SO… I learned about Garda through Andrew from The Repeat Offenders. And I immediately clicked with the band’s sound.
Lee Burgess is in The Rifles (whom I adore) as well as Garda so I was excited to hear what Garda sounded like. Safe to say I wasn’t disappointed!
Just caught up with Lee and we talked the band’s EP, A Lot of Nothing, the state of guitar music, the band members’ rock’n'roll antics, and being stranded on a desert island!! Sounds crazy, I know. But it was definitely fun! Read below!
What are your names and roles in the band?
Lee Burgess (lead vox & guitar), Rob Pyne (Bass) & Scott Thomson (Drums)
How did the band start?
Lee: Well, I’d been writing songs for years and had recorded a lot of them, the gig requests started to come though I had no band. Then just at the right time both Rob & Scott left the band they were in and as we were all mates, it was an easy decision to start jamming and it just went from there.
What’s the story behind the name, ‘Garda’?
The first time I went to Ireland I saw a police van racing down the street and pulling up very close to me (not for me thou ha) and I noticed it said Garda on the side so I asked my mate what it was all about and he explained how all the police in Ireland were called Garda. I really liked the word and the boys did too.
As a band, what would be the ultimate venue to play?
Somewhere like Shepherd’s Bush or Brixton I think. I mean don’t get me wrong….Wembley would be awesome but I’ve always preferred seeing my favourite bands in the smaller venues and they are definitely better to play.
So what is the musical background of everyone in the band? And Lee, I know you and Kenton [Shinn] joined The Rifles as well; being in one band is time-consuming enough. What’s it like being in two – especially considering the size of The Rifles?
Kenny [was in Garda] never rejoined the band after we played with The Rifles. Rob is also an ex member of The Rifles. And Scott used to be in a band called The Vivians.
To be honest, I prefer it. I like being busy and plus I get to be a lot more creative and involved with Garda than I would with The Rifles. I kind of make sure our schedules would never really cross.
It’s always being asked of musicians and answers can be on complete opposite ends of the spectrum but what do you make of the current state of guitar music/its future? Will rock’n’roll ever make a full comeback?
I think so, I mean if you look through the years, music has always had its eras: dance, rock, pop ect.
But one things for sure one genre will always be dominant and rock/indie has been waiting awhile.
Has social media been more helpful or harmful to the music industry?
Well, the record industry has definitely changed with the Internet and social media rather than the other way round but as for now and with indie rock music in general it’s definitely a good thing. Obviously as shit pop n dance music is ruling the airways the social media is keeping the door open for young and old bands and giving them a stage to be heard. At the moment a place on the radio is only reserved for Coldplay or the Kings of Leon, even bands as good as Arctic Monkeys still don’t get the air time they should and social networks have always been there preferred angle of attack. So follow @gardaband now!!! Haha
Which 3 records, in your opinion, are the most significant contributions to the world of music and why?
Tough, and in no particular order:
What’s the story? (Morning glory)
Without that album, I can guarantee you I would have never picked up a guitar and never wrote a song.
In my opinion there are better albums but very few with the power to connect with so many people and change image overnight.
Next: Ok Computer by radiohead.
This album literally picked the the britpop music scene and took it to space. No one saw this album coming and if I’m honest I never really got into it when it was released but stuck with it and now I honestly think it’s up there with likes of all the big albums.
Lastly, The Blue Album by The Beatles. I know it’s a best of but hearing all those songs as a 12 year old changed music for me. The simplicity and the out thereness was on a level that will never be matched. After that I bought everything the Beatles did and with that discovered Led Zep, The Who & Stones. So without hearing that I may never have reached for all the other bands.
Most played song on your iPod?
Well I got a new one so at the moment it says “R U Mine’ by the Arctic Monkeys
The best gig you’ve been to?
Radiohead at Reading Festival. Took me a while to finally get around to seeing them and fuck…..did they not disappoint.
Ok so, what was the first Garda track written and what inspired it?
I think it was ‘Sunburn’. It’s about a relationship in parts but also just about getting on with the world in general.
That idea that you don’t quite feel compatible but you’re gonna crack on and get the best you can anyhow.
With lyrics like,
All I’m selling, it’s not enough I can’t do no more, you want a little more this time (‘If Tomorrow Comes’)
Can remember a time when we got up out of our egos, took the time to help someone out. (‘Come Undone’)
the EP is very cohesive. Even the title ‘A lot of Nothing’ seems to suggest (to me) the idea of things not being good enough, and disappointment in relationships or society in general. So…
what is your song-writing process like? Was it just a happy coincidence that you ended up with such a defined common theme?
The title of the EP comes from a line in a song ‘come undone’ but it’s only half the line. We’d thought we’d use half for the EP and maybe the full line for the album. ” you got a lot of nothing but nothing won’t do” the idea that you should never be satisfied and demand the best at all times.
I guess there is definitely a slightly melancholy feel to the songs lyrics, I remember once my mate told me that I had really dark lyrics and outrageously catchy melodies….so I’ll run with that ha. To summarise though, I just feel that we as a people often get short changed and that we should constantly be asking for the full amount. But all the emotions are in there so I just write about how ever I’m feeling.
When can we expect the album?
Hopefully this year. We’ve got enough for 2 albums, so it’s just finding the right combination at the minute.
(I can’t wait)!
As a band, what is the funniest memory you have together?
Probably being completely pissed somewhere…can’t remember haha.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Life long spurs fan :) thou live next to arsenals stadium :(
Who’s most likely to throw a TV out of the hotel window?
It’s def Rob or Scott but it would probably be their mobile phone rather than a telly!! (It’s happened before)
Based on personality and/or physical strengths (Or weaknesses!)… If you find yourselves stranded on a desert island, what roles would be assigned to each member, and why?
Rob would be chief, can cook that boy. Scott would be charge of attracting attention obviously and I’d be supervising from the beach. (Laid back me)
Anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
Give us a listen, tell your friends, come to the gigs and we won’t disappoint. It’s be great so far but will be a lot better next year, thank you so much as always xx
Definitely a golden find for 2012! The music’s great so stay up-to-date through their Twitter and Facebook. I’ll be keeping posted with them in 2013 as well, so keep checking Rock’n'Roll in My Soul for more!
Spread the word!