A Trip In The Garden

A Trip In The Garden

THE GARDEN ARE TWO OF ROCK'S MOST FASHIONABLE MEN (FAMOUSLY SCOUTED BY HEDI SLIMANE FROM A SAINT LAURENT CAMPAIGN), AND THEY HAPPEN TO BE RELATED

THE GARDEN ARE TWO OF ROCK'S MOST FASHIONABLE MEN (FAMOUSLY SCOUTED BY HEDI SLIMANE FROM A SAINT LAURENT CAMPAIGN), AND THEY HAPPEN TO BE RELATED

Photography: Socrates Mitsios

Styling: Tiff Horn

Text: Natasha Stagg

As a twin, I know that being asked the common twin questions ("Can you read her mind?" "Did you guys have a secret language?") can be a little trying, if only because the conversation is hard to steer away from at times when small talk is the only option. The answers will often change, and sometimes, when the question of siblinghood arises, I'll simply leave my own status out of the conversation. It's not that being a twin isn't fun. It's that talking about anything this often isn't.

That said, when I meet other twins, like the brothers who form The Garden, Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, I jump at the chance to compare notes. And interestingly, the brothers don't shy away from being seen as a pair. On the contrary, they've starred in many an editorial together, like the L.A.-shot exclusive above, they perform and tour as a duo, and their press release states they do have a secret language (their favorite phrase is "vada vada"). I had to know: was finding the public eye as brothers, as opposed to separately, as individuals (they each perform in solo projects as well) worth all the twin-related attention?

How long have you two been working together on The Garden?

FLETCHER SHEARS Since 2011.

Fletcher, how long have you had your side project, Puzzle?

FS Since 2012.

Were you working on other solo efforts before that, or were you in other bands?

FS I tried very hard to do other solo projects. Nothing worked for me, at all. It was a total joke. And yes, I played in quite a few other bands before The Garden.

Wyatt, how long has Enjoy been going on, and what were you doing before The Garden?

WYATT SHEARS I've been writing as Enjoy since 2010. Before The Garden, I played in several different bands, as I finished up schooling.

Do you know a lot of other twins?

FS We used to.

WS I know some here and there.

Have you ever participated in a scientific study that asked for twins?

FS I have not, nor have I looked into it. I forget i'm a twin a lot of the time.

WS I have heard of some, yes. I haven't explored it too much though.

Growing up, did the two of you assume different roles, socially? 

FS Mm.. I really don't think so.

WS I think at times we did, without fully being aware of it. Sometimes it just unfolds that way.

Do you think the way you behave and the instruments you choose to play are tied together?

FS No. I play the only instruments I can physically play. The way I behave when I play them is simply based on impulse and feeling, I don't put much thought into performing. That has worked good and bad for me in the past.

WS I personally don't consider myself to be a run of the mill bass player. I know that I will never be the most skilled when it comes to playing the instrument, but at the same time I would like to be recognized for playing it uniquely.

For me and my identical twin sister, we had a very dependent relationship as small children, and then we went through a period of rebellion towards each other, and now we’re almost inseparable again (at 29). I’ve talked to some other twins about these types of stages, and it seems like our pattern is pretty common. Did you two go through similar growing pains?

FS We've always been close. Not to the point where we can't function if we're apart, but we've always had a strong bond. No falling out.

WS As twins we have our differences and there will always be hills to climb because we are different people, but at the same time, we are in this life together and I know we will always be close.

What are the most annoying twin questions you get asked?

FS It's not about the question, it's about the when the question is being asked, for me.

WS I only tend to get bothered if the question is repeated constantly by the same individual.

For me, it’s always, “What’s it like?” or something else I couldn’t possibly answer, since I don’t know any different. It’s kind of like being asked if being a man or a woman influences your art: of course it does, as it can’t possibly not, in some ways. But in other ways, you could use your gender or family situation as a point of reaction. Do either of you, while making music, consciously think of it as reflective of your relationship as twins?

WS I think that that is a creative way to think about it , but that's not our aim or our message. With The Garden, our focus isn't really aimed towards being twins. That is what people recognize very early, which is great, but for us it's about working together as two individuals to make up what is The Garden. If I do everything by myself, it's not The Garden or vice versa.

Have each of you toured without your brother?

FS Every tour I've ever done with the exception of one has been with Wyatt.

WS I did one tour with Enjoy in which Fletcher was not involved, otherwise we always tour together. I don't really prefer either, but we tour a lot and we know the drill together well.

How did this tour you just finished go? Any highlights you want to mention?

FS 'Twas an excellent tour, we did a lot of things we've never done before. Well, we played with Warpaint in Birmingham and then did an aftershow down the street where we headlined, so it was kind of our show... Anyway, it was in this ultra-small studio space that could only hold, like, 75 people. The whole place was just madness basically, totally insane. I remember specifically everyone was using my bass drum as a high point in order to stage dive. At one point I remember standing up on my bass drum during the electronic part of our set and slipping backwards... I uncontrollably and violently fell on my back and head onto the ground below where a nice pile of hard drum stands were laying. Really surprised I was able to get right up from that, and so was everyone else I think. But I can still feel it.

Had you heard of Hedi Slimane before you were scouted?

WS I hadn't heard much of Hedi at the time. I was trying to get past my jetlag, but he came off very kind, and he still is today.

Does he mix the two of you up?

WS Not that I know of.

Who mixes you up?

WS People do constantly, but it's just a part of life.

What can I expect to be released from each of you (or the two of you together) next?

FS As The Garden we will be releasing our second full-length LP this year. As Puzzle, I'm halfway through my newest album. That will probably be done this month.

WS Enjoy is in metamorphosis.

What’s your favorite part about being in a band: writing, recording, touring, or press?

FS Writing and touring.

WS Writing, being creative, progressing, and seeing the result of all three.

from left: Wyatt wears turtleneck Pari Desai suit vintage Thierry Mugler jewelry his own  Fletcher wears turtleneck his own  jacket and vintage pants Comme Des Garçons

Clothing and Jewelry Wyatt's own

clothing and jewelry the Shears' own

from left: Wyatt wears clothing and jewelry his own   Fletcher wears shirt Comme des Garçons scarf Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane jeans and jewelry his own

top Fletcher's own

From left: Fletcher wears Top Alexander Wang  jewelry, belt, and jeans his own   Wyatt wears kimono Valerj Pobega jeans, belt, and jewelry his own

Jacket Versace top and scarf vintage  Pants, accessories, and earring Fletcher's own

from left: Wyatt wears jeans Phlemuns sweater Gucci gloves stylists own  hat his own   Fletcher wears jacket Versace top and scarf vintage  Pants, accessories, and earring Fletcher's own

Wyatt wears turtleneck Pari Desai suit vintage Thierry Mugler jewelry his own

From left: Wyatt wears turtleneck vintage  pants his own   Fletcher wears coat vintage  pants his own  necklace Cast of Vices

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