DAVE WANLESS (SVEN GALI): “I Don’t Think Full-length Records Are The Way To Go At This Point In The Music Industry. Everything Is Consumed So Fast”

Sven Gali Group

For some of us, 1995 seems like yesterday, but in reality it was 25 years ago. That was the last time Canadian act Sven Gali released an album together. Their debut self-titled album in 1993 spawned MuchMusic’s Best Metal Video “Under the Influence.” From there Sven Gali was nominated for Most Promising Band and Hard Rock Album of the Year at the 1993 Juno Awards. Sven Gali toured with April Wine, Pearl Jam, Foreigner, and Def Leppard among others.

Sven Gali released Inwire in 1995, produced by future Queensrÿche guitarist Kelly Grey. 2020 sees the band getting back into gear with the release of their new EP entitled 3. Metal Express Radio had the chance to speak with Sven Gali vocalist Dave Waneless about getting the band back together and what the future holds for the group.

Metal Express Radio: If I knew absolutely nothing about Sven Gali, how would you describe the band’s music to me?

Dave Wanless: Ferocious, passionate, melodic, and attitude laced hard rock.

MER: Your new EP entitled 3 was released on June 3, 2020. What songs are you proud of and why? You can’t say all of them…

DW: That’s like asking which one of your kids you like the most lol. I’m going to say “NOW.” We co-produced that song and it showcases the band for who we are and what we represent today. Crushing guitar riffs, moody undertones, and a rhythm section from hell. We worked, re-worked, and re-worked the song again until we got it right. I rewrote the chorus several times until I had something special. We never gave up on “NOW” because we knew there was a gem in there – and that speaks to the resiliency, vision, and passion of Sven Gali.

MER: Is this EP a preview to a new full-length album?

DW: To be honest, I don’t think full-length records are the way to go at this point in the music industry. Everything is consumed so fast. The playing field has been levelled which is both a good and bad thing – thousands of rock songs are getting released everyday leaving people with a very short attention span.

Full-length albums are great if you are the Foo Fighters or someone in the huge rock star group that attained massive success prior to the “make your music at home revolution”. The best fit for Sven Gali at this point is releasing singles and EP’s along with unreleased material from the late 80s and early 90s. But like everything, you never know what the future holds.

MER: Any tour plans as the Covid-19 restrictions start to ease up?

DW: Absolutely. We had several dates in Canada and Europe lined up prior to C-19. The success of the EP has already opened those doors even wider, and Sven Gali will be out in full force to make the world a little more dangerous again through crushing, melodic hard rock.

MER: Who came up with the band name and what inspired it?

DW: Great question. The first time we met and decided we were going to do this in the later part of the 80s, a movie was playing in the background – the movie was called Sven Gali. Everything happens for a reason, and if you are conscious and aware of what is going on around you, magic and luck find you.

MER: Sven Gali debuted in 1992 with your self-titled album. The music has been described as glam rock and/or hard rock. Your follow up album 1995’s Inwire was more of a grunge rock affair. Some fans weren’t as accepting of the style change. Was this change in style something that was forced upon you by the record label or something you really believed in?

DW: We went into the process with the intention of making the best album representative of who we were both musically, and personally at the time. We loved Inwire at the time, and love it still today. Sven Gali is a band that is not static. If you listen to the progression from the first record to Inwire, and from Inwire to 3, you can hear the movement.

We were very different people when we wrote and recorded Inwire than we were when we recorded the first record. And we are very different people now having recorded 3 than we were when recording the first two records. Look back and appreciate what you have done, learn from it, and keep moving forward. That is what we do in our lives at home, work, and with Sven Gali.

MER: Kelly Gray who went on to play for Queensrÿche and Geoff Tate’s version of the band was the producer for Inwire. How did that come about and what did he bring to the table?

DW: There was mutual respect and musical admiration between Kelly and the band, and like most things in life, it started with a conversation. Kelly brought untraditional and uncensored creativity to the table. There were no rules when writing and recording. We took musical risks and created a body of work that we are really proud of. There will be a day when a new generation of listeners will appreciate how great of a record Inwire was, and still is.

MER: Christopher Thorn of Blind Melon and Kevin Martin and Scott Mercado of Candlebox appeared on Inwire. Did Kelly bring them on board or where they friends of yours?

DW: They were introduced to us by Kelly. There was a very communal feel to London Bridge – people would walk in and out all of the time. Their appearances were spontaneous – right place at the right time.

MER: What lead to the band breaking up?

DW: The band never broke up. We were burnt out from touring and recording for over a decade without a break. Life kept moving forward. People got married, created new business ventures, had kids etc. We were always in touch. We were always friends. And we always did, and continue to enjoy each others company – maybe even more now.

As you see life flying by, you appreciate things more. Still making music with Andy and Shawn, 30 years after sitting in a room and creating what would be Sven Gali is a privilege few people in life get to experience. Sean and Dan bring a new element into the band. We have been friends and BMG label mates for a very long time. The chemistry is there – you can hear and feel it on 3.

MER: From the 2007 show and subsequent shows you played, why did it take 13 years to record new music?

DW: It took that long because were starting families, starting businesses, and embarking on new adventures. We never lost touch or the respect and admiration we have for each other. We didn’t want to force anything out. We never doubted that the right time would come, and it did.

MER: I read Sven Gali may have some vault material that you plan on releasing in the future? Any updates on that?

DW: Great question – all of that is true and we will be releasing some of that material along with a couple of new tracks before Christmas.

MER: What Sven Gali show stands out as your “greatest?”

DW: That is a really tough question. We rocked each and every night no matter where we were or how many people we were playing to. From doing 4 sets and night during the early years on the Northern Ontario Circuit, to playing in front of 50,000 people opening for Def Leppard – they were all our greatest shows.


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.