Star Scene: John Garcia ~ ex-KYUSS, JOHN GARCIA & THE BAND OF GOLD

John Garcia’s scene is a philosophical and spiritual one. The fuzz lord, founder and vocalist of Kyuss, Slo Burn, Unida and now Band of Gold states: “My scene is exactly what I’m looking at right now. I’m out on my deck, in the middle of nowhere; the gateway to the Mojave Desert, with true morada views, mountain range over a mountain range, over a mountain range. A clear bluebird sky day. And knowing that I’m going to go into one of the most successful animal hospitals tomorrow, and do my job, with at any given time three to five veterinarians that I work for. And, you know, that’s my scene. I’m a family man. I’m a career guy, and I love my job. I love my family. I love my band, and of course, you know, the big man upstairs. And that’s my scene. That’s what I dig on. I dig on my family, I dig on my job, I dig speaking to people like you, and being a good human being. That’s all I want to do is just, you know, just be a good human being, and passing it all forward, and enjoying life.”

“Life’s too short,” Garcia continues, “I think that sometimes, that people are so bored with their own lives, Mary, I think that they need drama from other people to make their life feel more complete. And I submit to you that they should just concentrate on their own thing, and again, if they see drama coming, turn the other direction, go the other way, peacefully, and I promise you, their life will be much more happier. Guaranteed. That’s a guarantee. That’s my scene.”

Garcia has been following these philosophies from a young age. He has been working at this animal hospital since he was 18 years of age. His musical influences started early on as well; vocally he gives gratitude to Ian Astbury of the Cult and Glenn Danzig. He explains: “When I was growing up, I listened to a lot of what my brother and my sister were listening to at the time. My sister was listening to anywhere from Kiss, to Pink Floyd, to Tom Petty, to The Smiths. And then on the flip side of the coin, my brother was listening to a lot of R&B, a lot of even ’70s disco, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Ohio Players, and Johnnie Taylor. So there was a lot of different music going on in my house.”

“But,” Garcia muses, “I had never found anything that I found on my own – where music really spoke to me, where that song or that one band really, really made an impact on my life. Until in high school, my freshman year, a friend of mine turned me on to The Cult, LOVE. Ian Astbury is a big, huge influence on me. Also, Glenn Danzig was a big, huge influence on me. Yeah. I think those two singers, mostly had the biggest impact on me. And they took me someplace. Their music spoke to me and it altered my reality, and it altered where I was at the time in my life. And it took me someplace where I love to be. It was like a drug. So I was hugely impacted by them. So, I think those two guys were the biggest ones for me, though.”

Garcia has met his heroes and has thanked them for shaping his path, expressing his gratitude: “I’ve met Glenn, I’ve actually toured with Glenn, back in the early ’90s, with Kyuss. We opened up for them and I got to know him, and then eventually I got to know Ian Astbury, through Chris Goss. Chris Goss started producing The Cult. And so he introduced me to Ian, and so I have met my idols before, and they’re both gentlemen. They’re the real deal. And they’re lifers. And I have a tremendous amount of respect for both of them.”

Modest about his own influence on society’s musical landscape, and the fact that his latest press release touted him as “the voice that spawned an entire genre of imitators”, Garcia states: “It’s awfully flattering. It’s nice. I’m just a fan of music, and I’m a singer, I’m a husband, I’m a father. I am a husband and father first. But Mary, to be quite honest with you, just to be speaking with you about something that I helped create throughout my over 30 years of doing music, it’s still amazing that I’m able to talk to a journalist about a tour, or about this record. It blows my mind, and I’m seriously in awe. We all have normal jobs; there’s no rock stardom, attitudes, temperaments about this band. There’s normality in our lives. And we all have kids, we all have families. So I’m flattered by that statement, and it’s just something that I’m in disbelief about, and something that I don’t think about at all, really. Again, I’m just lucky to be here, lucky to be talking to you, and lucky to be going down to Australia in January.”

Touring with him this January is his Band of Gold, playing tracks from their first album together. Garcia explains: “This this is my first with The Band of Gold, really. And these are the guys that, they helped me write this record, and whereas my very first was just a collection of songs that I decided to record after holding onto them for so many years. And so I’m stoked about this one. They’re all personal to me, but this one – I love my guys, and they have an incredible amount of respect to one another, and to songs that we didn’t write, some Kyuss songs even. I think they are even planning on playing Molten Universe, and that has no vocals on it, and it’s by Kyuss. So, they’re a powerhouse trio. They’re a great band. They’re a great act, and I’m lucky to be sharing the stage with them.”

The Band of Gold formed explicitly, though organically, due to proximity of the members. Garcia explains: “I wanted all local guys. I wanted to be able to rehearse on a regular basis, and meet on a regular basis. I didn’t want to have to fly anybody in from Belgium or from out of state, or even out of country. I wanted to be able to get together on a summer Sunday and kick back, barbecue and play some music and write. And that’s exactly what we do, when we have the time to do it. So again, we all have families and normal jobs, but all of our spare time is devoted to one another. So, the only prerequisite really to starting this band is that they wanted to be there, they wanted to jam, they wanted to play, they wanted to tour, they wanted to write, and these three guys did. And they still do. So, they’re all great. They’re all local, and we’ve already gotten together quite a bit. We just played a show in Vegas last Friday and we’re really looking forward to getting back down there again. And we’re only playing five shows, and just stoked on it. We love going down to Australia.”

DON’T MISS JOHN GARCIA & THE BAND OF GOLD – Australian Tour starts today!


Thursday, January 23: Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide
Friday, January 24: Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Saturday, January 25: Crowbar, Sydney
Sunday, January 26: The Brightside, Brisbane
Tuesday, January 28: Great Northern, Byron Bay

John Garcia And The Band Of Gold is out now

The voice that spawned an entire genre of imitators, John Garcia, is returning to Australia in January 2020.

Over the last two-plus decades, 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 is returning to satiate his eager Australian fans with songs from their latest, self titled record.

Featuring tracks like the rather relaxed Space Vato the album starts off a desertfest second to none that melts down a whole subgenre to its core with groovers like My Everything,Cheyletiella and Sturm-and-Drang-y Popcorn (Hit Me When You Can). Hypnotic closer Softer Side releases you back into reality…

Close your eyes and just imagine cruising down Route 66 in a Mustang Convertible. It’s just turned from dusk to night and there is nothing but the cool breeze, a lonely road and a coyote howling at the moon that’s illuminated with a map of the cosmos within it.

Now open your eyes…welcome to the world of John Garcia.

Experience the Californian Desert from the comfort of the following venues when John Garcia & The Band Of Gold roll through the following venues next summer. You might just hear an old Kyuss classic or two too!

About Mary Boukouvalas 1442 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos,,,, She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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