Michael Gagliano recently had a trans-Atlantic chat with Canadian super-fan, Clarence Poirier, about the past, present, and future of The Sails!
So, for those who don’t know, this is actually an interview with the entire band! Why the band name “The Sails” as opposed to solo artist “Michael Gagliano”?
I use to be in a band called 'Epic' and we had a deal with Revolver records. We signed with them because The Stone Roses had been on that label, but I found out about the paint throwing afterward.
They decided they had enough of the label and doused the owner, his wife, and cars with cans of paint. Not recommended unless you can afford the lawyers afterward!
OK, then! Back to The Sails and the band name ...
After I left the band Epic, I started a new project which I wanted to call The Sonic Adventures In Love Songs but shortened it to The S.A.I.L.S. It's like the engine that drives people and takes them on a journey. I will release music in the future as Michael Gagliano when I fall out with myself in The Sails!
And you play everything we hear on the recordings?
Yes, I write and play everything on the albums. The next release, "Brighter Futures," is me in lockdown with just a mac a mic, and a guitar. No studio just simple honest real songs written about the world and life-changing pause in humanity's freedom.
Wait! Did you just announce a new album? When and where do we find that?
I made the new Sails album 'Brighter Futures' in Holloway Road London just like my fave record producer Joe Meek did in the 60s. I tried to replicate his formula and his vibe when recording the songs for the album. The album is released on CD through Kool Kat Music in July, and a preview is available to stream and download on The Sails' Reverbnation channel.
Very exciting stuff and great news! The Sails debut album was in 2006 and you regularly released new material until 2010. The past three years, you've come back with a vengeance of creativity throughout 2019 and 2020 with the albums "One Hot Mess, "Dr. Michael's Medicine Bag", and now "Brighter Futures"? What was happening in between?
I got asked to play the part of John Lennon in London's west end hit show "Let it Be" in 2012 and I can only do one thing with my full heart and soul. I had to take a break from being Michael in The Sails to concentrate my efforts fully on that role. I spent 4 to 5 years in the west end playing 8 shows a week and have been touring it around the world up to 2018.
I’ve seen you as John and was positively spooked. The musical chops are obvious, but was formal acting training required for the role? I saw you handle a bit of a technical problem during a show, and you never broke character. It was John reacting.
John lives on inside of me and everyone who loves him. It was second nature playing him. I had absorbed everything about him from watching and listening to him since I was 5 years old. My youngest daughter is 5 and she is already an expert on The Fabs!
When it comes to the new music of The Sails, do you find it hard to separate from playing The Beatles night after night for so many years?
People have put me down in the past for sounding "too Beatles" but their imprint on me and millions of other artists is inescapable.
Personally, I hear a bit of Neil Diamond in “Better Days” and “In My Head” brings Steve Marriot to mind, but remains its own thing as “The Sails.” The “Man Who Broke in Half” stands apart from everything else. What are some of your other influences?
From growing up till today I always listen to the same bands like The Kinks, The Small Faces, The Who, Arctic Monkeys, The Stone Roses, However, side-by-side with The Beatles, The Jam are my fave band of all time. Can you imagine an 11-year-old kid from Woking, who loves The Beatles, discovering a band that comes from my little hometown with striking songs that blew my mind? They gave me a belief and gave me a heads up about life when not much else did.
What is your songwriting process like? Is it something you’re constantly working at to find some magic, or do songs just hit you suddenly in the middle of sleeping?
Bob Marley used to say that angels decide who receives a song and I totally agree with him. I don't question songs, I just accept them first then work them out in me head once it's in. Most songs have a certain vibe about them that dictates what they need so I obey the song.
Hard question, I know, but if someone asked you what three songs best define The Sails, what’s your answer and why?
I still haven't written my best 3 songs. That's what keeps me buzzing. But all the songs on my recent "Best Of" retrospective were chosen because they are very popular with the people that know my stuff, and everyone seems to love different songs for different reasons!
The past 12 months have unquestionably been the worst year in our lifetimes for live events. How has the pandemic affected your creativity and outlook as an indie artist?
Well, I feel artists don't get paid very well even though that's not what we are doing it for. You need literally millions of streams etc just to get a few grand. That won't even pay studio costs so I fear for the entire industry. The music biz is now the equivalent of the European super league.
What else can everyone expect from The Sails in 2021?
Brighter futures for us all hopefully. I'm hoping to get The Sails out touring very soon to perform three albums worth of material I've written since The Sails last played live. It would just be nice to get out of the house and make a lot of noise with guitars!!
"Brighter Futures" will be available on CD in July via Kool Kat Musik, and now available for streaming and MP3 download HERE!