“It has a monster groove.”
That is how noted American producer and drummer Butch Vig described the song “Dark Times” by Project E.A.R. (East Asian Revolution) that is the last recorded work of the late Jamir Garcia.
The song slowly eases its way in like those old creepy Korn songs after which the thumping bass and thunderous drums come in that grab you by the jugular and never lets go.
It’s a darn good song made perhaps more poignant and bittersweet by the ongoing pandemic and the passing of Jamir Garcia who penned the song’s lyrics and is his last recorded work.
“Dark Times” written and sung by Jamir Garcia with Project E.A.R. features the late Lean Ansing (guitars) of Slapshock; Moot Marimuthu (vocals), JD Wong (bass), AJ Nasir (bass), Rudy Malik (drums), DJ Uno Zakaria (turntables) of Malaysian rap metal band Popshuvit; Dandee (vocals) of Thai hiphop crew Bangkok Invaders; Ray Toro (guitars) and James Dewees (keyboards) of My Chemical Romance; Emmett Ishak (vocals) of Malaysian grunge band Butterfingers; and Wing Meng (guitars) of Malaysian alternative rock band, Love Me Butch.
Its corresponding video harkens back to dark lighting, obscuring of faces, scratching, and frame manipulation of A Perfect Circle’s “Judith” that was directed by David Fincher.
“’The song definitely has these elements from the 90s and the 2000s,” agreed Vig who famously produced blockbuster albums by Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, and Garbage for whom he plays drums. “It’s a hybrid mixing of synths, heavy guitars, and a hiphop groove. It’s a brilliant constructed song. It has a double chorus. I don’t know how many songs have that.”
Vig stressed that “Dark Times represents 2020” with the world shutting down due to the Covid-19 virus that continues to wreak havoc to this day.
“What Jamir was singing — there is an optimism to this song,” pointed out Vig. “All of us hope that when people hear it there, you can pull yourself out of the lowest of lows. As tragic as what happened to Jamir, it is about optimism and rising above the dark. And I hope the song will touch people that way.”
While the song represents the last work of Garcia, Vig hopes that this is not the end of his association with Project E.A.R.
“I am really happy to be a part of it and to put it out in the world,” pronounced the bespectacled Vig who looks like he himself stepped out of a music video from the 1990s.
“I love being involved recording and mixing.”
“That (future collaboration) has to happen in some point in the future. I feel on some level I am a part of Project E.A.R. It has some weight to it. ‘Dark Times’ is something I can definitely hear on rock radio here (in the United States). I have a feeling we’ll be doing more work together.”