It took a lot of guts for Galleon frontman Nick Deegan to kiss his old band Foreshore goodbye. Considered something of a superstar band in their hometown of Adelaide, Deegan’s previous group had grown used to supporting heavyweights INXS and Nickelback in massive venues like the Entertainment Centre… But something was missing, it didn’t feel quite right, according to the singer. Two years later, Deegan has found his true calling in indie-rock collective Galleon and it shows on their upcoming debut album.
“Adelaide is quite small so you get as big as you can and then you get a reputation for being a sell-out band because you’re playing with big touring acts like Nickelback,” he muses. “It was a great, fun experience but they’re not the bands that I’d want to be aligned with.
“I guess Foreshore was a young band making poppy music, but it started sounding too poppy and almost cheesy to me. Galleon started purposefully with a different angle and I intentionally wanted to make it more raw and edgy.”
The problem was, as Deegan chuckles, that the singer’s penchant from writing catchy pop hooks never quite disappeared. And while his new project is rocky and stripped-down as can be, the pop element remains present. Which is something Deegan has made peace with at this point.
“I just can’t help liking pop songs I guess! It’s such a love-hate thing. I can’t make up my mind! I’ll write a pop song and I’ll love it at the time, but then I’ll look back on it and go, ‘No, it’s too clean; I want it to be edgier!’ Then I go and write and edgier song but then I think it’s not catchy enough… Basically, I’m the main songwriter so I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is just the way it’s going to be. I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse or what. It’s just the way I write, I suppose and I’m learning to accept it. So yes, the underlying theme is pop!”
And while Deegan says he is glad the band took the time to make their debut album the best possible introduction to the collective, he also points out that spending a year writing and recording is something he is not keen to repeat again. Hence, Deegan explains that Galleon are currently working on a new EP rather than a full length.
“No way, I don’t want to take a whole year again!” he laughs. “I’ve heard the songs to death already and I’m ready to move on. To be honest, the album doesn’t really represent anymore where we are right now musically. But I still love the songs. The album is quite clean and polished sounding. Working with Patch (Patrick Robertson, producer) was something very different for me. I definitely picked up on his style of writing, which is very organic and he’s very on-the-spot, whatever comes to you first… I’d never worked like that before.
“We also had Jimi (Maroudas, Eskimo Joe, The Living End) engineer it. The album had a lot of time spent on it, quite a bit of money, we went into Sing Sing Studios and the whole thing was quite professional. With the EP we’re doing it totally differently. There’s really no producer, we’re just sitting around having a few beers and putting the songs together, it’s more relaxed.”