Wyatt and Fletcher Shears aren’t messing around. There’s nothing that smacks of novelty about their music, recorded under the name The Garden; despite the inherent oddness of records like The Life And Times Of A Paperclip and haha neither have been constructed with flippancy or a lack of effort. The Shears’ deeply care about the music that they put out; something that is not only clear when one listens to tracks like the brilliant Crystal Clear or The Apple, but also when one speaks to the Shears’.
We got an opportunity to interview the twin brothers about their past albums, the incoming haha and the nature of reincarnation.
Joseph Earp: How are you and where in the world does our interview find you today?
Fletcher Shears: Hello, over in Australia right now. I’m okay.
Wyatt Shears: I’m a good 72% right now. Melbourne, Australia.
FS: Yeah, this is the first time for us out here. It’s been really nice. Haven’t done much, but I have a good feeling.
WS: This is our first time, but I have a good feeling and a hopeful one that it’s not our last.
JE: What will you do on your days off when you’re on tour? Do you get much downtime?
FS: Mmm, usually we just wing it. We’re not much of ‘day off on tour planners’. Usually we don’t have too much downtime, and if we do it’s never really anywhere spectacular. But… this tour we have some days off in Hong Kong And Singapore, as well as Tasmania. So that might be some fun.
WS: Usually my favourite things to do are working out or eating, but it really depends on where we are time wise.
JE: What is your favourite gig that you have ever played?
FS: Really, tough to answer. I think there are simply just too many to remember.
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WS: That’s a very hard one, considering the amount of shows that we’ve played. It’s usually due to the vibe and connection with the crowd.
JE: You have labelled your music ‘vada vada.’ How would you describe the ‘vada vada’ genre to those who haven’t heard the term before?
FS: Vada Vada is just, pure creative expression, and quality. Not pinning yourself down, and progressing.
WS: Vada Vada is a way to express ourselves without any previously made up conceptions. It represents free creativity.
JE: Your new album haha comes out soon. What can you tell us about the record? How did the writing/recording of it differ from your albums of the past?
FS: This album is different, mainly because of our progression as people and ‘artists’. We’ve been through a lot and experienced much in these past years. It’s still The Garden, but progressed, and present.
WS: This album clearly demonstrates how we’ve grown in my opinion. We naturally progressed to a certain point of maturity music wise and will just continue to move forward hopefully.
JE: All Smiles Over Here has such a fantastic music video. How was that shoot?
FS: It was interesting. We’ve never shot a video like that before, with a full on director, and a crew and etc. I honestly had no idea what it was going to be like. I tried my best to go into it with an open mind. It turned out nice, and it was pretty fun.
WS: Johnny is a really solid director and it was a pretty darn fun experience.
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JE: I love how even though you have a signature sound, each of your records sounds a little bit different from the last. Do you know from the outset what each work is going to sound like, or is it more of a process of discovery?
FS: We never plan on any sound. It’s honestly just what comes out. I like to go into creating with no expectations and a blank mind. I usually cherish the result after I’m done.
WS: Thanks a bunch. We like to flow naturally, music wise.
JE: I’m obsessed with your song Gumdrops. Was there a real world basis for that song? I love how different it is from the other tracks on The Life And Times Of A Paperclip too – was that a deliberate choice?
FS: Not really a choice, just kind of happened…
WS: I believe I wrote that song on the spot when we recorded it! It demonstrates diversity, but it was very last minute as well.
JE: In terms of your songwriting, what comes first: the lyrics or the melodies?
FS: In most cases, the melodies. but I write lyrics separate and before hand some of the time as well.
WS: In most cases, the melodies. I usually enjoy doing that first.
JE: Tell me something you’ve never told an interviewer before.
FS: I have never told an interviewer about my previous body.
WS: I might have lived before?
The Garden’s new album haha is out now.