Photo courtesy of the band
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Jared Garcia would wake up every morning at nine am sharp, without fail, and drive over to the Duke’s house. The Duke’s real name was David J. Vigil, and he was somewhat of a legend in Santa Fe.
Walking into the Duke’s one bedroom hideaway was akin to stepping foot in an old closet-shop for vintage equipment. All manner of guitar and bass amps, recording equipment, and used instruments lined the floors and walls. Elbow-to-elbow is certainly an apt description of the working space in which Garcia began penning some of his first songs.
The moments were generally spontaneous—with Garcia stumbling upon a particular chord change or melody that he liked and then spit-balling words over the top in a kind of free-thought association. The Duke would step behind his kit and move along with the flow until a song started to poke its head through the tandem.
For Garcia, these ongoing morning routines were work just as much as they were creative outpourings. Shortly before meeting the drummer, Garcia decided to drop out of college. This isn’t to say that he wasn’t doing well in school–quite the opposite. At the time the young songwriter had a scholarship going strong for him, but felt that he wasn’t being fulfilled in the right ways.
It turned out quite a few, actually, were more than impressed with what the band had to offer; which at the time consisted of a no-holds-barred approach to garage-rock with an emphasis on pop leads. Long at last, Thieves and Gypsys were born.
That was years ago. The band that can be heard today sounds leagues different from the three musical nomads first setting out on the road. It’s no secret that thousands of hours of practice will transform damn near anything, but there have been some other big changes to the band’s recipe.
For one, the Duke set his sails and drummer Adam Cook stepped in mid-tour. When you’re playing in a trio, every ounce of input creates drastic waves. Aside from a change in the style of drumming (which now bears the precision of a ticking razor) the songwriting process too underwent a major metamorphosis.
While travelling through Austin, Texas the band made a pit-stop at a friend’s house to recoup. The excursion was meant to rekindle energy, and instead resulted in the writing of more than 75 percent of their most recent album, Chasing Giants.
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