A Band of Brothers: The Garden rock the stage their own way at the Rialto

With roots set in Orange County, California, twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears entered the So Cal punk scene in 2011 at 17 and have since fueled adrenaline rushes around the world with their experimental rock band The Garden. Now, they are bringing the intensity back to Tucson as they return to play on Saturday, Jan. 29 at the Rialto.

“There’s a magic to Tucson for sure, and we are excited to get back,” said Wyatt. “The Rialto will be the largest venue we’ve played in Tucson. It’s definitely a bucket list venue for us, and we can’t wait to play there.”

Shattered Faith, Social Distortion, T.S.O.L. and Circle One are among the So Cal inspirations who spawned the brothers’ mutual desire to rock out. Wyatt plays bass and sings, Fletcher plays drums and sings, and they have an electronic pad for sampled sounds. They also incorporated an electric guitar in their later albums for a more robust, authentic punk feel.

Although true to the punk foundations, their music maintains a certain level of unpredictability as they dip between genres and create a “hot mess of sounds,” said Wyatt.

Their debut studio album The Life and Times of a Paperclip was released in 2013 and showcases a simpler form of what can be heard on 2020’s Kiss My Super Bowl Ring.

The Life and Times of a Paperclip features narrower instrumental variety, as they only used bass and drums at the time. The songs play out in short, energetic spurts with none exceeding the two-minute mark. Compare this to the longer songs and more instrumentally diverse, genre-bending feel of Kiss My Super Bowl Ring.

The meaning and themes found within their lyrics match the unpredictable musicality.

“It’s kind of all over the place,” said Wyatt. “Sometimes it’s positive, sometimes it’s absurdist, and sometimes it’s just empty words that find a meaning later on.”

Through the cutting and distorted bass riffs and rapid sticking patterns on the drums, the lyrics exhibit nuanced experimentation as they go from speaking to screaming and monotone to melodic.

The brothers have a new album in the works.

“It pretty much just needs a title and a release date,” said Wyatt. “I’d say we are focusing more on the O.C. punk style and channeling that into it even more than we already have. We are trying to make some of the songs really catchy. Over the years, we have realized that the catchier the song is, the more fun we have playing it live, so we were trying to keep that in mind, as well.”

The band’s name comes from a metaphor Wyatt and Fletcher developed in high school regarding the nature of their music, which keeps growing and changing like a garden.

In this fashion, Wyatt and Fletcher have a longstanding motto keeping them working toward individuality.

“Vada Vada is about doing your own thing; doing it how you want it; staying in your own lane,” said Wyatt. “We aren’t trying to take away from the people around us. We are just trying to do our own thing.”

The Garden is playing for a 16+ audience on Saturday, Jan. 29 at the Rialto Theatre. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. with music starting at 8:00 p.m.

“See you at the show,” said Wyatt. “I think it’s going to be the best Tucson show we’ve ever played.”

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