Interview With Ecuador’s Juan S Garces

Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, how are you today?

Hello Keith and everyone at Metalheads Forever. Thank you for having me! I am doing well, thanks. Just working hard on promotion for the new album. I appreciate you checking it out and the positive review.

Personal Warfare was out on June 10, 2022, can you tell me about the songwriting and production behind the album?

Writing music for this album was a great challenge, mainly because I was trying to discover or find my own sound. This involved a lot of experimentation and discarded ideas, just to keep the ones I felt most connected with. I wrote the parts for all the instruments and programmed them into my computer. Then I recorded demo guitars on top, just to have something that sounded as “real” as possible and conveyed the idea properly. Those demos were sent out to the other musicians, with whom I worked individually to fine tune their parts and all the final arrangements. That collaboration was fantastic, as it allowed everyone to bring their ideas and identities into the music. I wanted them to feel free to express themselves and do their own thing. And that worked very well! The songs grew and blossomed beautifully. Then it was just a matter of execution. Each musician tracked their parts individually, including myself, and it was all brought together in the mix by the great Forrester Savell.

Was there a concept behind the album?

I see why you might perceive it that way, but it was not intentional. I wrote about themes and topics that were close to my heart. I wanted to talk about my own experiences, thoughts, and feelings, rather than make up stories. I wanted to be honest with myself, so in a way, I treated both the music and the lyrics as a memoir. This album captures a specific period of my life – it is very personal, therefore the title. I guess you could say there is a common thread or overarching theme throughout the songs. If you want to call it a concept album, that’s fine by me.

Cover-Art work is amazing, would you like to tell me about the work and theme behind the art?

Thank you! I too believe it’s amazing and I love it. The artwork is one of the many fortunate and almost “magical” moments from the production of this album. It was done by Lenore Ani – AniArtworks. I’ve always thought that artists do their best work when they have the freedom to do their own thing. As an example, it would never make much sense to me to hire a painter and tell them “hey, I want you to paint this exact picture, with these colours here and there”. You would be killing their creativity before they even start. I think there is a lot of value in the original and personal vision of each creator. So that is how we approached it. I sent Lenore the music and the lyrics, and I asked her to interpret them in her own way and translate that inspiration into images. She came back with this stunning artwork, which I feel captures the essence of the music extremely well! We’ve had our private conversations about the themes and meanings portrayed in the art, but I prefer to leave that up to the imagination of anyone who sees it and listens to the music.

How is the touring plans looks like?

Unfortunately, there are no touring plans for the time being. This is my very first album, so I am just trying to make it available to the right audience. I would only take it out on the road with the musicians who recorded it, so that may be quite a challenge. We live in different countries; they have their own bands. There would need to be a lot of interest in the project for that to happen. Hopefully someday!

How it all started and how you formed as a band?

I reached out to my favourite musicians and invited them to record the album, and I was lucky enough that they all said yes! I sent them the demos I mentioned before, they liked what they heard and were interested in participating. I was joined by Ray Hearne on drums, Conner Green on bass (both from Haken), and Meyrick de la Fuente on vocals (from Exist Immortal). 

Started an early career in the music world, how has the musical journey been so far?

Extremely difficult and challenging! I live in a country where it is hard to say there is a “music industry” – maybe an emerging one? There are a few bands around, but there is nowhere near as much activity as in some other places in the world. Musicians here struggle to find spaces to perform, and to get paid properly for their work. Even finding musical equipment or accessories is a reason for headache. That’s why I am very appreciative of the few opportunities I’ve had. Yes, I have been doing music professionally for quite a while now, but somehow, I feel this album is the real start of my journey.  

What would be some of the upcoming plans?

To keep writing, producing, and releasing original music! Mainly. There are so many things I want to do! I have another project and enough music written for a first album. I am already itching to start writing for a second JSG album. I would love to be able to create some videoclips for Personal Warfare. I want to put out physical CDs, guitar playthrough videos, transcription books, etc. Doing all these things require funding, so I would encourage the reader – if you like what I do – to support my career in any way you can. Please consider: a) buying a digital copy of Personal Warfare on Bandcamp, b) donating via PayPal, c) subscribing to my Patreon, or d) following me on my socials and streaming services. It all helps, thank you! 

All the links are here:

www.juansgarces.com

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