You’ve probably heard Nick Gallant’s work, whether you knew it at the time or not. In addition to being the audio director for Disney Mobile, Gallant has made music for TV, films and video games, including Guitar Hero. In the mid-2000s, the game developers for Guitar Hero enlisted the help of Wave Group Sound, an audio production studio in Fremont, Calif, where Gallant was working as an audio engineer, producer and composer, to record covers.
“The next three years of my life was just non-stop playing, singing, mixing and recording for Guitar Hero,” he laughs. Outside of his day job, Gallant is a singer-songwriter. His latest album, Wanderlust, was released on Feb. 4. The 18-track collection—which features upbeat, ukulele-led numbers like the title track and more serious acoustic tracks like “Nothing is a Mistake”—was a labor of love for Gallant. “The mindset [for this album] was the whole emotional spectrum of my life over the last three years,” he says. “I had a lot of ups and downs. Thematically, the title track is about wanting to travel the world and experience life, and the thrust of the album is this desire to explore, learn and discover.” Along those same lines, Gallant has come up with a unique campaign to increase local awareness about and interest in the arts. He is offering 10,000 free download cards of Wanderlust at locations across Santa Cruz County, including Verve Coffee Roasters, The Picnic Basket, and The Penny Ice Creamery. “Giving my music away is my small way of giving back to the community I love,” he says. “I also hope this will raise awareness about the state of the music industry today, where artists get $.005 per stream on Spotify, for example. Counterintuitive as it may sound, I’m [doing this] so people might turn around and pay for another artist’s CD. It’s like, if you get one free, buy one.”
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8. The Reef Restaurant and Bar, 120 Union St., Santa Cruz. $5. 459-9876.