Gardens & Villa stops at CSU Monterey Bay on their way to the top.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Over the past couple months Santa Barbara’s Gardens & Villa have been getting their first tastes of large-scale success.
“All of the sudden we’ve been playing for huge crowds in huge spaces,” says bassist Shane McKillop. “We had just come off an eight-week tour across the country and then we were with The Shins one night and then Coachella.”
One particularly meaningful affirmation for the band will come June 1, when they return to their hometown to play the Santa Barbara Bowl, a venue that’s hosted everyone from Bob Marley to Beck.
“We’d go to shows there all the time and say jokingly, ‘When we play the Bowl that’s when we know we made it,’” McKillop says. “It’s another dream we’re marking off on the checklist.”
Featuring Chris Lynch on guitar and lead vocals, Levi Hayden on drums and Dusty Ineman and Adam Rasmussen on piano, synth and backing vocals, G&V’s rise to stardom was catapulted by its self-titled debut, recorded under the guidance of producer Richard Swift, who’s also The Shins keyboardist.
“[Swift] really helped up put our stamp on the album in a weird, hazy stoner kind of way,” McKillop says. “The main bed of tracks on the record is all us in a room together staring at each other, playing and trying to keep it fun and loose.”
Their acclaimed single “Black Hills” is a marriage of New Order’s detached synthesizer gloom and high-pitched harmonies led by Lynch, who delivers each line in David Byrne-like spurts.
Later this summer, G&V will continue playing big stages at large-scale festivals including High Sierra and Sasquatch.
“We’ve done a s**t ton of work over the last year and it’s definitely sprouting off some pretty great rewards,” McKillop says.
GARDENS & VILLA perform at 9pm Friday, May 11, at Black Box Cabaret, at the corner of 3rd and 4th Streets on CSUMB. Free/student; $10/non-student. 582-3000.