Mark Garza of the Famine

Mark Garza of the Famine Modern Drummer Drummer Blog

Photo by Chris Law

Okay, listen up, modern drummers! Mark Garza here, and first off, I grew up always dreaming of being on the cover of Modern Drummer. Now, I know this is not the cover, but it is a feature in which I can tell you a little bit about myself, and I’m equally proud to be considered in any association with Modern Drummer.

I’ve played what some would consider extreme drumming for about fifteen years and another six years in the rock world. I currently play for Texas metal-heads the Famine, and in my feeble attempt to be the Josh Freese of metal drumming, I have played national and world tours for such acts as Bleeding Through and my great friends in Living Sacrifice. I also started a band called Embodyment many years ago that continues to have its loyal following to this day. I have led a charmed life to play with such great musicians over my drumming career.

One thing you will tend to notice about my style is that I play with an urgency and I have a passion to create music that challenges peoples’ perception of what “modern drumming” is. I started the Famine back in 2007 with a group of guys that had been well versed in the thankless indie metal music scene, and we thoughtfully considered only playing music that we felt we could shape and influence as to take the pressure off of ourselves to write for radio. In other words, we set out to try to attack the metal market monster with the most ridiculous metal we could make and as fast as we could make it. What ended up happening was something way more than we could have imagined. Advertisement

We recorded our debut release, The Raven And The Reaping, in 2008 to an oversaturated and bloated metal scene, and we had a series of tragedies that would have sunk lesser bands. Everything tends to happen for a reason, and the past two years with the Famine were no exception. I had built a professional studio near my home in Arlington, Texas, to record bands and do session work out of. It was the culmination of all of the best recording studios that I had ever been in and cost me a year of my life and untold amounts of money. We were in the process of recording my first band as well as finishing up the preproduction for the new record from the Famine when we had a devastating fire in our central control room. We lost everything we had worked on and most of our gear, but most importantly I lost a lifetime’s worth of memories and stuff, including our motivation to fight through a recording process that was already hard enough as it was.

As I said before, though, things happen for a reason, and the fire was no exception. I had to do a three-week run with Bleeding Through in Japan and Australia a week after the studio went up in flames, and it was almost therapeutic to be filling in for monster drummer Derek Youngsma. First off, I got to pulverize a very nice rented kit on a nightly basis and hang out with one of my heroes, Dave McClain of Machine Head, for three weeks. This focused me as a drummer and made me realize that this was all a part of my story as an artist, and how I used the past year’s tragedies would also define me as a person, for better or worse. Luckily I came home and we immediately began creating what was to become The Architects Of Guilt.

This is the new video for “Ad Mortem” from The Architects Of Guilt, with some performance footage:

Check out this video done during The Architects Of Guilt session detailing some of the ins and outs of tracking drums for the Famine:

And this is a performance video showing some of the songs off The Raven And The Reaping:

For more on Mark Garza and the Famine, go to