Hi! Today, I have the pleasure to chat with Ralph Angelillo, drummer from Les Megatones 1st wave band!
Thank you Ralph for taking time to answer us. Let's surf and start the interview if you please. 😉
SRR: What year was Les Megatones founded?
Ralph Angelillo:The year was 1962
SRR: Who are the members of Les Megatones?
Ralph Angelillo: Original members: Denis Champoux, guitar; Claude Patry, acc. guitar; Jean Poiré, bass and Ralph Angelillo, drums. in 1963, Michel Roy, guitar, joined the group for 6 months. In 1964, other musicians joined the band to tour the USA: Réjean Careau, drums, Guy Martineau, keyboards, Michel Verreault, sax
SRR: From which city did Les Megatones originate?
Ralph Angelillo: Quebec City
SRR: Was there a name before Les Megatones?
Ralph Angelillo: Yes, The Thunderbirds 1961-62
SRR: Where did the idea to form an instrumental band come from?
Ralph Angelillo: We were all fans of the Ventures, Duane Eddy, the Fireballs, and other instrumental bands. Denis Champoux and Claude Patry had the idea.
SRR: How did you meet each other?
Ralph Angelillo: All of us, just out of High School met playing school dances in Quebec City. I was the English one (Ralph) out of St-Patrick's High School. So we met during these dances.
SRR: What were the influences of the band?
Ralph Angelillo: Our influences were Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Ventures, The Champs, etc. My inluences were about the same, but have changed a lot since the 60s.
SRR: How did you guys describe the band at the time?
Ralph Angelillo: We described the band as 5 young musicians with a passion to play as best we can, the music of the beginning of the 60s. People saw us as the best instrumental music band in Quebec (this was before the Beatles and all of the Beatle-clones that came in 1964 !)
SRR: When was your first gig?
Ralph Angelillo: Every weekend of the summer of '62 at Le Cabaret des Jeunes (Centre Saint-Sacrement, Québec)
SRR: What year did you do your first recording?
Ralph Angelillo: 1962 - "Voici les Mégatones" 33 rpm
SRR: Did you have a label?
Ralph Angelillo: Apex records
SRR: Which instruments did you use?
Ralph Angelillo: Fender guitars , Fender jazz bass, Gibson full-body (Claude Patry), Ludwig Drums, silver sparkle with aluminum on brass Super-sensitive snare drum.
SRR: Which amplifier did you use?
Ralph Angelillo: Fender Showman, Fender Twin reverb, Fender Bassman amp.
SRR: Did you use a reverb tank?
Ralph Angelillo: Yes, an original Fender Reverb module from 1962.
SRR: What are the effects used on the guitar?
Ralph Angelillo: Echolette (2)
SRR: How long was Les Megatones active for?
Ralph Angelillo: About 6 years in the 1960s
SRR: Was there ever any reunion?
Ralph Angelillo: Yes, a couple of reunion gigs in the 80s. Since 2013, we formed a Megatone/Versatiles tribute band called Méga-Versa. This band will end its activities in October 2017
SRR: Were the members in any band after Les Megatones?
Ralph Angelillo: Yes, Claude Patry became Monsieur Country, (solo), Denis Champoux recorded Country albums and recorded many Country artists in his studio, Ralph Angelillo played in different dance bands in the 70-80s.
SRR: Where can we buy and follow Les Megatones?
Ralph Angelillo: Les Mégatones has a Facebook site. The records are not available these days, but there are retro shops like in St-Hyacinthe, QC where we can find copies of both LPs and CDs.
SRR: Where can we listen and follow your actual band?
Ralph Angelillo: No band these days. But I produce one of the biggest Drum festivals in the world in Quebec City every October - The Ralph Angelillo International Drum Fest.
SRR: Thank you very much Ralph for taking time to answer me today.
Ralph Angelillo: A pleasure ... thanks...
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