For as long as I’ve known him, Colin Garcia has always been one of the most interesting people in the room. A drummer, Garcia has been a variety of bands like Stop Motion, Kangaroo, Yardsale, Boo-Bird, and Friends & Relatives. Now, Garcia balances his time between making films and performing with Rumblestrips. You can sample his film work here and check out his music tomorrow for their debut set tomorrow night with Adventure and Shiny Criminals at Kaiju. We caught up with to ask about the transition from Yardsale to Rumblestrips, the influence of his music on his films, and sustainable seafood!
Never Nervous: What got you into drums? Did you have a troubled childhood that had you hitting stuff a lot or is it a little more benign than that? Like maybe you the rhythm just gotcha.
Colin Garcia: I think it was that my childhood wasn’t troubled enough. All that pent up frustration from not being smacked around became too much I suppose. I’ve forever had a penchant for components too, accessories, and drums definitely quenched that naughty thirst.
NN: Tell us a little about your musical resume. What bands have you worked with?
CG: It’s strange. For as long as I’ve been playing, the breadth of my musical resume is very narrow. I’ve only played in six bands (Stop Motion, Kangaroo, Yardsale, Boo-Bird, Friends & Relatives and Rumblestrips). Never had the fortitude for playing in more than one band at a time, that and I’m a big fan of nominal commitments. I don’t really market myself all that well either. But if I did I would definitely go the bus stop shelter advertising route. Ya know, keep it classy.
NN: Relative to that, what led you to working with the folks that you have? Is it all just circumstance, or is the circumstance that you are a drummer (and a good one at that), which is a much needed commodity in town?
CG: For all these years I have never thought of myself as an exceptional drummer but rather an exceptional bandmate. I believe folks keep me around because of how agreeable and dependable I am. I carry with me a pleasant aroma as well. Selfishly, I tend to like working with people whom I can make laugh and feel comfortable around.
NN: It seems like you have worked a lot with Andrew Padon. What kind of shared vocabulary did you all develop in your working relationship? To clarify, did you find it easier or no different to write with someone that you worked with for an extended period of time and across a few projects?
CG: Andrew and I go back well over a decade. Three of the six bands I’ve played in were Andrew Padon joints. With each one of those projects he always pushed me to take risks and challenge, to think outside the box. He always knew what I was capable of before I did and that helped me tremendously early on. As for a musical shorthand, I think our friendship is what actually dictated the language. He’s a brilliant creative and a dear friend whose contributions to Louisville music have been criminally ignored. I keep telling him he needs to be friends with Joan Shelley.
NN: How do you feel that you’ve evolved as a musician in general? Ideally, what would you like to see as your legacy?
CG: I’ve gotten better. I’d like to be remembered as the guy who incrementally got better.
NN: How did Rumblestrips start? What should people expect at the show?
CG: Ah my dear Rumblestrips… we have so much fun. This group is 3/5 of Yardsale and picks up where that band left off, but it’s something completely new and alive. A rebirth. It’s sort of like how Joy Division evolved into New Order after Ian Curtis, uh, left the band… same guys more or less, new sound. We love playing together and challenging audience expectations of what they think we should sound like. So if you come to the show expect to see lots of smiles and a 100 piece orchestra replete with children’s choir.
NN: How does the band compose? Does one person come in with an idea, or is it entirely collaborative? How do you engage with composition as a drummer?
CG: The way in which Rumblestrips composes material is, personally, my preferred approach to such. Like in Yardsale, Kirk Kiefer and Jacob Lee are the primary songwriting forces. What they’ll do is get together and construct the basic song skeleton, record demos, then bring those in for Johnny (Siegel, lead guitar) and I to add our two cents. It’s at this point when the process really becomes collaborative, as we’re all working together to refine structure and the like. Moreover, Kirk and Jacob aren’t precious about the songs they bring in which adds tremendous freedom for us to experiment together. I love it.
NN: Suppose you were speaking to someone unfamiliar with the genre of music that you play. How would you describe it? Like maybe to your grandma or something.
CG: Well, that’s tough because my grandma preferred Benny Goodman and all those cats. But if she were alive today I would drive over to the assisted living facility, sign in, acknowledge the smell of urine, walk into her room, sit on the edge of the bed, rouse her, turn up her hearing aid and describe our sound as a delightfully refreshing marriage of Faces-esque dirge bar rock, 70’s country funk, and the underrated work of Benny Goodman’s fictitious rock god asshole brother, Gary.
NN: Does your music inform your film making?
CG: Sometimes. It typically occurs on a song-by-song basis. Music genres by themselves don’t lend much inspiration but if I hear something, be it Handel or Hasselhoff, that has me involuntarily conjuring up images and/or stories in my mind as I’m listening that’s what serves as inspiration.
NN: For that matter, do you work on the scores for the films that you make, when needed?
CG: Not so much. I have too much respect for music and the [dying] art of film scoring to do it myself, so I leave that to the professionals. Plus, I just don’t write music all that well. I much prefer working with existing music (classical is great for this) or tasking a composer to create a score over defaulting to my own marginal abilities. It’s more fun seeing what other folks come up with.
NN: If you could put your drum kit into a ball, like one of those metal motorcycle ball things that they have at the circus, and get thrown into a crowd during a set, would you do it? Defend your answer.
CG: Yes. But only if the metal ball was constructed with BPA free plastic and covered with the scales of some sort of sustainable seafood. Moonfish perhaps. Also, there would need to be a pescatarian riding a motorcycle (solar powered) in there with me. Everyone in the audience would need to be advocates for change too.
NN: Did you rob that Kardashian? Can we split the money? I won’t narc.
CG: Boy, do I wish I could take credit for such cherry larceny. That said if I knew she were going to be brandishing $11.2 million in hideous jewelry (and I happened to be in Paris), I would’ve certainly entertained the idea. I bet her sleazy brother, Rob, robbed her.
NN: What non-musical things have you going lately? Have you read, watched, eaten, or drank anything that has you riled up enough to mention?
CG: I’m currently taking my sweet time reading T.C. Boyle’s Budding Prospects. I quite like it but I read really damn slow, so often it’ll take me six months to finish even a ten page pamphlet. The work of Danielle Steele, however, I finish twice before I’ve even fished out the traveler’s check with which to purchase it. Speaking of traveler’s checks I highly recommend the HBO mini series The Night Of. Masterful as fuck.
NN: Last but never least: what are your top three desert island albums and why?
CG: Desert islands are so 2000, Syd. Let’s implement this scenario instead: If I needed to escape from a burning building to catch a red eye to Fiji, and the building housed a copy of every album ever recorded, I would probably grab:
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (Georg Solti and The Chicago Symphony, 1991). Bar none this is the best piece of music ever written. It conveys everything. This particular recording is the finest rendition I’ve heard to date.
- John Cale – Paris 1919. A perfect gem. Lush and expressive; meditative yet strangely upbeat and singable. It’s clearly a concept album but I still can’t figure out what it’s truly about, if anything. Doesn’t matter though, that’s part of the appeal.
- Dazzling Killmen – Face of Collapse. This album is emotionally exhausting and almost always leaves me feeling terrible. There’s a very specific, bold aura of dread I haven’t felt with any other album. I love that. It’s great for bad moods and I’m sure I will have plenty of those whilst in Fiji.