THE RISE OF TWO GALLANTS

Stream What The Toll Tells by Two Gallants while you read.

By Kayceman


Two Gallants (Vogel-left / Stephens-right)
By Charlie Villyard
There's an interview segment in Martin Scorsese's film No Direction Home: Bob Dylan in which Dylan is almost blowing off the idea that he is special. He speaks in a nonchalant manner, shrugs his shoulders, and tells the camera that he has no clue where his ideas came from; they were just there. Two Gallants, San Francisco's most potent and perhaps most important band, speak in much the same way. On a recent evening in a dark bar tucked into SF's Mission District, I sat with guitarist/vocalist Adam Stephens and drummer Tyson Vogel and spent the better part of the night trying to uncover how these two young men (Adam is 24 and Tyson 25) are able to produce such emotional, visceral, intelligent, timeless, and original music. What I wound up learning was that these burgeoning troubadours have no idea how good they are.


Two Gallants by Mason Trullinger
For example, when I push the issue with Adam, asking him how his songs are able to tap into the universal struggle of the human condition and how he's able to channel the pain of men twice his age, he shrugs just like Dylan did and tells me, "I think whatever emotions it might bring out, anyone can feel that. I think the difference is that for the most part, the older you are the more developed it is and the more comfortable you are with it, and you kind of have a better understanding of your mood swings. I just think it's kind of there for anyone at any age as long as you pay enough attention to how your situation affects you. I think it's credited to older folks just because older folks are more familiar with pain." He's so fucking un-assuming that I almost think he's trying to be humble, but by the end of his 24 oz. Tecate and our game of billiards, I believe him.


Two Gallants (Vogel-left / Stephens-right)
By Charlie Villyard
Two Gallants are a special band, receiving incredibly high marks from MOJO, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Paste, Harp, Vice, NME, Rough Trade, CBS News, and the list just goes on and on. In fact, I don't know that there's been a negative piece of press yet - quite an accomplishment for a couple kids who cut their teeth playing impromptu gigs outside public transportation terminals in San Francisco's seedier neighborhoods. Speaking loud to be heard over the blaring jukebox, I question Tyson and Adam about those early days when they used to play the now legendary "16th St. BART shows" not far from where we have chosen to gather. Adam pulls himself from a distant glare and smiles as if he's remembering an old friend, "I think it just kinda brings it back to the primitive, original reason for playing music in the first place. Music from the beginning was sort of created as a communal thing that brought everyone together. And that's sort of what those shows were like, that's the most communal gathering imaginable. Everyone's welcome, it's completely free. There would be grandmothers there, families, little children running around, homeless men, junkies, and kids there to see the bands, just everyone. That's how music should be, and that's music in its purest form, just directly to the people."


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