour. Greg’s guitar playing can be heard on 2 tracks on Hi Aphrodite by The Mad Pride (Insane and Stay Here).

Left: Greg Hughes, Right: Rowan Galagher

Moontown at The Oxford Tavern in Wollongong

So I’ve relented and started a blog…. I guess that’s quite obvious by now. I don’t know whether this will make use of my ranting skills or not. I’m told, however, that they are quite impressive. Have a nice day.