Hello. SPC ECO is, as I understand, you Dean Garcia and Rose Berlin. Can we start out by some words to introduce your project and speak about how it began in the first place?
(dean): Hi, originally via an email convo with Joey Levenson, I reached out to him on myspace as I liked what he was doing, we began sharing files and ideas which were to become our first single release You’re Alright via ClubAC30. As I was working on the tracks I thought it would be a good idea to run them past Rose for vocal passes and input to see what happened, Rose (as always) owned the tracks straight away and instantly became the voice of S E. We went on to release the 3D album with Joey and then moved away from the collab with Joey to write more on our own with a view to be more open about who we collaborated and worked with which is what we’ve always done. SPC ECO is really all about Rose and I, come to think of it it’s really an extension of all the recordings we’ve made since Rose was 5.
(Rose) : Dad and I have made music together for as long as I can remember. I have always popped my head round the door when dads working on something and when I heard the beginning of this new stuff with Joey I felt that it was something I could really get into. I wanted to start a project with Dad anyway so with this I remember being excited to start something that I felt we could build on.
You’ve been on numerous labels in the past – with Curve and now SPC ECO. Why did you decide to release this new EP independently? Is there really a need for record labels these days?
(dean) : We like to go with instinct and flow, it’s good to have a label to support you with physical releases but as far as recording and releasing goes we like to be able put things out there at any moment that seems right to us. In another time this was always very restricted and such a long uncreative process waiting for labels to get their release schedules in place, it was a very different time and way of doing things, today it’s far more artist driven. There will always be the need for labels for various reasons but the artist is the key more than ever now due to the power and reach potential via all social media and internet, it’s just the way things are now. But if like us you still like the actual CD or better still vinyl in your hands and on the deck the record label is always good for that, in fact very good for that when it comes to Saint Marie Records, our label in the States.
What can you tell us about the new ‘Under My Skin’ EP?
(dean): I can tell you all the songs featured are very close in our hearts n minds, especially the title track which was formed on a wave of mixed and stressful emotions that Rose and I experienced during the recording of it. The collection of songs are all from an album we made called Dark Matter (except for the track Found) which was a kind of turning point for us, after being known mainly as a nu-gaze type band we decided to move away from the guitars for a while and dip into a more dark-hop kind of thing, downbeat and minimal with an emphasis on lofi character heavy beats, sub dub bass and Rose being the main focal points. For me the songs featured on the EP are all about the space you find yourself in while allowing yourself all the time you need to breathe it all in.
(Rose): I love the selection of tracks on this EP and really feel they work well together. The second track ‘Meteor’ is one of my absolute favourites and feel like it leads on from ‘Under My Skin’ really nicely lyrically.
The title track featured on US hit series ‘Teen Wolf’. How did that come about?
(dean): As all of these type of things come about, purely by chance, Laura Webb (music sup for Teen Wolf) came about the track via a music sync library we’re involved with, went with a gut reaction to it and presented it to the producers of the show and there you have it. A very timely placement for us which in turn has brought new listeners to SPC ECO, which is always a good thing. Getting your music heard is always a challenge, even more so due to the overwhelming music choices that are available today, so we’re really thankful that the song was chosen. A magic moment I call it, one of those things where everything just slots into place.
What kind of response are you getting about your new musical output?
(dean) :We’ve always had a steady and growing fan base for SPC ECO and the responses we get are generally that of amazing songs and how is it possible to be so prolific almost to the extreme, sometimes I feel we have to hold back with the recordings we make to allow the audience time to explore and digest them fully, but we do like to just get things out there in the moment. People are generally very receptive, supportive, encouraging whenever or however we release our EPs and albums. We feel we’re on the right roads at the moment, just following our instincts, I’ve just re read the question and I think you’re asking in a broader sense about my personal musical output, but the answer remains the same for all of the recordings I make or am involved with.
Have you been collaborating with any established or emerging artists lately?
(dean): I do get asked to produce and mix various upcoming bands n artists but I’m very particular about both the nature of the band/artist and my involvement within that, it has to grab me on every level for me to get involved, or I’m so particular about it that it puts people off. Either way it has to feel completely right due to my work with S E, and also because the main reason I’m still involved with the music business at all these days is because of Rose, she is the driving creative force behind it all for me, without her I would have arrived at the just dabbling stage years ago.
Are you planning any gigs in connection with this new release?
(dean): We do enjoy playing gigs at the moment of actually doing them, before the shows we are both terrified and after we just want out of the room, but the performance part is always a joy. We’ve stopped playing live for many reasons but are always open to offers we can’t refuse. No gigs are planned at this time, maybe we should get back on that, I/We have very mixed feelings about it as you can tell, but generally speaking if all the elements are in place we’d definitely be up for playing live again.
What inspired each of you when writing songs? Does it usually begin with an instrumental track or vocals?
(dean): Almost always begins with a track, a bare bones idea or a mystery drone of sorts in place for Rose to then have a ‘on the fly’ pass or two of vocal before we decide if it has any merit or worth pursuing, fortunately we have a high connectivity when it comes to recording, the chemistry is very apparent when in record mode, it’s something that just is and always has been, which is always the key to the success of making something (in our case a song) that you love.
(Rose): When I first do a pass quite often it’ll be the first time that I’ve heard the track. I find this itself quite inspiring as I like the intuitive nature of recording in this way. Once the first passes are done we go over the takes and build from there taking the best bits. I never start writing with the words first so when we do the final takes I’ll sit with the track for a while and work out what it is that is being said, but sometimes its nice to leave them as they are and have a bit of a Liz Fraser vibe.
When you’re not making music, how do you spend your time (or like to spend your time)?
(dean): I like to cook and watch films, I’m not much of a reader but have recently read The Bergman bio that Rose bought me which I loved. Cooking is top as I do most of the family meals, then film, all genres, slow film and especially foreign film, I’ve taken to it enthusiastically, my knowledge is minimal compared to those that really know their shit but I think I’ve gained some knowledge about it, I find it fascinating, much in the same way I used to be about music when I was much younger (teens to 25) Film has recently become my main focus as it enables and involves all the senses as well as pretty much everything I’m drawn towards, also it allows me to indulge in utter despair and misery which I find inspiring. Not everything I watch or seek out involves misery bleakness or hardship but they are the ones that seem to stick and inspire the most. I think I might need a holiday soon, preferably somewhere that involves the outside, with sunshine and blue sea, although having said that I’ve always preferred black n white images of the sea… 🙂
(Rose): I have recently dropped my days at work to focus more fully on my art. I work in a primary school as an art technician, which I love, but I was finding it really hard to balance everything whilst working full time. If I had a choice I would spend all my time making things but it can be hard to fight against self-doubt and keep momentum, I think I’m quite hard on myself though. It such a fantastic feeling to come home after work really tired and then to make yourself do something creative. Dad will quite often have a track ready and we’ll work on it before I have to go to bed. I always sleep better knowing that we’ve worked on something.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians specifically as an artist?
(dean): Well let’s try to be optimistic here, always make music that you love and enjoy making regardless of anything else, try to avoid making music that is outside of that place, obviously do what you have to do in order to get your name out there but be choosy and stick to it, after all the success is always within the making of something that you love, everything else can wait. Don’t get caught up in what others think you should be or sound like, you and your definition of sound or song is all that you should concentrate on, be prepared to fail, adapt and learn and remember you have the most important aid in the box, the delete option, which is just as important as the capture. Be true to yourself and you’ll be fine.
(Rose) :My life motto is ‘Gotta keep going, never ever stop!’ So my advice would be exactly that. Dads right, don’t change for anyone. If you love it then do it and, more often than not, you are your own worst enemy so just believe in your own ability.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians specifically about the industry?
(dean): Be mindful and suspicious, especially when it comes to all aspects of the business namely the people you employ, i.e. the managers, labels, promoters, publishers, PR, merchandise, record label A-R, band gurus, tour managers, accountants, lawyers and literally anyone who is outside of your close band mate family. Not one of these employed people are your friends. This is not to say that they are all crooks and scoundrels as I have known one or two that aren’t, but generally yeah eyes wide open, especially during those messy party times. Learn and try to stick to the original intentions, don’t be swayed into making extra more radio friendly songs, don’t agree that it’ll be fixed in the mix and never listen to your A/R especially if they wear those fucking horrible moccasin type shoes, avoid elders in linen suits at all costs, and never get off the tour bus on your own.
(Rose): I agree with dad mostly as he’s had more experience dealing with people in the music industry but saying that I like to think I’m more trusting of people generally. I don’t believe that everyone is out to get you but agree that you have to understand the worth of your music and not get sucked in to the hype of things. We’ve had great responses and experiences but then some not so great and to be honest I think it’s impossible to know which way things will go sometimes. Its always a bit of risk whenever you decide to work with someone new.
How did you end up working working with Shameless Promotion PR?
(dean): One of those things that just happens for the right reasons, connectivity, mutual understanding and general tuned in ness factor. Shauna is very committed, informed and connected, plus she really likes working with us as we do her, it’s mutual respect in full flow.
(Rose) :Shauna is lovely and the most on-the-case person I know!
Dean, when you were with Curve, did you enjoy touring and playing live? How much of that has carried over into your developments with SPC ECO?
(dean): I did enjoy some of the touring, I always enjoy the shows but its the other 22 hours a day I find disturbing and very disruptive. You have to find things to do that don’t involve drinking etc. otherwise you end up like a dried prune with a speech impediment. TBH I was relieved to end the touring with Curve, not because I didn’t like the playing aspect – I loved it, it was the being away from my very young family that caused me to implode and ultimately reject that part of being in a band. I’ve got post traumatic touring syndrome, as you have to take into consideration all the previous touring outside and before Curve I’d done. It’s a major head fuck if like me you enjoy being at home with Fam and loved ones more than anything else. As far as it impacting on the work I do with SPC ECO. Yes it did impact it as in I would not be able to or have done any of it if outside touring commitments were involved, I’m a recording artist that likes to record, perform and produce their own records, touring has it’s place but for me it’s always been troublesome, fraught with danger, not knowing if the plane will crash or the bus fall from the bridge type stuff…Yeah not for me really, I have difficulty managing a trip to the corner shop but I’m ok when it comes to visiting the chippy so not entirely hopeless.
Rose, you are an artist in multiple respects – can you tell us about your other field(s) of artwork? What about you Dean?
(Rose): When I was little I could never seem to choose between art and music, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be. I made the decision when applying for university that I would study art as I didn’t read music and couldn’t have studied it at university without knowing how (uh I know…WTF is that about?)… At university I realized that I didn’t have to choose between art and music. I started making light sculptures and then sound installations and it just spiraled from there. I remember having this realization that art and music can be part of the same thing. I enjoy making sounds pieces and installations that bridge that gap between music and sound art and have used samples from SPC ECO songs in my sound pieces. I’m interested in what makes music, music and what makes sound art, sound art to see where the boundaries actually are. I’ve never fully understood why we have to put everything into little boxes in order to make them understandable so like to break boundaries and make art that urges people to question their perceptions of both music and sound art. At the moment I’m working on some new pieces for a show I’m doing in March.
(dean): I don’t have any other fields of work as such other than parenting, and as any parent will tell you it is the only field of work that you’ll ever have. I do like to dabble in art bollocks as in ideas and have recently been drawn to writing something about the industry or my time within it but other than that parenting with a dose of music is all.
Do you have social media accounts so that your fans can follow you?
(dean) yes, we’re active within all of the main ones i.e. FB Twits n Tumble etc, for the links to all we have them all listed at
Official Website: http://www.spceco.com
‘Under My Skin’: https://youtu.be/kf02c_Hz3Ig
‘Creep in the Shadows’: https://youtu.be/njkMw68vpXI
‘Think Twice’: (‘Anomalies’ LP – 2016): https://youtu.be/9YHoTbC3SXw