Making a living performing and creating music is one of the most challenging undertakings a drummer faces, all drummers aim to play at the peak of their craft. Julien Barbagallo exemplifies what determination and a positive attitude can accomplish. Barbagallo is currently on The Slow Rush Tour with Tame Impala and is expanding the boundaries of what a drummer can do live while serving to counterbalance the band’s massive and modern psychedelic sound.
Barbagallo is a multi-instrumentalist who has five studio albums to his credit: Barbaghamon, Les Grands Brûlés, Danse dans les ailleurs, Grand chien, and Amor de lonhhe. He is pushing the boundries of French music while experimenting with new sounds. With the release of his newest album Les Grands Brûlés, Barbagallo expands his own sound and creates something fresh. We hear more of an electronic psychedelic disco sound on songs such as “Debout.” Additionally, we hear his range and dynamics throughout the album shifting to a softer and smoother vibe. For example, in the song “La Paix,” we hear more of an acoustic and less synthy sound. Being the producer of his albums means that he gets to employ an arsenal of his own production techniques. One of the more unusual aspects of his approach is the modest gear setup he employs when creating and producing new tunes. Additionally, he serves as his own vocalist, essentially making him a one-man-band.
Apart from producing and creating his own music, Barbagallo’s most famous accomplishment is touring and performing for nearly a decade as Tame Impala’s full-time drummer. Starting with the Lonerism Tour, Barbagallo was chosen by Kevin Parker and has never looked back. While Parker does create all his records on his own, Barbagallo interprets the songs in the live performances for the masses to hear and see. I got the opportunity to see Barbagallo play live, and it was one of the most life changing experiences I’ve ever had from a live performance. Tame Impala is currently on tour in Europe and the show is a must see.