METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Adrian. So glad to be catching up with you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
ADRIAN GALYSH: Thank you for having me!
MPAP: So, today we are speaking with Adrian Galysh, a Los Angeles-based guitarist, published author, and educator with an illustrious career spanning over five studio albums and been a part of numerous collaborations and performances with guitar giants like Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Robert Ford, George Lynch, and Warren DeMartini, along with many more. What else can we add to introduce yourself to everyone out there in the social media world?
ADRIAN: That pretty much says it. I wear a lot of hats being a full-time musician, so sometimes my day includes a recording session, writing music for commercials and TV, writing lessons for Guitar World, teaching guitar, performing with my band, acoustic duo, or solo jazz gigs.
MPAP: So, how are you? How are things going?
ADRIAN: I am well. In a bit of a heat wave here in Los Angeles, and my AC broke! But other than that, spent the week teaching guitar students, and performing 4 shows.
MPAP: Before we begin, what is one question that you get asked the most that bugs you? (Laughing) I want to make sure I’m not the next person that asks you that question for the millionth and one time? Wouldn’t be a good start to the interview, right?
ADRIAN: I always chuckle when the interviewer asks about my future musical plans. Having just released a new record, and the time it takes to promote it, new material is the farthest thing from my mind.
MPAP: You wanted to play guitar at the early age of ten years old, but it wasn’t until two years later, that after you had kept begging your parents, they would eventually give in and end up letting you take guitar lessons, correct?
ADRIAN: Correct. My parents were pretty conservative and letting me play electric guitar wasn't that appealing to them. When they finally gave in, they insisted that I learn on a classical guitar, which was fine by me!
MPAP: Did you feel on top of the world then at that moment they said they would pay for the lessons and get you a guitar?
ADRIAN: Oh yes, I was pretty excited. By then it was a dream come true.
MPAP: Do you remember what kind of guitar it was? Do you still have it today by any chance?
ADRIAN: I still have it. It's a nylon string 'Admira' brand guitar. A student model.
MPAP: Your early influences were Uli Jon Roth, Randy Rhoads, and Eddie Van Halen? And we have your brother to thank for this because he was listening to heavy metal music during this time?
ADRIAN: Yes. My older brother was getting into hard rock, like Motley Crue and Iron Maiden. So, I ended up hearing lots of stuff like that. But hearing Randy Rhoads for the first time really made a big impression and made me want to play guitar. Soon after that I started buying Van Halen records and Scorpions records and was hooked.
MPAP: How much older was he then you?
ADRIAN: 4 years older.
MPAP: What did he think about you wanting to play the guitar, especially since you were only ten years old? Was he the typical brother and laughed at you and said you’ll get nowhere, or was he there to support you from the very beginning?
ADRIAN: At the time, he began to take drum lessons, so we were kind of in it together. He was supportive, and I think his bandmates in high school were a little impressed when they heard me playing riffs that they were playing.
MPAP: After you began to take the lessons, how fast were you able to learn the playing styles and techniques of some of the guitarist you had been listeniung to?
ADRIAN: It took a while. Maybe a few months before playing riffs like "Back in Black", and "Crazy Train", but after about three years of lessons, my progress started to really accelerate, and I was just a sponge for everything. Back then, though, you could only learn these techniques from a guitar magazine, guitar teacher (if he knew it), or from a book of guitar transcriptions. So, I did my best with what I had.
MPAP: Do you think there ever could have been a moment where you might not have gotten into the guitar? Let’s say you didn’t hear Ozzy Osbourne on the radio, or at one point in your childhood maybe you liked playing soccer better, but never took it to the next level? Or what if your brother might have loved a different genre of music instead?
ADRIAN: I suppose any of that could have happened. But I don't think about stuff like that.
MPAP: Or do you feel that it in your heart, no matter what, the guitar and the love and passion you have for it, it would have found you in some way?
ADRIAN: I think by the time I graduated high school, I realized that music was my future and couldn't imagine doing anything else. My parents had to realize that too, and they supported my music education, letting me study music at Duquesne University.
MPAP: You’ve mentioned that Randy Rhoads made you the guitar player you are today. The first time you heard Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard Of Ozz album, it was hook, line, and sinker. That was it; you knew what you wanted to do from then on. Unfortunately, by the time you had discovered him, he had already been passed away for three years in 1985. If Randy were still alive today, what do you picture his guitar style might be like today with all the different genre’s that have since become with his passing of over 35 years now? How do you think he would have reacted to the Seattle Grunge, or the Florida Death Metal? Do you think he would have joined in, or maybe by chance he might have just hung up his guitar and become recluse off in the mountains somewhere?
ADRIAN: I love this question, and I actually have thought of this. According to what I have read and heard, Randy wanted to pursue finger style classical guitar. I think he eventually would have, and with his new stardom, would probably have released a couple solo albums. I imagine they would have included some rock stuff as well as solo acoustic material. According to some of his family and friends, they think he might have recorded one more album with Ozzy, before quitting Ozzy's band, which is exciting to think about. I also think, that as a guitarist, he was always into challenging himself, and taking the instrument to a new level, so he might have taken up learning jazz, fusion, instrumental music. I think he would have ignored any trends and just kept true to his passion and playing.
MPAP: And if you could, what’s one question you would like to ask him if he were around today?
ADRIAN: Hmmm. If Alice Cooper asked, would you have joined his band? I understand Randy was a big Alice Cooper fan!
MPAP: Now let’s ask a hypothetical question. If you had to put the guitar down and away for let’s say, five years, and you had to learn something new, and you had to plan a brand-new career, what do you think you would want to do?
ADRIAN: If it wasn't guitar, I think i would have pursued drums. If not music, I think I'd be working in the wine business. I like wine.
MPAP: Before we bring this interview to a close, let’s talk about your latest release called Venusian Sunrise: 20th Anniversary Edition that just came out. What can you tell us about it?
ADRIAN: This record achieves something I have wanted to do for a number of years, which is to re-record my debut record. The original record was recorded in my parent’s basement on a single 8 track ADAT recorder. Limitations notwithstanding, I did a pretty good job, and released the CD independently. The original CD put me on the map, and paved the way for future success, collaborations, endorsements, and work. But in hindsight, the production, over time began to sound more like a demo to me. So, I wanted to redo it, and the longer I waited to do it, the better my playing and production skills grew. Realizing that 2018 was going to be the 20-year anniversary, the idea was ripe for really doing it.
MPAP: Even though technology has changed in the 20 years since you originally recorded all the songs found on Venusian Sunrise: 20th Anniversary Edition, was it difficult at any time to re-record a song because it would change the whole vibe of it, and lose its pure raw form that you started out with?
ADRIAN: That actually didn't come to mind. I do like the spirit in which the original recording was done, but my favorite performances of mine tend to be those that are on the edge of my ability and played with 'attitude'. I just have to be in the right frame of mind when i'm recording, and i can channel that energy. My goal was to preserve much of what I liked about the songs, and the best guitar performances, but fix some production issues, a few timing and intonation issues, and update it with real drums, which is the biggest game-changer.
MPAP: Moving forward, where do you want your guitar skills to be at a year from now? Is there a new style or technique that you’d like to try and sink your teeth into?
ADRIAN: I've spent quite some time lately working on my jazz guitar playing, and acoustic work, so I'd like to bring my rock chops to that next level as well. As for tackling a new style, it’s not new, but I'll be practicing more country guitar playing too.
MPAP: What is one of your most significant challenges as a guitar player and a musician? You know how to play the guitar inside and out, up and down, sideways and backward. Is there ever a challenge you get sometimes?
ADRIAN: Thank you, but you have to understand that it's always challenging. There are always better players out there, new techniques, and new material to make it challenging. The challenge is the best part. Learning guitar is like a puzzle, every week you discover some new move, twist or turn that makes it just as exciting as it was when I was a teenager. My biggest challenge now is taking my singing to the next level. I've been enjoying singing, and while my voice has improved over the last couple years, I want it to get better.
MPAP: Finally, the city of Los Angeles is going to erect a billboard with your name on it, but they want you would describe yourself as a musician or a person in just two words that will appear on it? What would you want it to say?
ADRIAN: "Soul Mover".
MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Adrian, for being a part of this interview. We look forward to what you do to finish out the year 2018 and beyond.
Any last words you’d like to tell everyone out there? Any inspirational words for anyone wanting to pick up a guitar anytime soon?
ADRIAN: While it takes some work, it shouldn't feel like work. Try to play guitar every day and make your practice sessions goal oriented.