Hi, I’m Chris Galis and I’m the frontman/songwriter for a band called Genuine Leather. I record songs in a range of different styles in a very small studio in East Austin, Texas. It’s usually really hot in there! Genuine Leather’s latest release is a two song EP called Blossom Child of the Southern Sun. The first song is called “People Just Like You”.
“People Just Like You” was originally written around 2008, back when I was playing in a band called The So-So Gatsby’s in Fort Collins, CO. Then, it made its way into rehearsals for another band I was in called The Grapes several years ago when I first moved to Austin. I always thought it had a lot of potential, but it never really clicked in the past.
Fast forward to Fall 2015; I laid down this track to put it out as Genuine Leather, but it still didn’t really have the right feel. Then my roommate got a new Vox amplifier and Moog distortion pedal that I borrowed to get that sawtooth guitar tone and I finally had something I was aiming for.
The lyrics in the first verse and chorus have been the same since I originally got the idea. Same with the vocal line which is this kind of melodic whine – sort of back and forth or up and down – which really fits in well with the Smashing Pumpkins-esque tone of the guitar. The song has remained intact for the better part of decade and now it has arrived.
When it was recorded, I was listening to a lot of 70s and 80s glam rock – like Prince, Toto, Nick Lowe – so it’s not really a product of input. I really just wanted to make something that sounded heavy and yearning with a touch of southern rock vibe to it. Not sure if that came through, but that was the goal.
Any time I release music, I go through this moment of anxiety over what people will think and what the reaction is going to be. I felt like “People Just Like You” was a strong enough song that people would at least give it a listen, but I’ve received some really great feedback from the tracks on Blossom Child of the Southern Sun.
It’s a lot different than what I normally put out, which is more indie and pop-based. I’m really swinging towards a full-on guilty pleasure phase with my output.
It kind of started with Losers, an LP I put out in late 2014 and then got even more pronounced with Barb Wire, an EP I put out in early 2015. I was pretty uncomfortable with some of the songs I put out on both those records, but I’ve found that the more I trust my gut on things, the better the tracks are received, even if I’m uncomfortable with it.
So I’m currently putting together a collection of songs that are going to be released under the working title of Brunch in late summer of this year. It’s the longest I’ve ever spent on writing before and (I’m hoping) will be my best release to date.
I like to release songs in small batches instead of entire albums, so the songs of Brunch will start coming out soon.
Geniuine Leather is an Austin Texas based band lead by front man Chris Galis. Their latest EP Blossom Child of the Southern Sun is available here.