a Garza and a Krimmel
Those crazy Garza and Krimmel boys. Brothers and cousins and who knows what else make up the indelible two-family indie pop band, Scissors For Lefty (SFL). Hailing from San Francisco, they’ve been doing their thing since the early 2000s. The current line-up consists of Bryan Garza (Vocals/Guitar), Robby Garza (Guitar), Eric Garza (new member on Bass, more on this in the interview below), Peter Krimmel (Keyboard/Guitar), and James Krimmel (Drums).
Their debut, Bruno, came out in ’05. They followed it up with Underhanded Romance in 2007. They are finally ready to unveil their highly anticipated junior release six years later! Scheduled for a January 2013 release, it’s called Drugstore Perfume. “Not For Keeps” is the first single and you can listen to it below.
Find out about this new release, what took them so long in between records, and more in this exclusive Urb’l Remedy SFL interview. Thanks to SFL for bending over backwards to make this interview happen. Go to their official Facebook Page for more.
Urb’l Remedy: You recently lost a band member and just as quickly gained a new member to replace that member. Why the band line-up change up?
SFL: Steve knocked someone up. He couldn’t do the band no more. (He got married to a total catch and is triathlon-ing his way towards the 2016 Olympics. No shit!)
Urb’l Remedy: What does this new member bring to the table for the band?
SFL: Lose a Garza, gain a Garza. Welcome, Bryan and Robby’s little cousin, Eric Garza, on bass! What does he bring to the table? High metabolism, fresh set of ears, and the lighter side of life obligations of a 20-year-old. He’s also a great guitarist in another local band. Much like Steve, he has great songwriting talents to bring to the table, can sing, and is easy on the eyes.
Urb’l Remedy: Tell us about your forthcoming release.
SFL: Drugstore Perfume is scheduled for a January 2013 release. What makes it special is that it wasn’t rushed. The songs had time to simmer. Some were crossed off the list. Some were re-recorded 10 BPM slower, so that they were better to drive to. Others popped out of nowhere just weeks ago. Lots of love and time spent on the more subtle parts – Bryan made it a point to experiment more with his range. He spent less time camouflaging stuff from the heart and just laid it out there.
Click on the cover to listen to the first single from SFL’s forthcoming release, Drugstore Perfume, called “Not For Keeps.”
Urb’l Remedy: How is this release different from previous SFL work?
SFL: This album was recorded in a purple and green room, hand-built by the band in Bryan’s garage. All guitar was recorded on a red, hollow body Starfire Peter picked up in 1999. Vocally, we captured the real Bryan. This was the first time where we all recognized the landscapes that he sang about and/or lived through them, personally. On the other albums we were one hit shy of a hit. It was soooo damn close! We took a long break and let our expectations align more with our lives in San Francisco. We didn’t make this album with the intentions of getting one more chance to play the small tent at Coachella. We wrote this son of a bitch to rock festivals for years to come. Ego aside, we did it simply because we love getting together to write music.
Urb’l Remedy: What can your fans expect from this new Drugstore Perfume era regarding singles, videos, shows, tour, etc.? Tell us everything.
SFL: We intend to do more personalized experiences. We intend to return to the same venue or town multiple times in the same year so that we can feel connected to the audience the way we did when we first started out. After practice, rather than have a burrito with just the 5 of us, we’ve been offering to deliver pizzas to nearby fans, and perhaps, jam away on mom’s piano.
Urb’l Remedy: You’ve been in the game a minute now. What are you trying to do differently at this point in your careers?
SFL: Jesus, Freddie! We’re only thirty! It’s not like this is the Beach Boys’ 50th reunion.
Urb’l Remedy: What are you trying to keep the same?
SFL: We’re keeping it strange.
Urb’l Remedy: I would say the SFL sound is classified as “indie pop.” What does indie mean to you? Or does it even matter?
SFL: We used to think “indie pop” was spelled indy pop. We didn’t know how to spell indie correctly until someone ridiculed our first single, “Indy Rock Girl,” in 1999. The song spoke from the heart and we were so excited to celebrate the new genre we had discovered from listening to college radio. Back then, indie music meant sitting Indian-style in a tiny room with 15 kids, watching your friend’s friend’s band in the side room of some anti-establishment coffee shop or potpie restaurant.
Ultimately, the categories don’t matter. Typically, it’s the mixing choices or, sometimes, the lack of mixing choices that suggest different categories. Heavy reverb on real drums vs. Drawing surgical eq filter automation over a MIDI drum sample that never skips a beat vs. Try the mic over there and see what happens.
People have had access to guitars, drums, and keyboards for over 50 years. Most of those instruments never leave their cases because most “normal” people prefer to live it up and be in the moment on a sunny day as opposed to the overly-driven sentimental dreamer that repeatedly chooses to stay indoors and try to solve the puzzle, crack the code. Indie pop is an okay category to be in. It suggests cute stuff with witty production. Personally, we think songs should be classified like this:
1) Motivated narcissist songs to shake up your ego
2) Dancy Numbers written by Middle-Aged Men
3) Stuff to impress Dad
4) Songs to inspire humping
5) Genius stuff from people destined to soon overdose
Urb’l Remedy: In my humble opinion, pop music doesn’t get the same respect as other genres. I think it’s almost seen as if you’re not a real or good musician or like you’re a sell-out, in some cases. But, let me just stress, not by me, I LOVE pop! That said, do you think there are still those negative connotations about pop? Is pop a bad word?
SFL: When you take the greatest pop hits of a decade, impressive songs are always found. People of every generation have disdain for the filler songs on the radio, but, inevitably, those turds get associated with good times, knockout movies, or people who don’t speak the language. When Steve and I traveled to Spain, we fell for all sorts of terrible pop songs simply because the songs used words that we knew.
Urb’l Remedy: Along the same lines, is there a point where you don’t want to be indie or underground anymore and you just want to have that cross-over hit? Get exposed, known, and followed by a bigger audience and more listeners and fans?
SFL: We produce our own music and have a pretty good track record for remaining wacky. The variety of Scissors For Lefty has thus far kept us from kicking ass in any one genre, but it does allow some songs to reach out there. As long as the song is honest, let her fly!
Urb’l Remedy: Give me one exclusive scoop for your fans of something coming up that they will be reading at Urb’l Remedy for the first time and tell me anything else you want to add. Any last words for the interview? Want to clear the air about something?
SFL: You got it, Freddie. Between 2008 to 2009, Bryan lived alone in Davis, CA. He didn’t know a soul in the town and so he recorded acoustic cover songs for anybody who mailed him a request. During that time, James moved to Berkeley and spent the whole time mastering the entire Beatles catalog on acoustic guitar. Peter moved to a part of San Francisco that mysteriously picks up sound waves from the Outside Lands Festival. Robby took up coaching little league baseball. Steve became a professional triathlete. Eric played a Chris Brown and Dashboard Confessional song at his high school talent contest. In 2011, Bryan got a motorcycle, shook his addiction of lurking on the interwebs and playing Rock Band 3, and successfully pulled the band back together.
What else? Hmm. For the kids out there, Eric is only 20 years of age. He isn’t old enough to stay in the bars before or after our sets. If anybody wants to flirt with him between now and January, he’ll be right outside, looking for reasonable ways to keep warm. Offer the kid some hot chocolate, will ya?