Interview El Jefe.
After thirty odd years playing music, with the heavily influential Kyuss through Slo Burn, Unida and Hermano as well as a couple of solo projects, John Garcia, is well known to those into stoner / desert rock. His vocal style is often imitated (or at least attempted!), and the musical output is of a consistently high quality as well. Garcia is about to tour Australia in acoustic mode for the first time, and will be playing selections from his entire back catalogue. I recently spoke with John to get a run-down on what’s in store for the tour.
El Jefe – What’s your inspiration for choosing the songs you want to tackle acoustically, and how do you decide what might work best?
John Garcia – Well, to start with, I dig the challenge of doing things in a totally different way and to keep moving forward musically. Some songs like ‘Green Machine’, which work well with a full band can be much harder to do acoustically, so there is the challenge to make it work with just a guitar which is really cool. ‘Gardenia’ as well, is much harder to do this way, so it means I have to keep pushing the boundaries musically. ‘El Rodeo’ is just a rad song, and really fun to play, and with a tune like ‘Space Cadet’, I get to change a couple of the things with the vocals I didn’t like with the original.
EJ – Slo Burn have recently begun playing again after a long hiatus. What’s the story behind that?
JG – The planets just aligned. We were given the opportunity to play some festivals and things, and everyone was available, so we decided to do it.
EJ – Is there any chance that Hermano will become active again?
JG – No, we were all pretty stoked with what we achieved, and between work commitments, and kids, we just couldn’t commit the time to do it.
EJ – How about the second (unreleased; though bootlegged numerous times) Unida LP? Is this likely to get an official release at some point?
JG – No, largely due to the amount of time it would take, both personally, and legally. It would be six months to a year for the legal details to be sorted, and then there would be the need to tour it to promote it. We all love the band, but once again, just can’t swing it time-wise. The others are also busy with House Of Broken Promises as well.
EJ – Politics is not usually a subject that I feel much need to discuss, but what is your view on Trump?
JG – Cunt? Well, mainstream America wanted a big change and that’s what they got! He’s an asinine, arrogant and stupid person, and I just hope he doesn’t get in for a second term!
EJ – How do you find the local music scene over there at the moment?
JG – I don’t spend much time just hanging out seeing bands any more so can’t really comment but my wife, who is my best friend, and I spend a lot of time obsessing of the music we find that we like. Whenever we find someone new we like, I have to learn every aspect of the music and their history. We’ll spend months reading about and listening to them.