Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation

Bothering the Band – Rob Garza

One half of the world-renowned pioneering electronic outfit, Thievery Corporation (with Eric Hilton), Rob Garza is 100% of GARZA, a collaborative musical experience conjured up by the man himself, which seeks to explore more of his love of electronic music, while embracing more nu-disco, boogie and deep house. Also the head of Magnetic Moon Records, Rob Garza is a vanguard, consistently pushing conceptual frontiers, succeeding in an intercontinental legion of musical prowess and accomplishing a covetable sonic narrative. Bothering Rob was a sonic blast of fun, combining psychedelic electronica with a string octet in an immersive, designed space.

1. Have you ever been robbed?

I’ve actually been robbed a couple times. One time, I was in Washington DC in the late 90’s. It was late at night and I was walking back to my girlfriend’s place and I passed this guy who was in an alleyway and as I was walking up the sidewalk I heard this fast running behind me and I was thinking oh fuck. I turned around and this guy who seemed really nervous had a gun  pointing at me asking for my bag that I was carrying. I had crazy adrenaline going through me and without hesitation handed him the bag. It had the master tapes for our forthcoming album. Luckily we still had another back up at the studio. The story made the press in the UK, something about Thievery Corporation getting robbed.

2. What’s the weirdest place you’ve heard your own music playing?

I’ve heard Thievery music playing in so many different places in different parts of the world. From dentists offices to strip clubs. I remember one time I was super late running to the airport and thought for sure I was going to miss my plane and just as I entered the terminal our song “Lebanese Blonde” started playing. I considered it a great omen and that in the end I would make my flight. Fortunately, the flight was delayed and everything was cool.

3. Garbanzo Beans or Chickpeas?

I’m going chickpeas, but I think they might be the same.

4. Do you have magnets on your fridge?

I have a 10-year-old son, so I have lots of magnets with photos and art on my fridge. I also have some various polaroids from Thievery tours.

5. Where were you when you heard the news about Toots (of Toots and the Maytals) passing?

I was with my manager, Brian Ross, who had actually worked with Toots and got to know him a bit. I was pretty devastated to hear the news. One time, we played in Jamaica and we were DJ’ing in somebody’s backyard party. The host told us to hold back our DJ set because Toots was going to sing some songs. We had no idea what they were talking about because Toots wasn’t on the bill. We were really surprised when he took the stage right before us. We were totally blown away. What a voice. We were so honored to actually be able to share the stage with a phenomenal legend such as him.

6. Honestly, how do you feel about the term ‘Trip-Hop’?

I try not to get too wrapped up in label terminology. They come and they go. Back when we started, there were terms like acid jazz, trip hop, chill out, new med, Balearic, etc. You can describe it however you like, but the music stays the same.

7. Would you rather rollerblade the streets of San Francisco while carrying a bag of hammers or work a corporate desk job in DC for a year?

I would rather rollerblade in the streets of San Francisco carrying a bag of hammers. You might end up with an art car or something. There’s a lot of creative energy here.

8. Have you tried to learn anything new during crazy COVID times?

I’ve been learning how to do streams and broadcast over various platforms. It’s so challenging these days and if you want to do anything performance-based, it’s necessary to learn the tools for this whole new world.

9. What’s the last thing you stole?

I got caught in a stolen car when I was a teenager. Since spending a couple nights in jail, I haven’t had the desire to steal anything since.

10. If all the birds stopped singing, how long would it take you to notice?

I live pretty close to the water. I’d like to think that I would notice in a couple hours, but that really depends if I’m creating music, wherein I get lost listening to music for hours.

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