Die beiden trafen sich zum erste Mal in Los Angeles bei einer Show einer Lokalen Garagen Band, er fragte, ob sie die Orgel und das Schlagzeug spielen könne, sie sagte ja. Und der Bund wurde geschlossen, ein paar Tage später spielten sie ihre erste Show in Alex's Bar in Long Beach, ein paar Monate später tourten sie durch ganz Europa, jetzt halten Sie zum ersten Mal ihr gemeinsames Album in der Hand, die meisten der songs sind selber geschrieben doch einige sind Cover wie zbsp: Macorina dies ist ein Lied von Chavela Vargas, einer mexikanischen Ikone in traditioneller Folk Noir Musik Sie war eine Kämpferin für Frauenrechte in Mexiko und weltweit, Black Metal ist von Venom, Beat-Man's Lieblingsband aus den 80ern, Venom Kreierten ihrer zeit ihren eigenen Musikstil (black metal) und inspirierten Millionen von Musik hungrigen kids anders zu sein und einfach volle röhre raus zu schreien was das Zeugs hält, LOVE ME TWO TIMES wiederum ist von the Doors aus Los Angeles (venice beach) geschrieben und wird j^hier interpretiert als gruslige horror version mit einem touch Friedhof Romantik, die aufnahmen entstanden allesamt in Italien (outside inside) in der Schweiz und in Los Angeles. Viel Spaß mit BAILE (tanz) BRUJA (Hexe) MUERTO (Tod)
the Reverend Beat Man is throwing another CD our way. This is the man behind Voodoo Rhythm Records of Bern, Switzerland. Think you know what this one will be like? Pure blues trash? Nah. Well, I spose it has aspects of blues trash, but “Baile Bruja Muerto” sits somewhere between the detonative night club and the urban mystical. Not hampered at all by the occasional song in Spanish, and the scattered influences of the pair. Garcia, on organ and drums, is from LA, by the by. This is a damn cool mixture - it reeks of lost bleak '50s romances, misguided religion, death, life and drink.
Certainly there's the good Reverend's abrasive squawk'n'bellering guitar, the waaahing guitars, and the unpriestly gutbucket voice (with not a small nod toward the Van Vliets of the world) which we've come to expect and love. You should hear their version of that LA classic (which I actually despise) “Love Me Two Times’” it positively stinks of menace, sour lust and greed. Wonderful. Garcia's gorgeous voice flips the proposition about, from her shimmering intro; the Reverend describes “Baile Bruja Muerto” as "a bit Bizarre Strange and Dark and sometimes very stupid ..." which it is. Stupidity and beauty, now there's a combination; their version of Venom's “Black Metal” may as well be a Tom Waits out-take from “Rain Dogs” - that's a compliment, by the by. Every song has been approached with care and thought; “Baile Bruja Muerto” is the epitome of one of those lost underground albums you discover by accident, shoved at the back of your drunken (but interesting) uncle's collection. 40 years ago, a record like this would have generated the same emotive resonance that, say, the Silver Apples or The Cramps once did. The Reverend and Garcia did not rush into these compositions, but worked on them over time; I gather they've toured this set (with, presumably, other songs) through the USA and Europe. That'd be a treat. We definitely live in the wrong country.
THE TIME MACHINE (GR)
The Reverend Beat-Man and Nicole Izobel Garcia first met up in Los Angeles at a show. He called her to play drums and organ at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, the two of them connected and a couple months later they toured Europe. So the natural consequence was a collaboration between both of them resulting an album with original songs and a few covers too.The album takes off with “Pero Te Amo (But I Love You)”, it starts softly like an acoustic Spanish ballad with Izobel’s serene and beautifully trippy vocals creating a peaceful atmos, soon to be rudely interrupted by Mr. Reverend’s characteristic priestly brutal voice! Of course the music changes also! Heavy beats, fuzzy guitars and a duo ready to transform/transport us (you decide what you want to happen to you!) “Come Back Lord” is a wild n’ screamy organ driven tune, fast and danceable enough with a fuzzy n’ groovy daemonic rhythm, showing Reverend’s voice in a great shape while his usual dirty vocals are included here too! The atmosphere on “I Never Told You” becomes dirtier, fuzzier, noisier, the killer fuzzy guitar licks are dressing Izobel’s voice leading in the craziest roaring swing-a-delic Rock N’ Roll nightmare you will ever dream (the tune is also offered for merciless ruthless headbanging!!!) With “Black Metal”, Reverend honors his ‘musical mentors’ by making a tremendously thrashy n’ bluesy cover of Venom’s song creating a revolutionary and subversive voodoo-ish version! “Viva La Figa” is a short (0:58 sec) funny kind of childish swing-a-roller celebrating… ‘women’… On “Lass Uns Liebe Machen (Haremos El Amor)” Reverend asks “Let’s Make Love” (Lass Uns Liebe Machen in German) and Izobel answers “We Will Make Love” (Haremos El Amor in Spanish), a strange electro acoustic duet – sung in German and Spanish – simple touchable and thrifty with a feeling of nostalgia and a great rhythm too! Under a strange and kind of creepy atmosphere Izobel sings “Macorina”, a song originally by Chavela Vargas, a Mexican icon in traditional Folk Noir music (She was a strong fighter for women’s rights in Mexico and across the globe). Another surprising rebellious cover version follows with Doors’ “Love Me Two Times”, under a torturously slow tempo, the duo creates a totally swamp-a-like version taken straight out of a graveyard! “Nerviosa” is an electronic moody but rather trippy and monotone experiment, very sentimental and melodic built upon a synth & a drum-kit rumba beat! (or something like that…hehehe) By the very start of “I’ll Take Care Of You” with the hiss and vinyl crackling noise sound effects, we are automatically transported to a different era, back in the late 40s – early 50s, the age of Doo-Wop music, the crooners and all that Jazz (Dig it? Hehehehe…) A strange but lovely balladesque tune that somehow gives me a strong and intense feeling of a Wolfman Jack presence! The album closes with an interesting exciting and rather didactic/educative story sung by the Reverend on “My Name Reverend Beat-Man” (7:33min). Presented here not in the traditional singing way, it’s more like preaching, under various strange sounding effects and a repeated steady low guitar melody creating a rather mystical and psychedelic scenery. A social cry for where-the-hell-humanity-has-gone-to these days! A heavy bluesy n’ revealing tune of The Reverend’s Apocalypse! In conclusion, “Baile Bruja Muerto” is a Psychic, Garagey, Punky, Heavy, Swampy, Rhythm n’ Bluesy album destined to be C-U-L-T!!! (TimeLord Michalis)
Top 10 Albums of the Year !!
For the sake of inclusiveness and diversity, I forced myself to decide between the two different albums released this year by Switzerland's infamous gospel-punk Reverend Beat-Man. His label, Voodoo Rhythm Records, first gave us the LP Blues Trash — an album backed by his quartet the New Wave — as well as Baile Bruja Muerto, a collaboration with fellow New Wave member Nicole Izobel Garcia. The latter is a raw, Gothic collection of organ-drenched, haunting, gritty blues. While the album further exposes the brilliance in Reverend Beat-Man's ability to captivate us with raw, minimalist punk voltage, it more importantly showcases Garcia's gripping and astonishing voice. The Reverend's unmistakable deathly howl offers a stupefying contrast to Garcia's rich, omnipotent vocals throughout the entire record.
ROCK AND ROLL ARMY (ES)
Este próximo 18 de enero sale a la calle “Baile Bruja Muerto” (Voodoo Rhythm Records 2019), el disco conjunto que registraron el suizo Reverend Beat-Man junto a la norteamericana Izobel Garcia (el dúo lo vendía en sus conciertos, pero ahora conocerá distribución mundial gracias a esta edición). Ambos artistas se conocieron en un concierto en Los Angeles, ciudad de donde es oriunda la estadounidense, cuando el suizo pregunto a Izobel si podía tocar el órgano y la batería. Poco después ya estaban ofreciendo sus primeros conciertos juntos, incluyendo una gira europea que trajo a ambos a este lado del charco. Para “Baile Bruja Muerto”, una mezcla según cuentan de garage punk, psych rock, heavy blues y cumbia, la pareja artística ha grabado algunos temas originales junto a algunas versiones en clave oscura: “Macorina” de Chavela Vargas, “Love Me Two Times” de The Doors o la inopinada “Black Metal” de Venom, una de las canciones preferidas del reverendo sin embargo. “Black Metal” es también el tema que se ha escogido como adelanto del álbum y el que hoy protagoniza nuestra sección de “La canción del día”. “Este tema nuestro haciendo ‘Black Metal’ es un tributo tanto a la banda como al rock n’ roll en general. Quiero agradecer a Venom que me guiaran a descubrir el blues, el rock n’ roll y la música al margen de las tendencias. Música para inconformistas, ¡no para cuadriculados conservadores!” ha comentado Reverend Beat-Man....
rom Hell To Switzerland To The United States: Reverend Beat-Man and Nicole Izobel Garcia announce US Midwest/East Coast tour dates and Baile Bruja Muerto album release. Globetrotting Swiss-American blues trash duo, Reverend Beat-Man & Nicole Izobel Garcia, announce an August – September tour where they will premier their broad-based spin of lo-fi psychedelic garage-blues punk to US East Coast & Midwest audiences. This trek marks their first venture into Middle America and along the Eastern Seaboard together, all confirmed dates below including a performance at the Tennessee-based dark country/heavy music subculture epicenter, Muddy Roots Festival. For Beat-Man, emotions are high for some of these dates with his past experiences playing these parts of the United States with The Monsters. “I haven’t played the East coast much; the first time was in 2003 with The Monsters at CBGBS. They hated us, we blew their PA and they wanted to sell us a video with a live show we didn’t ask for being a part of, which was strange. The same year, we played Maxwell’s in New Jersey and that was a big honor for us because of the history that venue shares. With Reverend Beat-Man, I did a show at the legendary Otto’s Shrunken Head and that was set up our friend Mike Decay and Kendra Psychobilly. Kendra followed us while in New York and later on became the booker at El Cortez in Brooklyn. Sadly, she passed away a year or so ago. Brooklyn will be emotional for me and for the people who know me from that time. I played at Toootles Pumpkin Inn with The Monsters in 2014 and the people there are amazing!! They have a very unique spirit, it’s very social and it feels like they care for you and your friends.” Reverend Beat-Man & Nicole Izobel Garcia’s collaborative album, Baile Bruja Muerto, will be available in fall on LP/Digital through Voodoo Rhythm Records. A record that marks five years of collaborative effort between the two transcontinental artists and a culmination of two different cultures and artistic sensibilities that reside on the outlier edge of contemporary music. “The key to this album is that there was never a cohesive plan, hell we didn’t even plan to not have a plan, we literally didn’t have time to even talk about it. Half of the songs we recorded together and have been playing for years, the other half was a complete surprise to the other person. We were both totally free, especially with the songs we each did on our own.. it really shows the strength of our trust and chemistries,” is how Garcia summarizes the creation process. Advance copies of the LP will be available for audiences on this tour. Blues Trash, the first album of original material from Reverend Beat-Man in 11 years, is available now on LP/CD/Digital through Voodoo Rhythm Records as well. Saying that these two are workhorses is an understatement; this tour is their third together in 2018. Beginning with a three-week springtime run up the US West Coast into the Pacific Northwest and beyond, anchored an appearance at Debauch-a-Reno alongside The Mummies, The Gories, The Cavemen, and more. Shortly after their concluding show in Long Beach, CA at May’s end, the two assembled in Bern, Switzerland for a set of shows as Reverend Beat-Man & The New Wave. The New Wave includes Garcia along collective of prominent Swiss musicians who round out the backing band in the Blues Trash LP. Following the set of shows, Beat-Man and Garcia embarked on a two month tour across the European continent from June – July, where audiences from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland gathered to witness their eclectic ceremony in converted churches, seedy dives, and festival grounds. For more information on Reverend Beat-Man and Nicole Izobel Garcia, visit Voodoo Rhythm Records online.
NEW NOISE (USA)
As cliché and dry most motivational phrases are, “you gotta take a chance” holds, especially in Nicole Izobel Garcia’s story. In 2014, the L..A-based musician reached out in cold calling fashion to a mutual acquaintance of hers visiting from Switzerland. The reach-out was intended to pitch herself for a live performance collaboration between her and the foreign artist in a local bar, the idea initially being for a one-off set. Seven years later, that act of faith has carried her across Europe, and more recently, the United States alongside Reverend Beat-Man. They’ve played remote cities like Tootlesville, OH and large stages such as the Azkena Rock Festival in Spain. Their production carries the vibe of a backwoods, lowbrow, holy roller duo either saving you from the vices of life or enabling its indulgences. To understand it, you have to see it for yourself. For those who haven’t yet, imagine an eccentric, heavy-blues-playing, Swiss priest screaming lyrics of hellfire, the Lord, salvation, and other facets of sin in Swiss, German, and English while a stoic Angeleno nun blares Farfisa riffs over the crowd. A one-man-band-style, two-piece, minimalistic effort that’s wildly engaging and enthralls the outlier personalities who travel to witness this experience. These two have been doing this as a unit for a while now, and between recording sessions in Italy, Switzerland, and Los Angeles, they mark their debut together with Baile Bruja Muerto. This album’s no different from the rest of the Reverend’s catalog in that you must expect the unexpected. Let’s start with the reworked covers they play; how often does a stripped-down, gravel-throated, and considerably slowed rendition of Venom’s “Black Metal” make its way to our ears?
Not even Cronos (Venom’s frontman) himself could fathom such a thing! That’s the point though; they’re not copying anything and making each cover their own thing. Be authentic in tribute; it’s one of the more honest things any artist can do to pay homage to those before them. Tag that same description on doom metal, echoing a graveyard rendition of “Love Me Two Times” from The Doors as well. However, those two are more focused on Beat-Man himself as the lead man. Izobel Garcia makes a strong statement in her recording debut with a sultry channeling of Chavela Vargas’s ranchera atmosphere on “Macorina,” which shows her confidence and prowess as a vocalist. The two take on a few tracks from Beat-Man’s back catalog along with showcasing their original work together. “Come Back Lord” is a staple in their live set originally released in 2001 during the Reverend Beat-Man & The Unbelievers era. The new version swaps the original’s rockabilly vibe with a lo-fi, garage rock feel dominated by keys and with new lyrics. Izobel Garcia contributes two of her tracks to this record with “I Never Told You” and “Nerviosa.” The former being one of the standouts on Baile Bruja Muerto, it’s Krautrock meets heavy blues mix but more importantly shows how well these two work as a unit and bounce off each other’s improvisations. As a one-man band, you’re trusting yourself to hit all angles accurately. This album shows how much Beat-Man trusts Izobel Garcia to act as a function of his brain and pull off what he’s been doing by himself for most of his life.
THE VINYL DISTRICT (USA)
Bern, Switzerland’s Reverend Beat-Man is often a one-man band, but here he’s joined by Nicole Izobel Garcia, who drums, plays organ, and sings in English and Spanish. As the visuals radiate a William Castle-Forrest Ackerman vibe, prior to listening I was expecting something in the mode of Cramps. Although surely simpatico with Lux and Ivy, this has its own twisted thing going on: there’s some garage blooze with a hint of Suicide, vocals recalling Howlin’ Wolf (but more of a straight croak, really), covers of Venom’s “Black Metal” and The Doors’ “Love Me Two Times,” and passages recalling Hasil Adkins, Dave “Baby” Cortez, Brother Theodore, and Copernicus (the performer, not the mathematician-astronomer). Yes, a strange one.
NEGATIVE WHITE (CH)
Tanz, Hexe und Tod mit Reverend Beat-Man und Izobel Garcia
Im Duo predigt sichs besser: Reverend Beat-Man präsentiert mit Izobel Garcia «Baile Bruja Muerto» elf Blues-Trash-triefende Stücke im Folk-Noir-Stil. Wir haben uns die Scheibe angehört und uns zeitgleich in krächzende Gitarren und bezaubernden Gesang verliebt. Nach der Scheibe Blues Trash mit der brandgefährlichen Begleitgruppe The New Wave vom vergangenen Jahr meldet sich Reverend Beat-Man zurück. Erneut ist er nicht alleine hören, sondern im Duett mit Nicole Izobel Garcia. Baile Bruja Muerto erscheint am 18. Januar und enthält altbekannte aber neu-interpretierte Stücke vom Reverend, gemeinsam geschriebene Stücke sowie Cover-Versionen von Chavela Vargas, The Doors oder Venom.
Der Prediger und die Nonne
Beat-Man und Garcia kennen sich schon lange. Die beiden trafen sich erstmals vor einigen Jahren bei einem lokalen Garage-Rock-Konzert in Los Angeles und beschlossen zusammen Musik zu machen. Einige Tage später folgte der erste gemeinsame Auftritt in der Stadt der Engel. Garcia spielt Schlagzeug, eine wummernd groovige Orgel und betört mit himmlischer Stimme. Reverend Beat-Man könnte mit dem Teufel um die Wette krächzen, spielt dreckig-frech Gitarre und prescht wild auf sein Schlagzeug ein. Wie Pech und Schwefel, was könnte da besser passen? Kurz darauf folgte die erste Tour durch Europa. Nun haben die beide ihr erstes Album und machen erneut die Konzertbühnen unsicher.
Wenn Engel auf Teufel treffen
Mit sanftem spanischem Gesang von Izobel Garcia und träumerischer Gitarre beginnt Pero Te Amo (But I Love You) – ein Stück, welches ebenfalls auf der Scheibe mit The New Wave zu hören ist. Was anfänglich nach spanischer Ballade klingt, verwandelt sich urplötzlich mit polterndem Schlagzeug und überdrehter Verzerrung vom Beat-Man zum Blues Trash wie man ihn kennt und liebt.
Wie Pero Te Amo liefert Baile Bruja Muerto weiterhin altbekannte Lieder, die man schon gehört hat, wenn man den Reverend & Co. verfolgt. Das macht aber gar nichts aus – im Gegenteil: neu und frisch mit solch alten und rostigen Amps vertont, dass es einem in den Gehörgängen kratzt. Die Orgel von Garcia bringt mit Old-School-Drive in Tanzbeine in Verlegenheit. Come Back Lord lädt zur verschwitzten Tanzfläche ein, Lass uns Liebe machen (Haremos El Amor) schwelgt in Spaghetti-Western-Nostalgie und I’ll Take Care of You verpasst einem Folk-Noir-Heimweh.
Metal, Rock und Folk
Ebenfalls in diesem Stilbereich angesiedelt ist das Cover Macorina von Chavela Vargas, der mexikanischen Ikone des Folk Noir. Weitere Cover wie Venoms Black Metal, der Lieblingsband der 80er von Beat-Man und Love Me Two Times von The Doors überzeugen auf ihre Blues-Trash-Verwandlung mit teuflischer Gitarre und allmählich wahnsinnig werdendem Gesang vom Reverend.
Baile Bruja Muerto
Die Scheibe bringt altbekanntes Soundmaterial neu und rostig vertont, bringt neuen Blues Trash alternd vertont. Ob man die Songs schon vorher kannte oder nicht, spielt keine Rolle. Baile Bruja Muerto lässt die Herzen von Folk Noir und Spaghetti-Western Fans höher schlagen, die Tanzbeine ausschwingen und ausgelassen die Mähnen schütteln. Mit froher Botschaft über Baile Bruja und Muerto geht das Duett Beat-Man und Garcia im Frühling auf Tour. In der Schweiz sind sie am 17.4. im Bad Bonn in Düdingen und am 18.4. im Gaswerk Winterthur zu sehen. Samuel Riedo14. Januar 2019
Letzten Frühling hat uns Reverend Beat-Man nach langen Jahren Pause sein neues Solowerk geschenkt, nun schiebt er grad ein neues Album nach, aber nicht solo, sondern im Duo mit seiner musikalischen Lieblingspartnerin, der in Los Angeles lebenden Mexikanerin Izobel Garcia, die bereits auf besagtem letztjährigen Beatman-Werk «Blues Trash» zu hören war. «Baile Bruja Muerto», das sind elf Songs, die den Geist von Screaming Jay Hawkins beschwören von mexikanischer Todestradition bis zum heiter polternden Nonsense-Track «Viva La Figa», dessen Text aus nichts anderem besteht als dem Titel (immerhin, viva la figa!). «Lass uns Liebe Machen» war schon auf «Blues Trash» angenehm, nun kommt der Song in einer Duett-Version. Und dann hats noch Coverversionen von Chavela Vargas, Venom und The Doors. Hier ist also alles möglich. Wer Humor hat, versteht das problemlos. (Christian Hug)
PURE GRAIN AUDIO (USA)
To the uninformed eyes and ears of a dull, uninspiring person, Reverend Beat-Man and Nicole Izobel Garcia give off an impression of a hokey religious gimmick playing only white noise to marginalized segments of society. That description couldn’t be further from the truth, these two are legitimate rock n’ roll lifers who live life by their terms. They don’t owe anything to anyone, and no one owes anything to them. Their work together has taken them to raucous dives across the U.S. Southwest to playing festivals on the shores of Brittany, France and beyond, leaving attendees in awe and giving it 100 percent each night. That’s what it takes to survive in their line of work, nothing short. Most impressively, these two rack up the frequent flyer miles with the great distance between the two (Beat-Man residing in Bern, Switzerland, Nicole in Los Angeles, California) to bring their gospel trash sermon of Cumbia, garage punk, and psych rock to attendees of all sorts. Those who know Beat-Man are familiar with his past work as the one-man band/wrestler, Lightning Beat-Man, and his longtime garage punk group, The Monsters. Currently, Reverend Beat-Man continues a perpetual global tour across the world to reconnect us with our most primal instinct and urges with the same one-man approach. As of lately, he’s expanded his sound with the inclusion of the stoic yet sultry Izobel Garcia into the fold, whose Farfisa powered dark harmonies elevates their sound identifiable only to the duo.
Touring Europe on a consistent basis and more recently completing their first full U.S. tour, the two commemorate their partnership with their first LP together, Baile Bruja Muerto. We caught up with the two to briefly discuss their history, the album, and other facets of life they’ve encountered on their treks through the Old and New World.
So, how did you guys meet and how did this project come to be?
Beat-Man: I have family in Los Angeles and I visit them as often as I can. Back in 2014, I flew to see them and ended up in downtown during part of my trip to watch a local garage band play and that’s when I met Nicole initially. She looked like Morticia from the Addams Family and my first thought was “you must be a musician.” We began talking and she mentioned she plays the organ, I asked her on the spot if she wants to play with me a few days from then at my next show. She said yes, I was happy! Forgot to mention that she has to play the drums as well. Anyway, the show went fantastic and like it was back then and now, it’s a lot of fun to be on stage with her.
Izobel Garcia: Beat-Man’s version is way cooler (laughs). I was a fan of his band The Monsters since I was like twelve just from downloading weird music illegally all day. I later learned that he had another project Reverend Beat-Man and saw him play a couple times in LA. We have mutual friends and we met at a show... I actually asked him if he needed an organ player for his upcoming show, he said, “let me think about it.”I thought that meant no…. But then he sent me a set list which was REALLY long and consisted mainly of me playing drums. We had a band meeting at Chuck E. Cheese. I didn’t tell him I never touched a drum before and I figured it out. It was fun. Don’t make us say it again... “Come Back Lord”!
Talk about the writing and recording process since you two live in different parts of the world.
Garcia: In 2017 we were on tour and went to our friend Matt Bordin at Outside Inside Studios to finally record the songs we’ve play together live over the years. So, half of this new album we recorded together in Italy. He had shown me “But I Love You” while we were on tour and I finished the verses in the studio, that’s the only real co-write. I was really excited to help finish that song, Beat-Man wrote a beautiful classic melody which gave me freedom to freestyle the rest.
The other songs recorded there we had played many times together. Like “Come Back Lord,” he had already recorded that song over fifteen years ago with the Unbelievers band (Reverend Beat-Man & The Unbelievers). It’s a good version, but holy crap we realized how much faster our version is (laughs). It’s funny because most bands get old and their music gets slower and less powerful. Beat-Man was like “wow I get older and my music gets ten times faster.” The other half of the album we both wrote and recorded on our own, on opposite sides of the world…
This record is dark, the subject matter in the lyrics of some of these songs seem very personal. Can you talk about what you all were going through personally that made this album sound the way it does? Which are the most personal to you?
Beat-Man: These songs on the record are based off some extreme personal history each of us have but I feel the details are best shared another time. I’ll put it this way, we’re both happy dorks with dark souls, why do you think we love the weird parts of rock n’ roll? Those experiences, however, are grounded in the writing of Baile Bruja Muerto along the general state of the world and everything that’s going on inside it. I’m not a talker, I can’t express myself clearly through speaking in conversation, these songs are what I have to make in order to achieve this for me and when I’m singing, this is me baring my soul to you. It’s the only effective way I know how to do this.
Garcia: Unlike Beat-Man, I probably talk and express myself too much so here I go. That year I had a break-up… the real pain was that I had lost myself in that relationship... I lost confidence in my music as well. Anyways, most of my vocals were done in one or two takes and I hope you can hear that it’s real. It was therapeutic to just sing for this album, specifically the Spanish songs. It had been years since I felt my voice was appreciated. Beat-Man really believes in me and makes me feel free to express myself, not self-conscious or like a fool.
Here’s a sample of The Monsters for you with the video for “More You Talk, Less I Hear.”
With you two touring the world frequently, you’re aware of how different audiences are in the various countries you’ve visited. What did you take back to Europe in regards to playing to audiences in America? What contrasts stick out between the two from that experience?
Beat-Man: There is a big difference in the mentality of everyone everywhere you go. I wouldn’t say countries though, it’s as local as the towns and other areas you visit and you yourself are close to. After a while though, it doesn’t show and you realize the foundations in their thinking are the same (i.e. security, survival, needs, etc) and that’s for people all over from Denmark, New Zealand, the US, Mexico, Japan, etc.
Those people come to our show expecting to see something different and they get with no less than 100 percent from the two of us. They see the light, this is rock n’ roll with a weirdo factor. We’re here to connect people... not divide and polarize them like politicians, countries, and walls are capable of doing.
Nicole, talk about how you’ve grown in a musical and cultural sense since working with this guy?
Garcia: Well the biggest shift I felt, especially in the beginning, was the “freedom.” Ever since I can remember my brain has worked totally mathematically like I’d literally see numbers in everything when I was little. I taught myself piano at five and later played classical clarinet. I see music and sheet music as very mathematical as well. I am great at counting and keeping time. I have a really trained ear as well. So as you can imagine… playing live with Beat-Man I had to strip everything I knew about music.
I remember we had one half-ass rehearsal and I asked him how many measures the drums go for… he didn’t know. Or I’d ask “how does this song end?” and he said, “it just ends.” He taught me to totally let go. It’s real magic playing together, I get excited when people after the show appreciate how difficult (and such a dumb idea) it is to have one person playing the kick and the other playing the off beats. I’ve gotten used to Beat-Man switching songs on me halfway through a song. Just really listening to each other. It’s so much fun and special.
Beat-Man, how does Nicole challenge and change your approach to things?
Beat-Man: Oh, a lot and I love it. First, she is a woman and women are a mystery for us men. That alone is a great and inspiring challenge. Second, she’s not a drama queen and works like an idiot (i.e. carry backline, drives, tour manages, etc). Like me, she loves to eat and we like to go to the best restaurants in the towns we play. All that and more is a comfort for me, not struggling with a bandmate that’s a pain gives me space and freedom on stage and in our music, it’s what makes us great.
Nothing lasts forever. Saying that, how do you two want to be remembered regarding your work together?
Beat-Man: I wouldn’t say that releasing an album means you have something that’s going to last forever. It’s like a tattoo, it’s tangible and we’ll have it until we die. As for being remembered, I don’t think we will because of us being in the present and we do it for the sake of ourselves. If you release an album, then it is forever. It’s like a tattoo, you never get rid of it, you have to live with it until you die. We will never be remembered because we always are present, and we always do whatever we want to do. If not in this form then into another.
What is the single most important piece of advice you can give someone embarking on a similar path as yours?
Beat-Man: When your band is the single best thing on this planet and on the first show you play, everyone walks out and is embarrassed by what you do, don’t fret. You’re on the good way, you’re on the Beat-Man way.
Garcia: Trust yourself!! Be real. Be warm and open. Be grateful. Laugh things off. Take care of your body. Take care of your instruments. Love them, practice them. If you feel like shit, sing really loud, it helps. Do whatever you want to do. Just always do it 100 percent. You will never have any regrets that way.