segunda-feira, 7 de fevereiro de 2011

No Escape From Heaven - An Interview with Dean Garcia

Para um amante dos mais fervorosos do inicio dos 90´s e do shoegazer como eu, o que pode-se esperar que eu diga sobre o Curve?!?! Fantastico, grandioso, seminal, absolutamente fundamental, desde o primeiro ep Blindfold meu fanatismo por Dean Garcia e Tonni Halliday virou eterno, Doppelganger e Cuckoo são albuns de cabeceira, Fait Accompli é espetacular, Horror Head é a minha predileta e que satisfação eu saber que é a predileta de Dean também?!?!!Ah você não sabia!?!?!?!Pois é, para o TBTCI hoje é um dia especialissimo, o mago Dean Garcia gentilmente concedeu a este que vos escreve uma ESPETACULAR, MARAVILHOSA e PRECIOSA entrevista que se eu não estiver enganado, nenhum meio de publicação nacional conseguiu fazer, para mim pouco importa o que realmene interessa é que a historia do Curve e os passos atuais de Dean com o SPC ECO estão devidamente ilustrados nos palavras do mentor da banda, Srªs e Srs, o grande mais muito grande Dead Garcia.

***** Interview with Dean Garcia (Curve - SPC ECO) *****

Q. About the early years, when did Curve starts?
A. We had the idea that we wanted to start work together again in 1988, I was touring with Sinead O'Conner at the time. Towards the end of that tour I began to record some basic ideas in the back lounge of the tour bus, I remember being excited at the prospect of Toni and I working on something new. It was a good time for music, Rave culture was kicking in and crossing the boundaries, music was morphing in on itself creating a very broad and open minded anything is possible attitude, genres were cross referencing, it was a brilliant time for music. Around 1989 and the onset of the 90's Toni and I were in the right place with the right sound at the right time, with a very focused idea of what it was we wanted to do. We just set about it, the first track we recorded was No Escape From Heaven, then Ten Little Girls and I Speak Your Every Word. All of the basic recordings ie drums, bass, guitars, keyboards and arrangements took a day each to record, Blindfold took slightly longer a couple of days I think, but as soon as we'd done them we knew they were exactly what we wanted to make, the combination of both our ideas and influence were melded together into something we just loved straight off. We could not have done those recordings had we not gone through our previous band effort, we made a lot of mistakes with that but we also discovered that we wanted to do something that was just the two of us at some point down the line, that was our time to work and that's exactly what we did.

Q. Who are your influences/heroes?
A. A cross section of influence, bands around at the time or just before would be Cocteau Twins, JAMC, MBV, Suicide, Mondays, Roses etc, but I also drew heavily on the FUNK with artists like James Brown and Funkadelic, I've always loved the dance beats n sub bass so that was always the back bone to any Curve track. I don't think either of us had any hero's as such, not much into hero's but I do like the idea of Iron Man. Bootsy Collins was up there though for me as Nico would be for Toni.. A cross section of influence, very broad and varied, we both love music and songs so the general guiding light for us was something that would both shine and make you think n move at the same time...

Q. Tell us about the gigs, what´s the feeling to playing live?
A. Playing live with Curve was always an event, the early shows were really mad, small places packed to the rafters completely oversold and steamy. From the opening note the barriers would collapse and the stage would be flooded with people, we still managed to play but it was just mayhem, and dangerous, people getting torched by the floor lights, jumping into the crowds I loved it, I would say it's probably the most exhilarating time for any new band that drops onto the radar, so loud, so mad, and so electrified. We played a tour of the UK which was pretty much like that every night, which is a complete blur to me now, all I remember is a lot of people having a fucking good time. As you become more popular and start to play the larger circuit venues the more the security creeps in and you end up with a large pit in front of the stage which acts as a moat around the band, we always wanted them taken away and managed to a few times but generally we had to just deal with it, the gigs were still good and everything, they looked great and sounded as good as we could get it but that electrified factor of the first tour was never repeated. I think we used to compensate for the fact that we couldn't touch the audience physically by taking in over sized sound and light rigs so's that we could touch the peoples minds instead..Massive wind machines, smoke n lights all screaming out of an M2/4 system which in those days was just fucking massive..I think anyone who saw us around that time got something they'd remember. Blinded and deafened but in a very good way.

Q. In your opinion, what´s the best Curve album, and the most emblematic song?
A. Cuckoo is my fave album and Horror Head is my fave track. Imagine coming back home from huge endless touring across Europe and the States to be placed back into your studio where you first started and go for round 2. It was daunting but very exciting. The touring thing takes its toll though and you are emotionally fried from the exposure and intense demands, Toni took the brunt of it all and was slightly mad around that time which is why the album is called Cuckoo, referring to Cuckoos Nest and Ken Kesey. We had a lot of The Merry Pranksters tapes and included them as segways in-between the tracks which I'd made especially with weird bits of music for the poems and rantings of Ken which all worked brilliantly in-between the tracks, kinda tied the album in and made it have an element of insanity, but we couldn't use it because the label at the time wanted Ken to sign a doc stating he allowed us to use the words etc, he said he didn't mind at all about us using them but refused to sign any legal doc about it as he never signed any contractual they made us pull it all off the record which was a total fucking pain. Other than that the album was recorded quickly and very creatively with a it's ready when it's ready attitude as I felt the Doppelganger suffered because of time and pressure, I always thought the lead tracks from the EPs should have been on Dopps but was made to think otherwise and to me that really affected the creativity and end result, but born out of the stress and pressure was my fave track Horror Head which I think was our finest hour. Cuckoo was mixed primarily by Alan Moulder and I in the Church under emotional duress as there were a lot of strained relations going on but Alan and I bonded on those mixing sessions and turned in what I believe to be our best album.

Q. How do you describe Curve´s sounds?
A. Cerebral, somebody once said to me that he was listening to an album of ours while walking his dog over the Heath and although he never smoked or did drugs it made him feel completely stoned and whacked out when it had finished. I think it has the ability to expand your thoughts and mess with your brain waves, It's not designed that way but it certainly messed with our head so that's the effect that comes across... A beautiful madness.

Q. Do you still talk with Toni?
A. Yes, not as much as we used to but I think we've said everything there is to say to each other, we know each other very well, she knows me like she would know a brother and I know her equally. When we talk we have that going on but it's not easy as we both feel detached from that time and place in our lives, awesome but let's move on. I will know her throughout my life with varying degrees of closeness, I do feel as if I could call upon her to help me with anything should I need to and I know she feels the same. Which is very fucking cool.

Q. What´s your opinion about early shoegazing era?Do you feel Curve are part of it?
A. It was a term made up by Steve Sutherland the then editor of Melody Maker, referring to spaced out droner kids who had more of a relationship with their fx pedals than they did with the audience, which if you look at certain bands of the time is exactly how it comes across..I don't believe we were anything like that, yes we had pedals but we were also very up for entertaining which is what we did, I loved the audience interaction. So I see it as a journalistic 'pigeon holing' comment rather than anything else. Really what it was, was a bunch of arty misfits interested in the same drugs who all liked Pink Floyd, The Beatles circa 67 and Pet Sounds...

Q. Whats the concept behind SPC ECO sound?
A. SPC ECO is an art piece, it exists for Rose, Joey and I to work together in such a way that allows us all to do say and make whatever the fuck we want to at any given time. I love SPC ECO. I love the fact that Rose sings and relates to it so deeply and without question, I love the otherworldly totally unique and off the wall guitar sounds that Joey sends me without the slightest regard of how they will be used, his only criteria is that it's used and we make more music. I love the freedom and expression of it, and I love every track we have ever done. It has a very special place in my heart as it does for all of us involved, I'd love for it to be more high profile and for more people to discover it but that's was never the SPC ECO intention, it's just that I think it's special and I want more people to discover its effect.

Q. The debut SPC ECO record is a stunning, what´s the process to recording it?
A. Thanks, I honestly think its the best work I've ever done. I'm emotionally attached to it. It was made in much the same way as everything I record ie a starting point. The early SPC ECO tracks were started by me dialling up Joey's gtr sounds that he randomly sends me via email I then edit them and morph them into something unique, something spacey and unusual with it's own inbuilt tuning and tonal quality, neither Joey or I use tuners. From there you can go anywhere because the first strokes of sound are completely original, they are open to interpretation, I then move into drums and bass add more guitar then dial up more of Joeys library, when I'm happy with the overall effect I play it to Rose, we work our way through the track with various off the wall vocal passes then home in on the stuff we like and develop it so it's all made up on the fly as we go, lyrics as well, which is the same as everything else on the it ends up sounding very cerebral and complex but in a way that is not pretentious or bullying..It just shines and says aren't I great in a very unassuming way, well, that's how I see/hear it...Then again I am completely fucking bonkers.

Q. About SPC Eco gig´s, tell us about it...
A. They are fun fun fun, Obviously I want Rose to play through the best PAs with awesome stage and lighting but we're unable to do that as we're the worlds best kept secret, so we have to play smaller venues from the ground up which at my age is not something I like but because of the nature of SPC ECO and the fact that I have my two kids playing on the same stage as me it takes on another emotional element. I absolutely love playing live with SPC ECO, yes the PA's are shit yes they are not very well attended, yes we have months in-between gigs, yes Rose can't hear herself, and yes it's like going back 25 years to my first band outings but it's fucking great and I'd love to do more of them, I want to take Rose, Harry and Jules to Japan and play to the kids out there, I want to show them the neon and the back alley noodle bars, Playing with SPC ECO is just right, I love it for all the exactly the right reasons, the reason you make and do music in the first place. We're playing a show for AC30 which is a very cool label promoter that we love working with at the Luminare in Kilburn London on March 7th. The venue is closing it's doors due to financial issues I imagine but it really is one of the best small gigs in town so if anyone reading this is in the area at that time why not come and space out with're all very welcome.

Q. About the future, what´s your plans?New solo records, a new SPC ECO´s album, play in Brazil one day....
A. All of those things, I don't know what the future holds all I do know is that I will make music until the day I die, I'd be very interested to hear what my final piece would sound like, Probably an endless drone that slowly morphed and filtered...with Rose singing about death... I don't really wanna do anything else, I'm good with music, it likes me, I enjoy the way you can shape and move it, I like the way it effects people, I still get a kick out of playing low swoopy bass over noisy body popping beats, I love the noise and I love songs. I love the feeling you get when you have just recorded something that taps into your brain, the challenge the achievement the closure the moving on..the openness and expression, the art the vision the beauty and the sex of it all..Most Def.

Q. Any parting words...
A. Do what ever the fuck you wanna do...Be what you wanna be, and say what you wanna say, and fuck what other people think about it... oh and never get off the tour bus on your own.
Thanks´s so special!!!!!.....cheers Renato...

SPC ECO - Silver Clouds EP