Gaelan said his roots as a drummer date back to ninth grade. Shortly after relocating to Anacortes from Seattle, he had the opportunity to “tinker around” on a friend’s drum kit.
“I started to listen more to music, to emulate what I heard,” he recalls. “Then I started playing with other musicians.”
At Anacortes High School he was encouraged by two girls in the Jazz Choir to join the group. He did so, dividing his time between playing backup on the drums and singing bass.
In addition to the AHS Jazz Choir, Gaelan contributed his talents to a youth band at Anacortes Christian Church. Several years later, he volunteered as part of the worship team at The Bridge Christian Fellowship on North Whidbey Island.
On a mission to become a professional drummer, Gaelan spent two years at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, “working nights and doing some gigging to pay the rent.” His passion for drumming was tested on several levels, including the frustration of long, boring nights working security at the L.A. Convention Center.
Drawn again to Anacortes, Gaelan continued to pursue his musical passion while working at Tracy’s Furniture. In 2009 and 2010 he worked periodically as tour manager for his friends in the Anacortes-born band “Lonely Forest.”
Although basing from Anacortes poses challenges for musicians, Gaelan notes: “The arts scene here is strong. There’s a lot of creative people – a lot of young, talented musicians. It’s kind of exciting, really.”
As noted, Gaelan put his sticks aside briefly to serve as Lonely Forest’s tour manager, racking up thousands of miles behind the wheel as the band accomplished those things necessary to establishing their name at a national level.
Then in early 2011 he connected with Nick Thompson, Julianne Thompson and Jordan Nielsen of BellaMaine, an up-and-coming band from Bellingham. The creative connection was made, and the four have been playing together since from an Anacortes base.
At this writing, the group has scheduled live performances including the Skagit County Fair.
“We recently played the BrewersFest in Marymoor Park,” he said, “and we recorded a demo with plans to go into the studio in July. Our hope is to release an album in the fall.”
BellaMaine has just launched an online fundraiser to fund their upcoming album with kickstarter.com. To see their video and donate go to: www.kickstarter.com/projects/386345848/bellamaines-new-record.
In the meantime, Gaelan said BellaMaine is “working on building a fan base, doing tours that will extend out of the Northwest across the country.”
To share in this story, visit www.bellamaine.com, or watch the local entertainment calendar for BellaMaine’s next local gig.