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The Hot Sweat
Goo Goo Dolls
By Ashley Rosenberg-- Staff Writer, Pacific/Southwest

Last week, Guster released a new album, Easy Wonderful, after a four year break.  The band is now in the midst of planning tours and getting back in touch with their fans while balancing their newly found lives as fathers.  Though the band has been busy doing press about their album and tour, Adam Garder, Guster's guitarist was nice enough to take some time to talk to me about the band, the new album, and what has been going on since their last album release and tour.

Ashley Rosenberg: Introduce yourself to Musiqtone fans and readers
Adam Gardner: I am Adam Gardner, one third of the founding members of Guster.  We started as friends in college and our band grew from there.

AR: How would you describe Guster's music  to those who have never heard it before?
AG: Vikings with the condiment, mayonnaise.

AR: Define yourself within the band.
AG: I started as just playing the guitar, but as the band evolved, I took up more instruments including the keyboard, bass, and trumpet.  I'm the more spiritual one and the environmental one.  My wife, Lauren and I actually started Reverb, a non for profit that helps bands green up their tours.

AR: Tell us more about Reverb.
AG: After being on tour, I noticed how bad touring actually was for the environment.  There was so much garbage inside and outside of the venues and we were driving gas guzzling busses and vans thousands of miles across the country.  We wanted to reverse the negative impact of touring on the environment.  My wife was the one who really brought the idea to life and since 2004, we have greened over 100 major tours and over 2,000 concerts.

AR: Let's talk about the new album, Easy Wonderful.  What inspired this album?
AG: Our inspiration comes from out natural cycle.  When we're touring, we just focus on tour, staying healthy and staying healthy until the end of tour. Usually we are a year and a half on tour and a year and a half writing and creating. Once we get to the end of tour, our creativity really starts flowing and we want to get going and write new material to end the tour with.  This cycle was a little different; we took four years off because of fatherhood.  The band actually had four babies this year and my wife and I are expecting our next child this year.

AR: What is your writing process for albums like?
AG: We write in every way.  Usually, we lock ourselves in a room for weeks at a time until we come up with good material.  This album was different because of the new additions to our families; this time, we did our writing a week at a time.  I actually liked this better because we would be there, concentrating on it and then step back when we left.  We came back with more perspective when we went in the next time to write.  

AR: What is the most significant song for you on the new album?
AG: It's too early to tell.  Since we're just starting with these songs and have not played them much, it's too hard to narrow it down yet.

AR: What is your favorite song to play live?
AG: I think that would be Hang On which is on Ganging Up On The Sun. It is one of the songs that I get to play the keyboard in; its fun for me since I don't get to play the keyboard very often.

AR: How has your band evolved in the past 18 years?
AG: We started out just as kids in college.  We've been able to stay together and grow because we have all been getting better.  The band itself and our music has been getting stronger.  Our albums have progressed and we have together grown artistically.  We have been able to make a living playing our music; people are coming to see us.

AR: What is your opinion on the music industry today?
AG: We are signed with a major label, so we can't complain, but we love that we have a great direct relationship with our fans so that we are not completely dependent on the industry itself.  We are very happy with our label switch.  Anything that the label can do for us is like icing on the cake; it just adds to the great positions we are in.  We've had our songs on television shows, on the radio, in movies, and we just really appreciate the awareness that our label creates for our music.

AR: Can you tell us about an artist or band that you think everyone needs to check out?
AG: Now I'm trying to think of the most obscure one I can think of.  Actually, I'm going to say Luke Reynolds.  Joe is not touring with us right now, but Luke is.  Though he is on the road with Guster, he is also his own artist.  He recently released an album called Maps and its really good.  People should definitely check that out.

AR: Is there anything else that you'd like to tell us or a message that you'd like to give to your fans.
AG: Hmm, I think I said it all.

The Hot Serat
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