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Interview: Ron Gallipoli

Interview: Ron Gallipoli

Thursday 21st August, 2014 12:40PM

Ron Gallipoli is the solo moniker of Sam Bradford, who is perhaps better known as being the frontman for Sharpie Crows. Earlier this month Bradford released the debut solo album Ron Gallipoli Loves You All, which builds on the solid foundation laid by sarcastic socially observational singles 'Fonterra' and 'Get Paid', and is fenced in with Ron's own brand of so-called tropical-industrial electronica. We caught up with Bradford to find out more with Seven Quick Questions (plus an extra question thrown in for fun)...

First off, who is Ron Gallipoli and where did he come from?

Uncle Ron. the black sheep of the family. He's Kiwi as fuck but never returns for too long.

Your sound has been described as tropical-industrial-electronic. What does that mean exactly?

It should feel like travelling, but with your Uncle Ron whispering in your ear as you go.

The lyrical content has a good dose of social commentary. Where you raised in a political environment?

I grew up knowing that politics is not something other people do, it's everywhere, and that you can ignore politics - but politics won't ignore you. Your relationship with your landlord, that's politics. I never set out to write protest music, because protest songs are generally horrible, but politics leak out of my songs naturally because that's how I see the world.

What is the biggest issue for you now, as we head into the September election?

I'll vote for whoever promises not to raise 'Hard-working Kiwi Families' on a fucking pedestal. I'm interested in the fate of unemployed single immigrants. That, and snapper quotas.

Can you tell us a little bit about putting the album together, did you use any special equipment?

The only special equipment I have is a field recorder. There are vans that hoon around the streets in Japan playing nationalistic songs and trying to look tough, that's the basis of 'Fascist Kyoto'. '16,000 Dead Pigs' is based on a fragment of Shanghai opera. The muezzin that appears at the end of 'Snacks' I recorded in courtyard in Istanbul. My setup is... a laptop. It's very portable.

You also front for Sharpie Crows, aside from one being a solo project and the other being a band, how do they differ?

The challenge of working alone is calibrating your shit filter correctly. In a band, you have other people telling you if something is too cheesy or obnoxious (not that they're always right). The only substitute for that is time; to record something and come back to it a month or two later to see if it still sounds good. It is a slow process - I've spent hundreds of hours mixing.

What’s your favourite thing to do when not making music?

Making music is my favourite thing. I also enjoy interviews and writing press releases. This is my dream job.

What’s next for Ron Gallipoli?

Warmer and colder climates. New songs - more tropical and more industrial. A Silver Scroll?? As for my physical body, who the fuck knows. I'll just try and maintain a healthy tan.


Sharpie Crows are playing with Rifles and Saturnian Noise Collective on Friday night at Whammy in Auckland. And then Ron Gallipoli is playing alongside Sharpie Crows and Big Rick in Wellington at a special location on Saturday.


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