Gardeners Logic have been sowing musical seeds for many years now and letting their branches flourish into a canopy that blankets the local Orange County indie scene. Currently consisting of members Ian Bailey (vocals/guitar), Vince Phung (guitar/keys), Gary Westmoreland (guitar/lap steel), Mike Willson (drums), Ryan Martinez (bass), and Alexandra Jack (vocals), the Huntington Beach band takes advantage of the MAPS the professional recording studio run by Willson in Fullerton. After almost two years of work on their most recent album, Gardeners Logic are ready to release their newest recorded effort, People Are Places, which succeeds in capturing a sense of nostalgia, longing, loss, regret, mixed with a bit of foresight towards a new and better day—all the token traits of what it’s like to experience the end of an extended relationship. Lead singer Ian Bailey spoke to the Weekly a bit about their inspiration for new album, their upcoming release show this weekend at The Wayfarer, and his take on the growth of the group as they’ve come to establish their present lineup.
OC Weekly: (Kim Conlan) What was the process of writing this album?
Ian Bailey: It started about two years ago. I was in a transitional period; a relationship had just ended, things were changing around me, and I just started writing. I think the first song that I actually wrote for it was “Virginia,” and then I just kept writing. The first year was the preliminary process to figure out what works, see if there’s a story I want to tell all the way through. Then we tackled the demo process. I’d do the scratch tracks on my phone and then send them to Mike Willson, who’s our drummer and he produced the album.
Can you tell me about MAPS and how that studio played into this experience?
MAPS was the studio that Mike Willson, myself, and Gary Westmoreland opened when we were about 19 in Huntington Beach, and ended up moving to Fullerton. After that move to Fullerton, we got to record the Gardeners’ record in there, kind of like ‘let’s christen this new spot.’ That was a really neat experience, ‘cause the first record that we did out of the spot in Huntington was the first Gardeners’ EP, so we wanted to stick to that trend.
What themes were arising when you were writing?
I think I really wanted to try to capture what it’s like being in a long-term relationship, and then being out of a long-term relationship. That was what was on the forefront of my mind, so it’s definitely a breakup record. I think there’s nine songs that are the journal entry route, then there are songs that are a bit more metaphorical. There’s this element of going away and leaving things, and starting over. And it was important that it didn’t really come to any resolution. I wanted it to have that ambiguous feeling, and I wanted to make something that just felt like a moment in time.
What do you have in store for the release show?
We have Alexandra Jack, who sings with me on “Virgina.” Her band Alexandra Jack & The Visions are opening the night, and I can’t say enough good things about them. And then Fellow Bohemian have been great friends of ours for a long time. We did a bunch of our first shows together, so it’s always fun to play with them on the same bill, and I’ve enjoyed seeing their development so much. And then Shape Pitaki, they are also releasing their EP that they’ve been working really hard on, and I’ve had the opportunity to hear that and it sounds amazing. It’s kind of a co-release show, so it’s just as much their night as it is ours.
How does the idea behind the name Gardener’s Logic relate to this new album?
For me the name was always a metaphor for growth and control, in a weird way, but definitely the idea that things grow and things change. I think that maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy thing. When the band started, it was already changing. The lineups were changing all the time, and we had so many friends come in and play on things. I think it grew into the live band that you hear on the record. It was able to develop into that and we found people and sounds that we really liked and we got to make a record with that. I think as far as where the name is at now, it’s development, and it is change, and hopefully it’s progression.
Gardeners Logic perform with Shape Pitaki, Fellow Bohemian, Alexandra Jack & The Visions at the Wayfarer on Feb. 11. For full info click here.