Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.
Here’s a few of the Desert Highways team’s Top lists for 2018. Thank you all for your support again throughout 2018, it’s very much appreciated! Also a massive thanx to all of our contributors. Very proud to work with such an incredibly talented group of people!
Mark Ireland – Writer.
Best gigs 2018:
Power Trip – Bendigo Hotel.
Roger Waters – Rod Lavar Arena.
MAMMAL – Croxton Bandroom.
Streaker Gate Benefit Gig – Gasometer.
Meredith Music Festival: The Presets, Billy Bragg, Little Ugly Girls.
The Stems, Even – Northcote Social Club.
Boogie Festival: Cable Ties, Clowns, The Southern River Band, Birdcloud, Cash Savage.
Golden Plains Festival: Mogwai, Baker Boy, Black Angels.
Stiff Little Fingers – Croxton Bandroom.
Download Festival: NoFx, Hot Water Music, Prophets of Rage, Arch Enemy.
Beck – Margaret Court Arena.
David Byrne – Margaret Court Arena.
The Demon Parade – Psych Fest – The Tote Hotel.
Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, El Colosso – Sookie Lounge.
Shame – The Tote Hotel.
Future Of The Left – The Old Bar.
Words El Jefe.
Photos Rod Hunt Photography.
The stage setup looked like a well-lived in share house, replete with ice bucket, some tasty beverages, tulips etc. Just missing a bong and sandwich maker! So after some apparent minor delays, John Garcia and guitarist Ehren Groban took the stage (well, mosey’d on to the stage and dragged up the armchairs!), and prior to their collective musical excursion, Garcia gave a rundown on how much he dug the chance to be doing what he was doing with these (classic) tunes, and how he loved that we were all there to support it. Gracious, and humble and clearly battling through some nerves or shyness, he came across as an easy going dude. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Words El Jefe.
So here comes a new release from House Of Broken Promises. Those who know would know. Guitarist / vocalist Arthur Seay and drummer Mike Cancino have done time with Unida, one of John Garcia’s post Kyuss projects. Their debut LP, Using The Useless was a stoner beast. Raw, wild and unstoppable. Just the way I like it! They have been joined in recent years by Joe Mora on bass / vocals (replacing Eddie Placencia), and they have just rolled the Twisted EP off the production line. Four new tracks (two covers) plus some bonus tracks. I think I heard rumours of a new full-length in the pipeline too. But that’s a different story!
‘Twisted’ is the first of the new material, a classic HOBP tune, kicked off with a carnivale-esque drum roll before the vibe-y bass assault and Seay’s blasting stoner-metal guitar leap into the fray. Great bass tone on this too. For all you bassists out there! Catchy chorus too. Continue reading
Words El Jefe.
So it’s no secret that Kyuss have had a massive influence over the heavy / stoner / desert rock (whatever you want to call it; stoner works for me) scene since their inception in the late ‘80s. Tuning down to C, (although Homme claims he wasn’t familiar with Sabbath. Yeah, I’m skeptical too), and playing laidback heavy grooves. Garcia’s vocals were a huge part of the sound and influence, but it was Brant Bjork’s influence on Garcia that led to this vocal style; during Garcia’s audition suggested he try to sing slower and sang him an example. Bjork also hand a large hand in the songwriting. The rest is (musical) history.
‘The Gree Heen’ opens the ledger on Tao Of The Devil, and kicks off with a slick melodic droney run. Some jazzy drums are a cool touch too. Continue reading
Words Alexandra Ferrier.
Straight off the ocean and into the Gershwin Room at The Esplanade Hotel was a sea of Kyuss and Unida shirts from tours past, donned by the young and old. This is the third time in two years John Garcia has returned to Australian shores, this time touring his self-titled solo album. Bringing with him fellow desert rockers Waxy and hooking up with local legends Mammoth Mammoth, once more, in a gesture of good faith and with an abundance of alcohol, the Melbourne crowd welcomed Garcia ‘home’. Continue reading