West Coast Artist Spotlight: Dt Surgeon
By: Jeremy House
As Jim Morrison once said: “The west is the best.” Check out this new album from west coast group Dt Surgeon. Rock Eden chats with frontman and principal songwriter Stuart Gallant.
Rock Eden: Tell readers a little about the creative process behind the album. What were some of the inspirations for the tracks?
Stuart Gallant: The writing and recording of the album all happened in a short time span. I wrote the first 5 songs in succession in about the run of a week/week and a half. This was late October. I wrote the first three in the run of a couple days and as the lyrics started to develop I noticed a theme was starting to develop. The first idea of the album was that I was going to write a few alt rock tunes, record them, and name it power chords for the drummer. I essentially was just trying out a new recording program before I started another record with another project I’m involved with. But again, once the lyrics started to come about I figured out there were underlying themes developing within the songs. So, I quickly changed focus and started elaborating on them in the next few songs writing with that vision in mind opposed to just some collection of unrelated rock tunes. I was writing about what I saw and what I was hearing. The album centres on the themes of depression, drug addiction, love, and death. As an outsiders view of a part of life that exists in Atlantic Canada… or rural life in general perhaps? Brought on by loss of industry and culture? That’s what I kinda got out of it. There’s a storyline that kinda makes its way through each song, but that’s for the listener to decide and find. As for the recording of the record, it was recorded in Kippens, NL. I sang, played the drums and rhythm guitar on the album. I had previous band members come in and record after I had the tunes started. Kevin Carey, Denis Dumont, and Andrew Smith contributed their time and abilities to the recordings. I was very honoured and humbled to have good friends and awesome musicians lend their time and record with me. My brother engineered the record and helped with some of the mixing. I did the majority of mixing and produced the album. All DIY mentality.
RE: The album artwork is very distinct. What made that piece undoubtedly your album cover?
SG: For the album artwork I asked the help of one of my good friends Sarah Willett. She’s originally from the Stephenville area now living in Corner Brook. We’ve been friends for almost 20 years so it made sense to ask her to contribute as well. I described what I thought the record meant and gave her a few general ideas of the themes I was looking for and she came up with the cover. It’s an excellent representation of the overall album. Sarah is a great artist so I knew she would come up with something that looks and feels right. Looking forward to working with her again on other projects in the future. I used local talent on the whole album to showcase some of what exists in the area or people who have come from here. Stephenville/Bay St George is kinda overlooked when it comes to music/art on the island, which I can’t really wrap my mind around. There is an abundance of great local talent and hope this record represents a little of that.
RE: Can you tell readers a bit about the name of your group and what it means to you?
SG: Sorry it’s an inside thing haha if you’re in the know then you know… if not, that’s that.
RE: Where can people find you performing over the next little while?
SG: Right now there is nothing set in stone as far as gigs go. This started as a writing/recording project and I had no real intention other than that. That being said I’m happy with how it turned out and have talked to some of the guys and think I’m going to start playing the album live. Hopefully, I’ll get an album release going in the next few months and play Stephenville and Corner Brook. Hoping to get out to St John’s to play some gigs in the spring/summer. Excited to start playing them.