Kevin Garcia, bassist of influential indie rock band Grandaddy passed away Tuesday night after suffering from what doctors called a “massive stroke” the previous day. Garcia was only 41.“There are no accurate words to express what we need to,” said the band on their Facebook page.
Grandaddy began in the early nineties in Modesto California along with vocalist/guitarist Jason Lytle, drummer Aaron Burtch, guitarist Jim Fairchild and keyboardist Tim Dryden. Garcia was only a teenager at the time. The band debuted with Under the Western Freeway in 1997 and released three more albums up until 2006, all featuring Garcia on bass. The music is characterized by Lytle’s gentle vocal drawl, their catchy and plodding melodies infused with synth and guitar, and a subtle experimental and psychedelic-leaning. The lyrics consistently address the advance of technology and its effect on nature and human society.
After a ten year hiatus, the group reunited. According to an interview with NME last August, Lytle had felt exhausted leading up to the ten-year break, having become preoccupied with how far he could take the band. “Jim (Fairchild) had to assure me that a lot of the workload was going to be distributed more evenly. [. . .] I’m a total worrier and perfectionist. I’m doing everything I can to ensure it’s simplified now.” Consequently, the band released Last Place in March. They had plans to begin touring May 7th. The band has not made public what they plan to do in Garcia’s absence.
Garcia is survived by his children, grandmother, parents, brothers and wife. The band has started a GoFundMe to help pay for Garcia’s medical costs. As of noon EST they have raised nearly 14,000 dollars, with an immense outpouring of respect, condolences and gratitude towards Garcia and his impact on the seminal indie rock group.
“We’ll have more to say in the days ahead. Right now the four of us are grieving together. With great sadness and love, Grandaddy”