Sonic Experiments: An Interview With Dean Garcia

Hot on the heels of the new SPC ECO album, Calm, we’re thrilled to be able to present an interview with multi-instrumentalist wizard Dean Garcia. Whether you know him as a sought after studio session musician, a member of the highly influential band Curve, or one of his many other projects, including SPC ECO, one thing runs through as a common thread…Dean is one talented guy.

SPC ECO
Rose Berlin and Dean Garcia of SPC ECO

Before we get into the interview I wanted to shed a light on our previous SPC ECO coverage, just in case you missed it. You can find our review of their Under My Skin EP by clicking HERE, and our review of their latest LP, Calm, by clicking HERE.

Alright, now let’s get to the interview!


Thanks so much for talking to us! Before we get started, can you tell us a little about yourself for new fans out there?

About me, well, musical, experimental plagiarist, electronic driven sound recordist who plays bass, drums and guitar. Family man, overweight, sometimes happy mostly content, sweary, outspoken individual with authority issues, sadly only twin, good cook, aims to serve, always for the underdog, anti agent orange and all their ilk, loves foreign film especially Ingmar Bergman films, would like to speak fluent Swedish, anti phobe of all descriptions, has been known to make people laugh, likes to party and understands the benefits of having smoke machines and laser beams in your living space to use when necessary. Sonic experimentalist for those who like that sort of thing and old enough to know better but doesn’t know anything at all. For more traditional info see here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Garcia

You’ve just released new music from SPC ECO. How do you feel now that Calm has been released?

This record took a long while for us to make and has gone through many changes on the way so it feels like an epic achievement to finish it compile it and get it out there, we usually work and record very quickly as we don’t like to linger or deliberate too much as that’s always a way to kill off any recording (for me in particular), we like to get the main elements working quickly and don’t spend the rest of the time picking it apart with click removing, syllable vocal editing or any other endless and pointless microscopia that it’s easy to get lost in, just fucking do it and move on has always been our take on all things S E. With this record we used the same approach but just recorded around three albums worth of songs along the way. There were a lot of breaks between the recording sessions too as you have to be in the right mind to record, which can sometimes mean not recording anything for months at a time. Doing other things that interest you is crucial when it comes to creativity in the studio or wherever you are. There was never any rush with this album, it is what it is and when it happens is all good, it’s all Calm in fact.

What was the writing process like on the record, and what is it like working with your daughter on this project?

See above for process etc. Working with Rose is always a joy, we’re very close and have always been, I have been recording Rose since she was first able to make a sound, always funny, always fun and very therapeutic for both of us. I can not imagine a life without our musical connectivity, it’s always been like that. We just get on and make each other laugh at the absurdities of it all. Rose is also one of the main reasons I still enjoy recording and making music and lets not forget Rose has an awesome voice that just gets better n better, she was always good even when we released our first recording together ‘Bad Dad’ when she was around the age of 8/9. S E is something we will always do in some form or another, we just wish we could change the name of it, tried it once but failed.

You’ve contributed remixes of “Back to You” and “LCD” for Ummagma’s LCD EP. You’ve been busy! How did that come about?

Shauna approached me via FB (I think) with the songs for remixes, I just liked them both very much, I made two mixes for them both very different in approach and structure of which I like both for different reasons. The band appeal to my psychedelic nature. They work very well and compliment each other, I’ve always liked duos as it’s always an easier setting to be more direct, true and expressive. Shauna has a very emotive voice which comes from somewhere very real to me, it’s not put on or trying too hard it just is and that is very appealing to me. Nothing worse than a singer who belts n shouts at every opportunity just to pummel you with their ”awesome’ talent, horrible doesn’t come close, please just shut the fuck up is more like it. I’m much more tuned into the real broken underworld of it all, people who are too talented to be ‘famous’ is a way of looking at it. The success is in the doing and making. they just seem right to me.

How excited are you about the Curve expanded reissues? What can we expect to see and hear on those?

I think I’m beyond the excited word when it comes to Curve, great that they’re out there once again all shiny n that as I’m sure those who bought the records back in the day have pretty much worn them out by now so always good to get them back out there and possibly introduce the records to others who missed it first time round. I’m always amazed at the response and support Curve get when anything ‘new (ish)’ turns up, those who get Curve seem to hold us very dear to their hearts n minds, we’re associated with a lot of people as a kind of remedy to make a shitty day seem bearable, to me that is a wonderful achievement, something to be humbled by, the idea that we can have that effect on people is miraculous to me. Makes me feel like I’ve done something good. Re what you can expect to hear, all the best Curve songs.

You’ve been in the industry for a long time. What kind of advice do you have to new musicians that are just getting their start?

Don’t give a fuck about what anyone says or thinks when it comes to making your music/band, be exactly what you wanna be with no fucks given to anyone outside of your loop, especially those sorts ie managers, record company execs or anyone in a linen suit etc who advise you as to how you should sound, look, or be. Don’t give up your day job and never get off the tour bus on your own.

What drives your creative process? Where do you draw the most influence?

There’s no one thing in particular, it’s all a matter of feels and thought, if you feel like doing it do it, surround yourself with sound tools and new apps and ways of making old things new, steal what you want but make it your own, pillage your friends records, shut the curtains 24/7 whenever you feel like it, don’t do so many drugs that you can’t fucking see anymore, (then again maybe that’s ok too) Influence is all around you, observe, get angry get sad, make a noise, be useful, embrace the misery of black n white films by Ingmar Bergman, get out n walk with your loved ones, over eat, cook more, sleep a lot, drink a lot, don’t drink at all, be healthy, be un healthy, cheer someone up n speak up when someone is out of order, protest agent orange and his mindless ignorant supporters everywhere at all costs without hesitation always and forever, look after those who need it and try not to be a fucking arse hole is my influence.

Any parting words before we go?

Yes, thanks for the questions, thought and support. We wish you (all) a very messy and eventful day.

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