"I can't believe it's already December," I thought while looking at my tattered 2014 daily planner. I noticed an interview scheduled with Todd Space, bass player for a great new local band, Golden Glades. I compulsively began to write down five emergency questions, which serve to prevent awkward silence during an interview with an artist whose work I admire:
1. How would you like a nice, greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?
2. Wouldn't you love to wrap your hairy arms around Rob Halford while riding on the back of his motorcycle?
3. Do you believe in satan?
4. Would you like fries with that?
5. Is marijuana legal yet?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, please continue reading; and let the gods of mystic metal take you for an enchanting stroll through the Golden Glades.
According to its Bandcamp, Golden Glades is an "experimental Heavy Metal band," featuring Todd Space (bass,vocals) and Ryan Richmond(drums). However, the band's moniker comes from an experience Todd had on the actual Golden Glades: that massive cement behemoth known to South Floridians as a pillar of road rage. A gargantuan interchange of highways, expressways, turnpikes, and state numbered roads to nowhere. It is a mammoth of swirling concrete, a masterpiece of "land art" more beautiful than any sculpture in an Art Basel exhibition.
Sirens flash like strobe lights while thousands of commuters burst with madness on its eternal traffic jam. This Golden Glades is where the soul of Todd Space fell through the cracks of sanity amidst a recent morning rush hour. He pulled over in a frenzy, called drummer Ryan, and named their unrevealed rock band after the monstrosity itself. This is its story. This is the future of rock and roll. This is Golden Glades.
Miami native Space has spent much of his adult life exploring the mountains, swamps, and deserts of earth via cruising for long durations on his motorcycle. Combining his Easy Rider lifestyle with a love for Black Sabbath, the music of Golden Glades perfectly captures this aesthetic.
While listening to the band, you can feel the atmosphere inside your head change. The sensation may be similar to mounting the back of Rob Halford's Harley with your arms tightly wrapped around the metal god's waist. You cling tighter to Halford as he goes faster and faster.
This becomes a 100 mph joyride as the engine roars deliciously. You are heading out to the highway, with nothing to lose at all! "Screaming for vengeance!" you yell as hundreds of black vultures circle overhead. This is the music of Golden Glades.
We met up with Mr. Space at, of all places, Starbucks. We wanted to make this a special interview, so I ordered the new Oprah chai tea. I imagined one could shape-shift into the talk show host while ingesting the beverage.
Space is a mad scientist, you see, but not just in the unified field of music. When he puts down his bass guitar and electronic music accessories, he is in fact head of the Science Department at Miami Central High School (where he teaches Biology). He is kinda like a stoner-rock version of Milo from the Descendents.
I sipped my Oprah with cream and sugar. I put my hand under my chin and in my Oprah voice asked, "If my name was Todd Space, would I be more hip?" There was no response. In fact, Todd had not yet joined me at the small table. The studio audience and TV cameras were just an illusion, a side effect of the tea.
"Oh, there you are," he said, "You're starting to look a little like Oprah."
I blushed and fixed my hair as he sat down and played some new Golden Glades music from his iPhone for me. I asked him to describe the music of Golden Glades in his own words.
"Loud and heavy is the way of the Golden Glades," he answered while sipping Cuban coffee from a Styrofoam cup (purchased from a smiling vendor across the street). "The bass is cranked and distorted. The drums pound; the sound bites whirl in and out." He continued, "Although all of our songs are original, often times we'll rip riffs directly from a fast punk band called the Duces from Berlin, and we'll just slow them way down."
"Go on," I said excitedly, as the spirit of Oprah flowed through my veins. He appreciated my encouragement and continued.
"Other times we'll rip riffs directly from Turkish or Persian garage-style '70s era rock, and
I asked how being a Biology teacher influences his music. "It doesn't," he answered with a wink, "at least not in any way that I'm aware of."
He then began to tell me of his five year sabbatical in Berlin where he witnessed Sunn O))) in concert at a club called Berghain. He described the smoke machines, the hooded robes, the venue filled with sweaty Germans, and a vibrating metal staircase.
I then noticed that I had scribbled "Nugget/ Amsterdam/ 420" on my legal yellow notepad, but it's not what you think. Todd was telling me about how his fiancé, Terri Cooper, founded 305 Yoga, their trip to Amsterdam, and how they are expecting a baby (whose tentative name is Nugget) on 4-20!
Todd then explained that they have purchased their own ultrasound machine to listen to little Nugget's heartbeat. He has been using samples from the ultrasound and running it through effects pedals for the Golden Glades upcoming live show!
This led to our next question. "Besides the ultrasound, what are some other sources of your sampling?" I asked.
"We prefer to test the audience to see if they can determine the source of the samples," he answered. "A few are impossible to pin-point, like me with a handheld digital recorder wandering the streets of India... When you hear wind blowing or mumbling voices, these are most likely from '60s era Samurai flicks," he pauses and says, "Kurosawa, naturally."
"Kurosawa," I repeated slowly while taking another sip of Oprah.
Golden Glades with Caligavit, Kief Demon, composer Sebastian Madrigal, Surprise Doom Band, 8 p.m., December 6, at Jump the Shark, 810 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Cover is $5.