Chad VanGaalen performs at Pittsburgh’s Club Cafe Dec. 5 | Music Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Chad VanGaalen performs at Pittsburgh’s Club Cafe Dec. 5

“I’m pretty weak, as far as organisms go”

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Chad VanGaalen is a musician, animator and illustrator in addition to being a father and husband. During the days, he heads to the work space on his property in Calgary, Alberta, while his kids are at school and creates enchanting surreal art with sci-fi roots across his mediums. At his core, he’s a storyteller. 

VanGaalen’s also a transparently uncomfortable person. On his Bandcamp page for his latest release, Light Information, he expresses that this record is about “not feeling comfortable with really anything.” This includes touring.

“[Touring] feels a little weird. I’m not a huge fan of touring,” says VanGaalen. “If I could pick, I wouldn’t tour for this long. The perfect amount of time to be gone is a week, but it’s hard to get things going because it takes about a week to feel comfortable performing in front of people.” 

VanGaalen is enjoying himself on this tour a little, especially with the company of his band of friends. He points to his own vulnerabilities as the reasons for his discomfort. 

“I’m fairly weak as far as organisms go,” he jokes dryly.

Though he may feel discomfort, this release is cohesive and confident. It’s a successful bout of storytelling with catchy melodies and folksy whispers. One of the highlights of Light Information isn’t like the other tracks — it’s an instrumental number called “Prep Piano and 770.” 

“Lately I’m drawn to more experimental, instrumental pieces,” he says. “It’s easier to pair with an image in my head. Sometimes the lyrics can sort of hinder the story you’re trying to tell.” 


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