Off-Grid singer tops Canadian charts

Chad: generates own music, power

Canada’s No 1 recording artist, topping the charts for the second successive week, lives off the grid with his family.

Chad VanGallen‘s solar-powered home in Alberta has a recording studio, and his wife works in the house as well. For years, he made music in his cramped Calgary basement and cultivated a hermit-like persona in the process. When he needed a break he jumped in his RV, a converted bus,  But his studio — and music, for that matter, went above ground in 2009 after 10 years of literally underground sounds.

The recording space has luxuries such as enough space to fit a whole band comfortably, and a control room.  Now he has a family, it doubles as the rumpus room.

“”I have two kids, and we have dance parties in the studio. It’s a wicked place to hang out,” he told journalists recently. “We’ll just go in there and draw and I don’t care about spilling paint on the floor.”

Van Gaalen’s lo-fi aesthetic is ideal for an off-grid recording studio, and on his latest album his signature falsetto still wavers hauntingly on the new chart-topper, perhaps named for his kids and the home they live in — “Diaper Island.” (Canadian version here)

“I have everything I need here. I’ve got a garden and a studio, and…. we got a wicked view of the mountains, and the river is right beside us,” he told boston.com.

The album title is meant to “gross you out and make you reflect on the enormous amount of waste we produce every year. It’s a little bit angsty as far as taking for granted the environment,” VanGaalen says. He is also responsible for all his album covers. His artistic practice covers illustration, animation, and painting.His father was a landscape painter,and the albums feature his psychedelic artwork.

Any more info on Chad’s off-grid home?  Or photos?  Please email nick@off-grid.net


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