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Josh Garza: A Look at The Drummer for The Secret Machine 

From his intense music to this passion for the industry, there are a lot of things Josh Garza is known for, especially as the drummer for The Secret Machines, a New York City-based rock band. Garza is an American musician with a long history of dazzling fans and creating music in a wide range of genres. Take a look at who he is and what has helped him to build his success. 

Josh Garza’s History

Born on May 13, 1976 as Joaquin Garza in Dallas, Texas, Garza began his career in 1991 and continues to be a recognized name in the industry. He was an original member of the band COMET, a noise pop band. In the latter part of the 1900s, he was also an original member of the band Captain Audio. 

The Secret Machines was founded with brothers Brandon and Ben Curtis. Garza is also a member of EFG, a Los Angeles-based rock band with other members Imaad Wasif and Tom Biller. 

His work earned him a lot of recognition throughout his career, with a few specifically memorable occasions. For example, in 2005, he won the Esky Award for Best Drummer from Esquire Magazine. Then, in 2009 and again in 2011, he was a featured article in Modern Drummer Magazine. 

In 2010, he participated in a number of notable experiences, including playing a series of shows at the Mercury Lounge and The Living Room in New York City. He performed with Diego Garcia, who is a former front man for the group Elefant. He also performed at The Standard Hotel in Miami Beach that year. That year he also produced drum tracks for John McBain, the former member of Monster Magnet and Hater and Wellwater Conspiracy. 

Though his early years were formidable, in 2011 he formed EFG. The group released an EP in November of 2011 and then a second at the start of 2012. Garza, along with Wasif and Biller, would continue to produce in the coming years. In 2016, they released a 7” vinyl single. They went on to announce “Thru The Future” an EP with six songs in September of 2016. 

With EFG, Garza was a part of three album releases. That includes two EPs released in 2011 and 2012, and an untitled single in 2016.

The Secret Machines

An American alternative rock band, The Secret Machines was founded in 2000 and continued to perform through 2010. Josh Garza played the drugs while Brandon Curtis was on vocals, bass guitar, and keyboards, and Benjamin Curtis provided guitar and backup vocal support. Benjamin remained with the group through 2007. During the group’s early years, they played in various Dallas bands including UFOFU, Tripping Daisy, and When Babies Eat Pennies. Within a year of founding, they had released “My Ears Are Ringing But My Heart’s Okay” as well as “Luxury Or Whether It Is Better To Be Loved Than Feared.” 

After releasing that album, The Secret Machines disbanded after taking an extended break. Garza as well as the Curtis brothers moved to New York at that point, leaving behind the other members. 

Their music was described as progressive rock though it also had some krautrock components to it. The band themselves stated their music was “space rock.” 

While there was little talk about the group for some time, in January of 2018, Brandon posted a video of Garza and himself in the studio, which piqued the interest of many people. In June, they announced “Awake in the Brain Chamber” and stated just 500 copies would be released on vinyl in August of 2020.  The album received positive recognition, including some of the best hair-raising energy ever produced by them. Notably, the material on the album was produced over nearly a decade of time. It was finished in 2019, though the group did not take steps to release it at that time and didn’t plan to until the pandemic. When that occurred, the band made the decision to release the album noting that, because of social distancing, they could release the music without having to talk about doing shows for it. They also did not have to worry too much about commitments for future plans. 

The brand has a long history of touring with some of the most recognized names in the music industry, including U2, Foo Fighters, Interpol, Kings of Leon, and Spiritualized. They were also involved in Lollapalooza in 2006 in Chicago. 

The Secret Machines have gained significant popularity over their music history. In total, they released seven albums together, with the first launched in 2008. Numerous Eps and singles went to exclusive platforms as well. 

Across the Universe

Another notable experience for Garza is that he performs three songs on “Across the Universe,” a 2007 film soundtrack. The movie focuses on the music of The Beatles. On that soundtrack, Garza performs the drums on “I AM the Walrus” while Bono sings. He also performs on “Blue Jay Way” and “Flying.” 

Exploring Josh Garza’s Music

When it comes to Garza’s music, there is nothing short of a weird, heavy vibe to it. He is the first to say his music was influenced by John Bonham’s drumming style. While that may be the case, he also states that his drumming does not sound just like anyone, including Bonham and it is uniquely his own. He is quoted as saying, “One of my secret weapons is to dig deep, find the cannon sound, turn it up, and not be scared. I think that’s paid off for me.” He shares plenty of similarities with Bonham, who was the legendary drummer for Led Zeppelin. Not only does his drumming have some similar style components, but he also has the same type of configuration to the drum kit he uses compared to that of Bonham. 

Garza states that he used Bonham as an influence but not to imitate him. Rather, he took that style and skill and then used it to take him further, moving him further. It is clear there are similarities in the music styles, but Josh Garza certainly has made his own path for himself. 

Garza also cites moving to New York as a significant changing point in his career. He changed his drumming work, creating a more modern sound that the new location represents. He helped him follow more of the music he loves, which includes hard and alternative rock banks like Silver Sun Pickups and Kings of Leon. 

A unique sound and a passion for music, there is no doubt Josh Garza’s music is unique and powerful, providing a unique view of alternative rock and progressive music.