Over the last two-plus decades, John Garcia has set the standard for the sound of the California desert. His work in genre-progenitors Kyuss speaks for itself; loudly, and with much fuzz, as do subsequent desert rock institutions he formed such as Vista Chino, Unida, Slo Burn and Hermano.
His contribution to the legacy of rock n roll is relentless, not historical.
Now, together with The Band Of Gold, John Garcia returns to satiate his eager Australian fans with songs from their latest, self titled record. The great man John Garcia talks to Hi Fi Way on his way to the airport to head to Australia for their tour which starts in Adelaide on Thursday.
Literally days away now for the tour starting, you must be excited?
Yeah we’re all really excited. We’ve been down there before but any opportunity to go back we definitely jump at.
With the tough times experienced by so many through bushfire over the last couple of months it’s great for people to see some bands and take their mind off of things.
That was brought up at one of our rehearsals that if people could only escape it for a couple of hours and enjoy some music to get the mind off what’s been going on down there that is as good a reason to be playing.
It is hard to put in to words the loss to wild life, over a billion and correct me if I’m wrong, that have perished. It is an absolute tragedy and I have a empathy for animals as I work with animals. We have been watching on the news and it’s everywhere in the States. Everyone is devastated, if we can come down there and take minds off of it for an hour and a half that’s a little slither of relief.
Is this tour covering your entire career or leaning more towards The Band Of Gold?
There will be a few little surprises. We’ve got the JG and The Band Of Gold material, we have a little bit of Slo Burn, Hermano, a little bit of Kyuss and we’ll touch base on some of the projects I’ve been involved with in the past. The guys have given these songs am incredible amount of respect. I still enjoy playing these songs and how well they fit with The Band Of Gold stuff. It’s a story you know, it’s a special set and we’ll be touching base on quite a few things.
Have you been stoked with how the fans have embraced The Band Of Gold album?
I’m very appreciative with how it has been received. It is something that I feel that I’m very lucky to be still be doing it and appreciative that I can still be doing it. Having a full time job, having another career and being able to balance your life as a father, husband and a band mate and still be able to tour there are many moons that have to align just right to make this happen. It is a necessity for us, we make it happen. It is rewarding, it is a lot of hard work but I say this all time we’re coming down for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to get up there for ninety minutes and do what we do. I’m appreciative to the fact that we can still do it.
Does that give you a lot of motivation and heart to keep going creatively for what might be the next album?
It does, I still genuinely love performing, singing and being on stage. That to me is a necessity, it’s my drug and I need to get my fix. I’m happy playing in front of five people which I’ve done before or fifty thousand which I have done before. The appreciation level I have for people who still buy tickets, come and see us play, words can’t describe it. It is a blessing to be doing this and we’re all very lucky. We’re stoked on performing, we’re stoked on writing and as long as still in the surf we’re going to be doing that.
Did this album challenge you ways that you never thought it would?
This is the first time that we all collectively sat in a room and helped create these compositions. I don’t think that was the challenging part it was more enjoyable to be able to sit in the room and write. Some songs came out right like Jim’s Whiskers which was written in two and a half hours. Ehren Groban and myself sat down and knocked that song out and when we presented it to Mike and Greg they made it blossom even more. It wasn’t challenging, it was enjoyable and we wanted to be in that room together. We wanted to be there, no one was forcing us to be in there or twisting our arms. It is a cool thing that we’ve got going on.
Is there anything left musically that you want to explore?
I’ve always in the back of my mind thought about a blues record, just whether it would be covers or original compositions. That’s is far in the back of my head, it is always fun to challenge yourself. Something like this would be a challenge but we’ll see what happens with that.
Are there any other projects on the go this year?
There’s not really a lot of time for any other project. I’m completely and totally, my days, my hours, my minutes are consumed with being a husband and a father. All my spare time is devoted to The BOG, I don’t have a lot of time to squeeze any more in. It takes time away from being with my boy and my daughter and my wife. I’m a family man and I appreciate that I can still be doing this. It’s all about balance!
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch John Garcia & The Band Of Gold on the following dates, tickets from Destroy All Lines…