Josh Garza is most well recognized for his time performing with The Secret Machines, and without a doubt, his abilities have changed over his career. Yet, without a doubt, the talented musician and drummer have made an impression on many people, including numerous artists and modern musicians. What makes his music special?
What makes it unique? There is a unique quality about it that makes it quite powerful and hard to ignore. Look back at his career’s development and what helped to make him such an influential member of the modern music industry.
Early Influences That Transformed His Skill and Developed His Style
A look back at his career showcases what Josh Garza has accomplished, but nothing is more interesting than his unique style. A quick listen to any of the tracks he’s laid down with various groups over the last nearly 30 years can shed light on the power and ultimate performance that he brings to the table.
Garza’s style is his own, but he is the first to state that it is much like that of John Bonham, an English musician best known for his time as the drummer for Led Zeppelin. Josh Garza shares that he believes his inspiration and style is much like that of Bonham’s for several key reasons.
Speaking of the music style of Bonham, Garza shares, “John Bonham played his kit the way Hendrix played his guitar.”
Trying to explain what he meant by this, he shared the set up that he uses and how it compares to that of Bonham. “Obviously, the size of my drums have a lot to do with it.” Bonham used a setup that included two 16-inch floor toms, a 14 inch rack tom, and a 28 inch bass drum. The setup may not seem that unique to some drummers, but it is all in the way the guitars are tuned. According to Bonham, “I got the idea for the tunings on these big drums from reading that Bonham tuned his drums really high, like a big-band drummer. On my kick, the batter head is tuned high and tight, and the resonant head is loose and full of juice.”
The setup of the drum kit plays a big role in the overall experience that Bonham has and, therefore, what Garza creates. Yet, Josh Garza states, clearly, he is not the same drummer as Bonham and has developed his own unique sound. He states, “Of course, my drumming doesn’t sound exactly like Bonham – it sounds like Josh Garza – but it’s from that same school. One of my secret weapons is to dig deep, find the cannon sound, turn it up, and not be scared. I think that’s paid off for me.”
His sound is unique, creating quite the depth and the quality of character that many people enjoy. It is this contribution to the music industry – in the quality and the overall style of his drumming – that makes many think about Garza. There is more to him, though.
Exploring the World in Different Forms
Throughout his career, Josh Garza performed with many artists and influenced a lot of musicians in his own right. The best way to see the sheer length and impressive details of his contributions to the industry is to look at where it began.
Prior to the founding of The Secret Machines, Garza performed in a wide range of other groups, including UFOFU, Comet, Capitan Audio, When Babies Eat Pennies, and Tripping Daisy. He formed Capitan Audio with Regina Chellew in the late 1990s, but the addition of the brothers to the group changed the music style significantly. Led by Garza on drugs, Brand and Ben brought with them a bit more of a standard rock sound.
Garza’s initial EPs came from his time with this group, landing “My Ears Are Ringing but My Heart’s OK.” Later, “Luxury or Whether It Is Better to Be Loved Than Feared” was their second album. Luxury did well and began to bring Garza’s name into the public. However, the band disbanded as Garza and the brothers moved to New York City.
The Founding of the Secret Machines
Josh Garza is an American musician who has performed with a range of groups, but his most substantial contributions to the music industry come from his work with the Secret Machines, a group he formed with brothers Ben and Brandon Curtis. The alternative rock band was first founded in Dallas, Texas before it moved to New York City.
During the group’s early years, Josh Garza and the band recorded numerous EPs, including “September 000” in Chicago in 2003, just six weeks after they came together to formulate an official group. They worked over the coming months to develop more fully who they were and to carve out their place more fully in the industry. They developed more of their own sound. That led to their signing with Warner Brothers.
In 2004, the group launched its first official EP, called “Now Here is Nowhere” with the song “Nowhere Again” getting a lot of attention. It was used in various advertising campaigns, and in 2006, it was also used in the video game called “Driver: Parallel Lines.” Reviews were positive, which pushed the group to continue to perform and release music.
As it gained attention, the group launched “The Road Leads Where It’s Led” in 2005. While the album itself did well, the group also saw significant recognition and growth with their ability to open for Interpol during the 2004 tour for the group. They then went on to tour with Oasis throughout Europe. Finally, in 2005, they came home, co-headlining with Kings of Leon.
In the coming months and years, the group saw their fame grow, all the while bringing with it a unique edge to their music.
A Pause in 2010
In 2007, Ben left the group to form a new band called School of Seven Bells. And, after launching three full studio albums, it was time for Secret Machines to take a break, too. It was a unique period, a time when hip rock bands like their own were less interesting to the public, pulling them out of the light somewhat.
The group was forever changed when, in 2013, Benjamin died after a short battle with lymphoma. Josh Garza remembers thinking that he always assumed the group would be back together one day, but with the death of Benjamin, that was no longer possible.
A Fresh Start in 2020
Though the industry had changed significantly, Brandon Curtis and Josh Garza decided to come back with renewed energy. They launched “Awake in the Brain Chamber” in 2020, creating a new impression. The group still maintained its sonic densities, something it had become well known for, but it was now offering more conventional structures to its music.
Garza’s drumming remains as powerful as ever, including tearing through music with intense passion. The newer music was certainly different but well recognized for its quality and overall performance.
Award Winning Music
Josh Garza has long been recognized for his unique and passionate drumming. In 2005, he was recognized with an Esky Award for Best Drummer by Esquire Magazine. In 2009 and then in 2011, he was a featured artist in Modern Drummer Magazine.
Garza has also influenced other groups, with several groups sharing that he was an inspiration to them, including Kings of Leon and SilverSun Pickups. With a strong charm and an incredible ability to beat the drums, Josh Garza has had a lifetime of opportunity to impress the music industry with his abilities, and he’s not done yet taking on new challenges and creating new inspirational music with his band.