The Garden describe themselves as “a conceptual punk band.” Twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, who are based in Southern California, started the band in 2011. They call their genre “Vada Vada”. Mixing together elements of hip hop, punk, and electronica, the Shears twins confound their audiences with a rapid delivery and intense live performance. Their look and sound has seduced their admirers on both sides of the Atlantic. They recently released a single on the London based label, Luv Luv Luv, and have been touring. Northern Transmissions was able to grab a rapid-fire interview.
Northern Transmissions: Hi, how are you and where are you?
Fletcher: Northeast Los Angeles.
Wyatt: LA baby.
NT: You have kept it very stripped down with bass and drums. What do you think about that combination is so appealing?
F: That combination, is appealing to us in many ways, but is not all we do.
W: For us it’s the minimal factor.
NT: Songs like “Crystal Clear” and “This Could Build Us a Home” sounds like you are using more synths. Is your sound developing, still neo-punk, but incorporating more elements of weird TV soundtracks, odd and interesting influences?
F: We have been adding electronics into our music long before these songs were created and came out, electronics have been a part of The Garden and we are continuing to progress.
NT: You’re very well known for having lots of short songs.
F: We write in which every way feels comfortable in the moment, we don’t stick to a routine or setup. It’s always different.
W: During our first record we tended to gravitate toward short songs. It was something we enjoyed doing. We still like that but we are moving on to different angles.
NT: “What We Are” is a perfect example of your style – fast, furious, but slightly laid back at the same time. How did that song come about and how do you write generally?
W: “What We Are” is what we are and how I saw the world at the time. I really enjoy that song.
The writing process varies. We use a lot of different resources.
NT: When you fight with each other on stage at times -have you toned it down at all for a longer tour, and what do you think audiences like about watching you fight?
F: We don’t get violent with each other all that much anymore. As for toning things down for a longer tour, that is something we aren’t interested in, we keep the same level of energy each night. If we were playing live, and it didn’t feel raw or real anymore, we’d probably stop all together.
NT: You both have done modelling for Yves Saint Laurent. Are you still modeling? What do you think are the biggest differences in how you present yourself for a fashion audience as opposed to a music crowd?
F: At this moment, we are not modeling for anyone. To me, fashion and music presentation is opposite. No feelings are alike, to me. I like them both in different ways though.
W: I personally try to just be myself in both scenarios.
NT: It seems that you both have an interest in subverting traditional gender roles, playing with image – particularly Fletcher who often wears makeup, dresses – as in the video for “I’m A Woman.”
F: At the time, it was fulfilling and right for me, but it does not give me the same feelings and contentedness it once did. Therefore I do not dress myself as a female any longer and haven’t for quite some time. Although, my mind is as open as ever.
W: Women’s clothing works just as good as men’s clothing for me. No need to neglect it just because it’s meant for a woman!
NT: What does Vada Vada mean to you?
W: Vada Vada is our substitute for any sort of genre placement. It’s our slogan in a way.
NT: You’re twins – do you ever find you know what each other is thinking, or do you switch opinions back and forth?
F: We play music, our connection is there in that aspect.
W: We connect really well in a lot of aspects. As long as the communication is there, you can’t go wrong.
NT: Your single “Surprise” recently came out on a London based label, Luv Luv Luv. Does that mean there will an album soon?
F: The next full length LP will be out mid-2015.
F: Looking forward to releasing our next album. We will be touring even more extensively this year, so that should be interesting as well.
NT: Any New Year’s Resolutions?
F: Search for more clues.
W: LIVE FAST. DIE OLD
NT: And five things that inspire you.
F: Jimmy Neutron
Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide
Spawn (The movie)