Live & Direct with Diego Garcia

Mike Sauter hosted a Live and Direct Session with Diego Garcia December 11th, 2013 on the last night of their tour before heading back to New York City.

Mike asked Diego about life on the road . “Well you start off clean and end up pretty dirty. You go through a lot on the road, and it’s a blur. It’s beautiful.” Mike said he was following Diego Garcia on social media and saw that when they were in Michigan they found a Ted Nugent pinball machine. “Yeah, you see those things on the road, along the best burger in the United States. Being on the road has really turned into a culinary experience. It really has! With the iPhone, you can find the best coffee, the best burger, the best you name it. And each town has the best of something, you just have to find it. And this burger had blue cheese and bacon built into the meat! I mean, GQ rated it the number one burger last year in the country. It was gourmet.”

The new album by Diego Garcia is called “Paradise”, and Mike wanted to know about some of the more complex, moodier songs that don’t quite match the tone of “Sunnier Days”. Diego began by explaining his last record, Laura. He had just lost his love while writing that, but she came back into his life while he was writing for Paradise. “Emotionally I was in a completely different place, and I was daunted. What was I going to write about? One song lead to another, and life is these sunny moments, but it’s anchored by the everyday, getting through things. So I think this record touches on the idea that now she’s with me and I have to take care of her, and that can be scary. And you got to nurture that relationship or you could lose her just as easily as the last time.”

 

Mike asked about “Start with the End”, wondering what Diego’s inspiration was. “I finished writing all these songs, and we looked at the album and thought we were missing an opener. We really wanted to create an iconic opening to this new record. I had a lot on my mind, I wanted to celebrate that not only was she back in my life, I have a daughter and a new label. Everything had just sort of fallen into place.”

Diego Garcia’s solo material is much different than his work with his former band Elephant. “A band is so defined by each person’s personalities, and you just can’t mess with that. It’s either great, or just leave it alone. When I went into the studio as Diego Garcia, the question was ‘Who am I?’ We spent five years figuring that one out.” Diego said that it was beautiful to be a part of Elephant, but being in a group never really sat well with him. He really just wanted to do some solo material.

Diego played “My Heart is an Island”, and Mike wanted to ask about something Diego had said about the song. Diego had said in another interview that “My Heart is an Island” is his favorite song that he’s ever written. “I’ve always wanted to write an ocean song. That’s like next level for songwriters when you go there.” There is an actual island called Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean that the US military is stationed on. Diego said that was actually part of the inspiration for the song, but it also touches on the idea of an artist touring. “You go through each town, you let people in but not all the way. No offense. My heart is an island.”

Mike Sauter, a huge Beatles fan, wanted to hear more about Diego’s experience with George Harrison. Diego told this story in an interview with Cindy Howes on the Morning Mix (http://www.wyep.org/audio/diego-garcia-on-the-morning-mix) , and it really is incredible to hear Diego tell it.

 

The last question that Mike asked Diego was about his daughter. Diego’s daughter is three years old, and inspired one of the songs on the album Paradise. “I had a song lying around with the idea of a girl dancing, and she just helped me write that song. She doesn’t stop, she’s 3 years old now, and she just doesn’t stop dancing.”

Set List:

You Were Never There

My Heart is an Island

Let's Start With the End

Harvest Moon

She Dances