Artikel © (2006)
Autor: Martin Popoff



Consummate desert-washed vocal lion John Garcia is best known for his helmsmanship at the mic of adobe and tumbleweed grunge gods Kyuss. But as we know, that band fragmented into many half-sun-baked bands and project bands and big bands (Queens Of The Stone Age), as well as splits, compilations and all manner of finicky collector goo.

2006 Hardradio John Garcia Kyuss My Eye

Still, Garcia has managed to front Slo Burn, as well as two records with Hermano. Recently, he's gotten way too much press for writing and swapping a coupla songs with pert Canadian rockists Danko Jones, but his lazy eye for '07 sees another Hermano record, and continued work on a solo album to be released... "September 4, 2008. That's the one I want to use; it's going to take me a long time, plus, I'm in no f**king hurry. This solo record... I'm not going to be changing the face of f**king rock 'n' roll, you know what I mean? I have a three-year old, and I want to spend some time with her. So it's going to take that amount of time."

Look for Danko, as well as members of Monster Magnet, Fatso Jetso, Dixie Witch and Karma To Burn to bum along. "Some of the other players I want to use, they are diamonds in the rough, and they are just great friends of mine that I want to get together. I've always wanted to play with these guys and jam with them. Since I was 18 years old, I've been working on some of these songs. So it will be fun. I've always wanted to do it, and it's time."

"It's going to be rock 'n' roll; it's going to be a rock record," says Garcia, pressed for a description of this collection a year and ten months away. "There will be some softer stuff, some acoustic things, but mostly a rock record. But it's just one of those things I've always wanted to do, and there's no better time than right now; I've got nothing else really going on. Hermano is more like me getting together with all of my friends and drinking some cold beers and that's about it. And it's fun to do."

Like I said, that's comin' up in-between... "Yes, there will be, as a matter fact we just signed a contract and it's being finalized right now. So the writing process has started. So we're going to be doing what we've been doing with Hermano, just kind of like, going off for two weeks in Europe, you know, a couple times, because of all of us have families, and all of us have normal jobs. So it's great to still be able to make a good living in what we do, my wife in politics, me in veterinary medicine, and still be able to come to Toronto, for a show, or go to Europe for a couple of shows, you know what I mean? And still be able to hold down a normal life, and not just be crazy on the road."

'Scuse me... veterinary medicine? Don't you gotta go to school for that?

"Not much; I'm pretty much self-taught. I'm not a doctor of veterinary medicine, nor do I want to be. I carry out the doctor's orders, whether it be spaying or neutering or de-clawing or x-rays or drawing blood. It's a dirty job but I love it. I'm very fortunate to have two things I like to do, one, working with animals, two, playing music. So it's fun."

So enough joking about the Slayer-esque timelines for these records. John's a really cool guy, and in a sense, he's semi-retired from music - sorta the reverse of all the twee black and power and melodic death metal bands we usually talk to, who have the non-music job browning onions and figure the next step is leaving it.

"I have the freedom to do a lot more things," begins Garcia, his surprisingly smooth and comforting voice rising in intensity. "And family is a very, very important to me. My job is very important to me. My wife is very important to me. And that's what counts the most, is family. And there's a time where you have to step up and be a man and support your family. You have to step up and be a man and be a father. And that's what's important to me, right now. Everything else is secondary. Music is very, very, very important to me as well, but I can't let that be... I can't be trying to make it, living in a cardboard box behind Green Hell Records in Hollywood, trying to make it. I can't do that. You have to step up and go, you know, who am I?... like this 36-year-old guy trying to get a record deal? That's not going to happen with me. Those days are gone and past and f**king over.
So just to be able to have a hobby, a fun hobby, a good, clean hobby, where I can actually go with my wife, go off to Toronto for three days, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, fly in yesterday, get in at three o'clock, have a nice dinner with the Danko boys, go shopping down on Queen Street today, come to sound check, talk to a nice guy like you, do a show tonight, and then I'm out of here at 8:15 in the morning. Now that's a good, clean, fun hobby to do. You've got to be able to paint, you've got to be able to go fishing, do whatever, and this is still fun for me. I have had the nucleus of my solo project over at the house, Rich Mullins and Ed Mundell, and that was still fun. But it's not consuming me. It's just a fun hobby to have. And to get some of the music out to some of the kids via the website or a small independent label, I'll do it. I can't tour. I can only tour two weeks tops a year, and that's my vacation. That's my paid vacation."

Asked about the dynamic between himself and Kyuss alum, Josh Homme, now doing fetching business with Queens Of The Stone Age, Garcia relates the following tale. "Josh came up to my house last week with Camille, his baby daughter, 10 months old, spitting image of Josh and Brody. My daughter, Madison, she's three.
Camille was born the day after Madison, but they're two years apart - on my wife's birthday, which is January 17. And Josh... Madison looked at Camille and goes, 'Come on Camille, let's go to my bedroom; it'll be fun.' And Josh saw that, I saw that, and Josh kinda looked at me, and gave me this look like, 'How the f**k did we get here?' And it was fun. It was like, we were in high school together, when we first started playing music, and that relationship was great, and when Kyuss broke up, Josh and I sat down at the bar, and we were going to talk about some business. Within five minutes of that conversation, Kyuss had broken up, and within six minutes, we were already toasting each other and laughing about those times. And that's been the basis of the relationship. So it's been kind of cool, in a way."

"No, nothing else, just the solo thing," says Garcia in closing, asked what else he's got happening on the confusing guest star or project band front. "But there will be a Hermano album before that. I did some work with Crystal Method, I don't know if you've heard about that. There's a record called Legion Of Boom, that came out a year and a half ago, and I did their single, which is called 'Born Too Slow'. Those guys are awesome. I've been working with them, and I still want to work with them more. That was awesome, really f**king cool to do that. It was just a challenge to me.
You know, me even sitting here like, 'Let's come in here and talk about me!' You know what I mean? That's not good. And I don't do it. And before I came out here, that Now and this other one, Eye (two Toronto weeklies that ran big pieces on John's trip in to add a coupla guest vocals to a Danko Jones set), what happened was... it's hard for me, because I don't do it. I f**king go to work and come home. I have a normal f**king job, which I love. Talking to my manager, Ram, I'm not going to go, 'OK, give me their numbers; I'm going to call.' 'Yeah, I'm John Garcia, I'm supposed to be doing an interview with you? About me.' I told Ram, you know, I think it's a little more comfortable if they call me, because, the majority of the time, when people say they're going to call me for an interview these days, they don't f**king call! Know what I mean? Anyway..."

Anyway this: if your cat's pumping out way too many babies, and you happen to live in California, go visit John. And if your Democrat is lagging in the polls, lacking clearly articulated solutions or whatever the Republicans are saying, go see his wife. Really nice folks, and one of them happens to be the singer of one of the greatest bands of all time. You'd be wise to get him to sign your dog's cast.