We sat down with Jose Gallo at the Gallo Guitars studio in Boston, MA and asked our lead artist about his vision for Gallo Guitars, how it all started and a couple of more personal questions. Make sure to read bellow and don't miss a thing!
What does Gallo Guitars stand for?
Gallo definitely stands for my last name. Just as Leo Fender and Orville Gibson named their company after themselves, I decided to do the same thing. The name could be something with lights or something futuristic, but honestly Gallo is the perfect fit. In my studio I am not trying to replicate creations from any other guitar-makers, I am making creations of my own. This whole spirit of creation and belief over the unknown is what Gallo Guitars stands for.
How did it all start?
It all started before I even knew it did. I remember being a little kid and watching the “All My Life” video by the Foo Fighters on MTV and thinking how cool Dave Grohl’s clear guitar looked. Back then I had no idea that I was going to end up making guitars, but when the opportunity came, I just got inspired by that memory and used everything I had to make my own.
The actual story happened after a trip I made to see my brother in Boston for the Holidays. I got to hang out with him and many other musicians, which, combined with my interest for performance art, got me feeling really great about that entire atmosphere. After I came back to school I had the perfect scenario: I had two classes, Technology in Sculpture and Advanced Computer Modeling. Then, the idea of designing a guitar and merging both classes into one big project came to me and, even though I was doubtful at the time, I never looked backand went for it. A leap of faith, that’s how it started.
Why lights on a guitar?
Because you can light up the world. There’s this duality between light and darkness, but I look at it as darkness being defined as “the absence of light”. To me, Gallo Guitars is a beacon of light to creativity, expression and truth. I want light to be shone over artists who, just as me, believe that they can make a difference.
So, who exactly would play a Gallo?
At this moment, we are focused on supporting up and coming artists. People who have an act, a really cool idea and want to visually and acoustically enhance their performance. Overall, we are looking to support performers who want a nice visual addition to their repertoire and would love to be playing a work of art.
What about the sound? Does the material affect it?
It obviously does. In acoustics, any material that you attach to a body would affect the resonance of such body. The real question is if the material affects it positively. The answer is: Yes it does. You see, A Gallo Guitar is made of two components: Plastic and rare wood. They both have an individual set of characteristics very proper to them and combined they create a masterpiece of its own.
For plastic, you have its transparent nature, plus you also get a bright sound, just as is expected because of the density of the material. In the other hand, you have the wooden component. Lets say Mahogany for instance. This type of wood is recognized for producing a very warm and full tone, plus it is also sturdy, thus adding a tonal and structural component to a Gallo Guitar. The end result: A stunning guitar with a beautiful tone.
Ok. So, I have $1,200 for a guitar. Should I buy a brand name guitar or should I bet on a custom-made Gallo?
I think it is honestly up to you. It really depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a name, a specific look or a specific sound, you should really consider buying the instrument that is going to emulate what you are looking for. If you are looking for something different, visually stunning and something that you can make your own, then I would definitely go for a Gallo. I design my guitars for performers, for people who want to stand out and make a difference, but at the same time can be united through the commonality of the light all our guitars shed to the audience.
Lastly, if this is not enough of a reason, then know that you are buying a work of art. When you do that, not only do you get artwork specifically made for you, but you also support the artist, his creations and what they represent.
Now, time for a couple of personal questions. Do you play?
Yes I do! I remember the feeling I had when I built my first guitar, I knew a couple of chords, but it was really frustrating to have something so cool in my hands and not be able to use it to its full potential. Since then, that feeling had me very motivated and I took some classes here and there. Now I just like to experiment and learn new things. I make a tool for artists, so I may as well use it to generate more creative output!
What inspires you to create?
It’s just a drive that I have. I cannot explain it, I just have an idea and I want to make it happen. And when it happens I want to make it better. – I am just a builder in everything I do. – I like to inspire people just as I have been inspired and I think all of that comes from having a grateful attitude. Gratefulness towards the people and the opportunities you have around you and knowing that those will take you far if you believe in them. Belief is the most important and if I can be a beacon of light for you to believe that you can do anything good for the world, then I will always be inspired. I will always believe in art.
Finally, any new plans of some cues you can give us on what’s to come?
Well there’s a million of plans in my head already, but we need to take it one step at a time. As of right now, we’ve been working with a couple of artists here in Boston to put more Gallos on stage, so you can definitely expect more of that. Additionally, and I will leave you with this, keep an eye out for our new signature series coming in October, there has been a lot of work put into them and we are very excited to share them with you to light up the world with some amazing art!
– The Gallo Guitars Team –