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Sandy Ewen is hardly your typical guitarist.  Whereas many players focus on notes and melody, Ewen treats the instrument in a manner more akin to how a painter approaches colors and …

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Testify: Something Fierce’s Steven Garcia - More ‘79 than ‘77 in 2011

Submitted by RamonLP4 on March 31, 2011 – 9:03 amNo Comment
Something Fierce (l to r) Andrew Keith, Niki Sevven, and Steven Garcia (Photo uncredited)

 

The last album by Something FierceThere Are No Answers, was a bulletproof 12-pack of pop-punk perfection.  Finally, after roughly two years, the band celebrates the release of their follow-up,  Don’t be So Cruel, this Friday at Mangos.  Most bands who have honed their sound as well as Something Fierce has, would be happy to simply give you more of the same with maybe a few tweaks or refinement to the sound but Steven Garcia, Niki Sevven, and Andrew Keith didn’t take that route with this record. Instead, the band chose to take a huge gamble and reinvent their sound by taking inspiration from late 70’s punk. The results is an unexpected and refreshing transmogrification of a classic band and yet, despite that new sound, they still have that knack for making songs that are catchy, memorable, and fun. We checked in briefly with ringmaster Steven Garcia to ask him about the new album.

FPH - Wow the new album is so different from your older stuff. How did the change come about? What inspired the new sound?

Garcia - It is different, but there were glimpses of this sound in the last album. We’ve been following similar transition points that the first punk bands encountered. This is year ‘79, and we just got better on our instruments. Time to make a dub, power-pop album.

FPH - Making that kind of change is pretty bold. How do you think your old fans will react to that new sound and has that been any kind of concern during the recording?

Garcia - Not a concern at all. Some will lose interest, but we don’t need hanger-ons. We must move forward.

FPH - The drums seem a bit less aggressive, the guitars are more subtle, and even your approach to vocals has changed. How was the recording and writing for this album? Was the process different in any way?

Garcia - Definitely, yes. First, an unhealthy amount of time and mental energy was put into the pre- and post-production of the album. That was probably the biggest change. Due to a few issues at the studio, we were left with an unfinished group of songs that needed to be mixed. With little time to waste, I made the gutsy decision to put everything in its place on my own. The record will have to speak for itself.

FPH - This is, what, like your gazillionth tour. Are you pretty excited or is it all old hat to you guys?

Garcia - Honestly, we don’t tour enough! We wouldn’t bother if we weren’t excited, but getting on the road for a month or two a year is nothing.

FPH - The new release is on Portland’s Dirtnap Records. How’s that relationship and, given the ability to be able to just throw out new songs on the internet, what do you see is the value for bands in being with a label?

Garcia - Dirtnap has been phenomenal to us. They believe in us and have stood behind every decision we’ve made. On top of that, it feels good to be among great names like The Marked Men, White Wires, Mean Jeans, The Tranzmitors, and so on. As for “throwing out new songs on the internet,” fuck that. Get it on vinyl, and get out there.

FPH - Lastly, you guys have been around for how many years now, is it six or more? How have you seen the Houston scene change, how do you think you embody the good and the bad of that scene, and why have did you guys decide to stay in Houston all these years?

Garcia - We’ve been around long enough to be bored with this question. What we think of the changes in the music scene doesn’t matter at all. Ideas can captivate minds, and good music can energize a community. That’s what we’ve learned. Finally, Houston is home, and it’s not worth leaving for a false sense of accomplishment. Moving away wouldn’t make us any better at penning a good tune; it would just make us homesick.

Friday April 1st @ Mango’s Cafe
Something Fierce record release with The Hangouts, Wicked Poseur and Fat Tony.

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