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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 87 - 11/09/03

Soul Junk
soul-talk w/Glen Galloway

Glen Galloway (a.k.a. Glen Galaxy or Galaxalag)
In 1994 Glen Galloway (a.k.a. Glen Galaxy or Galaxalag) started doing his solo stuff under the name Soul Junk while he was in the band Trumans Water. Still in love with free-form music Glen started writing mellower folky lo-fi music on his first record, 1950. On that record one could hear that Glen had found God and most of the songs were about his faith in God and the holy word.

When the rest of Trumans Water moved to Portland, Oregon, Glen stayed in San Diego and focused on writing his songs under the Soul Junk-moniker. A bunch of people have jumped in (including members of Danielson Famile, GoGoGo Airheart, Rocket From The Crypt, Black Heart Procession etc.) and Soul Junk has forked out a whole lot of records, e.p.'s and seven inches on labels like Homestead, Sub Pop, Sounds Are Active, Sounds Familyre, Infinite Chug, Holy Kiss, Shrimper, Flapping Jet etc. Soul Junk have never stuck to any certain musicstyle; indie-rock/-pop, folk, hip-hop, avant-garde, free jazz, turntable-ism, just name it!

As for now Soul Junk is a duo consisting of Glen and Michael Kaufmann (a.k.a. Slo Ro) and have released two fine and one of the most obscure hip-hop records ever heard, 1957 and 1958 (on Sounds Are Active and Sounds Familyre). Glen appeared again with Trumans Water on 1998's Fragments of a Lucky Break (on Emperor Jones/Infinite Chug) and has played with them on occasionally since then. He also runs The Singing Serpent Studio with producer Rafter Roberts.

LK: Soul Junk has had many members (I don't have the count); The Fall has too as well. Is this some kind of Mark E. Smith-syndrom that you have there or do you want to work with as many people you can?
Glen: "It's a combination of wanting to work with lots of good sounding people and also a function of being all over the place in terms of sounds and styles. I think being unpredictable bands are the most interesting but they tend to have revolving casts."

LK: It seems like a lot of great experimental hip-hop bands coming up from everywhere. I'm talking about the Anticon and Definitive Jux labels and bands like Dälek, Sensational, The Shinin' and AntiPop Consortium. When did you start getting it to hip-hop and do you agree on that hip-hop bands seem to be more experimental than before?
Glen: "Yeah, we definitely feel that. I saw hip-hop get really happily bored with itself about four years ago and that's rare and freeing when any music world hits that point. That's part of the reason my styles are so frankensteined = I'm not so interested in the structures that make each individual soundworld stand, it's the gelatinous nectar spikes you can pick up in between the pillars."

LK: Both Soul Junk and Trumans Water have always been really active when it comes to putting out records playing on other bands' records. What do you think might be the reason for that?
Glen: "Being overly a bit of a 2-geared practitioner. Either so slow nothing I do ever sees the light of day, or so in the flow that song albums zing off us like popcorn machines."

LK: Many Trumans' records and some of the Soul Junk records have this dark sound on them but also this obvious sound of having fun playing the music. Do you agree on that?
Glen: "Yeah, that's funny. We never set out to be dark. We use strange sounds and chords and maybe the unknown is dark if you don't know it. I guarantee we're more fun than controlled populations."

LK: Are you still a full member of Trumans Water? Do you play as much with as you would like to?
Glen: "I play with them because it's always a good time and we've got a chemistry we belaboured long and sly to achieve and it's fresh to step in and do the salivating herky jerky when moments are right."

LK: What is the reason for your jumping between genres on Soul Junk-records?
Glen: "We're not pure improvisors/experimentalists. We like fidgeting with expectations. But we can't stick around any one set of expectations for too long or we get boredom. So we bash freely amongst hiphoppers, outerjazzers, monsterrockers as it feels fitting. Sometimes it's needed that we make it sound like we really think we know what we're doing, but that's no sort of front you want to stick with."

LK: Has the music "scene" in San Diego changed much since Rocket From The Crypt "ruled" it and when Trumans still operated from city?
Glen: "Less gas-station-attendent rock I think. More post post post buhhh. Some good people rocking their good units though and less record company $$$ being pumped in."

LK: What kind of studio is Singing Serpent and how long time did it take to build it?
Glen: "It was built for about 9 months in 2000-01. The studio is in downtown San Diego & it's a doozy. Rafter and I put together a buisness making music for TV commercials three years ago. We took pretty much everything we made off the first few jobs and then everything we could borrow and put it into building the studio. It's going all day long on TV music and then we record our friends and ourselves and favorite bands there on nights & weekends."

LK: On the Singing Serpent website I saw some different names who do stuff with S.S., names like yourself and Todd Trainer (Shellac), Daniel Smith (Danielson Famile), Rafter Roberts and Sufjan Stevens.
Glen: "Yeah, we've worked with all those good people. Rafter helps run composing - Todd, Daniel, Sufjan have contributed stuff long-distance on occasion."

LK: Have you always been a Christian?
Glen: "My family was growing up and I definitely got into it. I read the bible thru many times before I was 18. Then I went off to school I decided I'd been brainwashed and told my parents I was an atheist. For about three years I stuck with that, on personal quest for my own truth... reading much and drinking more. God spoke to me one night & asked me what I'd found. I told him nothing but I didn't want to go back to being dry and religious. But I started praying and I'd feel the Holy Spirit strong, or I'd read the bible a little & it was like the room was lit up with God. This was not dry and religious. I'd been filled with the Holy Ghost and it was good. Thirteen years of this has been more than good, I am exponentially soaking in the goodness of God."

LK: The quotes from the bible and your Christianity seems to be less obvious on 1957 than on previous Soul Junk releases, do you agree with me on that?
Glen: "I hadn't thought of it that way, but yeah - there are no straight scripture songs on 1957. It's MC-ing full of word Word word. 1958 is similar that way. Beyond that I've been making beats and read/singing whole chapters of the bible over, or speaking in tongues. A little less MC for now anyway."

LK: Does Soul Junk and other like-minded bands (Danielson Famile etc.) get any following by Christian radio and networks?
Glen: "Yes we do, but it's not like we're plugged into that circuit. It's a very specific group of labels and such, and I did one cd with 5 Minute Walk amd they got us listened to a good bit with Christian radio/festivals/etc. Now I think people like us and Danielson and a hearty list of others make up the "woo they're crazy" periphery. We get played on underground and college stations more than anything else."

Links: Soul Junk, Sounds Are Active, Sounds Familyre, Emperor Jones, Infinite Chug.

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