IN CONVERSATION WITH: Gardenback
Fresh-faced and eager, Gardenback are the rising act taking garage rock to the next level by way of a psychedelic twist. The three piece hail from Oldham, Greater Manchester, having met at school back in 2011 and uniting forces. It’s an acclamation to their dedication that they’ve continued to stay on our radar having been an act for seven years. Through sheer determination and ambition they’ve remained committed to achieving what they set out to achieve with Gardenback. Currently hitting the ground running they’ll be one of the feature acts at the first Manny Fest, Saturday 10th November, alongside the likes of Cannibal Animal, Chupa Cabra, Saint Ivy and many more. From the minds behind Psymmetry Collective and The Bread Shed‘s Fuzz Thursday night, the all-dayer echoes the the ideals of the collective – to unify a set of like-minded, hazy psychedelic artists and draw a line of Psymmetry across the alternative scene.
Having supported the likes of DZ Deathrays and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Gardenback are fast making a name for themselves with talk of lots of new material in the pipeline: “The new stuff feels very cohesive and fits together really nicely. It works.” Latest single ‘Health & Wellbeing’ focuses on the bands own mental health experiences and how these have been influenced by the state of the current financial and political climate. But they’re not just another act wailing about the state of current affairs, their lyrics tend to derive from personal feelings and circumstances.
Similarly, they’re passionate about sharing a message as spokesmen for their followers, recently having worked with Beat It, to support men’s cancer research development. Jacob, the drummer of the band was involved in the campaign and explains that it’s important that musicians use their influence to benefit society. “No matter how big or small, it’s a really good opportunity to share positive causes with other people. We try every year to do something for charity, the last two years it’s been putting on gigs for the homelessness charity Lifeshare. Music brings people together and together we can make things happen.”
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With humility and compassion being a heavy theme for Gardenback, it’s clear why the trio are such close friends and that through similar ideals, they’ve lasted so long. Likewise, their influences and inspiration comes from an identical appreciation for acts such as Joy Division, PiL and Televison which results in the outcome of their 90s alt-rock sound, with a splash of 70s post punk thrown in. But what are the current acts that their listening to. Who are the contenders of the scene turning Gardenback‘s heads? They casually concoct a list of acts that generate a similar buzz to themselves, being at a similar level or status: Déjà Vega, The Orielles and Teenage Fanclub beckon a comparable audience, whilst the likes of St Vincent, Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk offer an insight into their varying influences.
An eye for an on-stage spectacle too, the three members discuss the most exhilarating live acts they’ve ever witnessed. St Vincent seems to be a recurrent theme, seen at Albert Hall a couple of years ago, her stage presence and spectacle of a show – in particular when she sang ‘Strange Mercy’ solo atop a pedestal – appears to have caught the attention of Gardenback. Favoured stories are recounted and Radiohead is thrown on to the table, which brought drummer Jacob to tears at Old Trafford Stadium, whilst Neil admires Savages, “…their presence as performers and the sheer force in their music hits you.” They’re clearly an act with a keen vitality to continue pushing Gardenback ever closer to their hedonistic aspirations.