The new hair metal holiday ballad from Love Jerks
The Performer You Should Know series highlights local artists before they perform something awesome, it’s our way of supporting the creative community and helping to keep San Francisco a strange and wonderful place.
Watching the Love Jerk’s music videos feels like you’re hanging out in the Mission in the 2000’s. There’s a fun, weird, vibe in the air, and the scenes are full of DYI costumes, humor, and art nerds you probably did a shot with at Delerium at some point.
Bryan Garza (Scissors for Lefty) and Rebecca Garza-Bortman (My First Earthquake & Happy Fangs) are the hair metal couple who front the Love Jerks and dawn the biggest wigs. They got married at the fucking Chapel. No not ‘a chapel’, at the music venue in the Mission called The Chapel, where they wrote and performed a rock opera for their wedding guests.
So without further ado, meet the Glam Rock, ballad-blasting, parents performing in the SF Mission, the Love Jerks, performers you should know…
Band: Love Jerks
Band composition & Members: Rebecca Garza-Bortman (vocals, bass aka RGB) & Bryan Garza (vocals, guitar, production aka BPG).
Live sets filled out by musician friends: The gents of Scissors for Lefty: Peter & James Krimmel, Robby Garza, and other great players: Jamie Gaard, Stuart Quan, & Dustin Smith of Sweetwater Studios
The new hair metal holiday ballad from Love Jerks
BAS.com: When did you arrive in the bay and what was your first job(s)?
BPG: My band, Scissors For Lefty, moved up to San Francisco from San Luis Obispo in 2001, with the hope to one day be good enough to play The Make-out Room. Half of us got jobs at UPS, loading trucks from midnight to 7am, which was murder on our circadian rhythm, but gave us good excuses to play the earlier main support slots, instead of headlining. Even after we left the graveyard shift jobs, we still used that excuse to get the coveted middle slot!
RGB: I just had my sweet 16 San Franniversary recently. I hope you celebrate yours! I moved here in 2006 from Pennsylvania for a design internship. I decided to stay when I started jamming with some designer friends from college. The night of our first jam, I felt my first earthquake, which then became the name of our band, My First Earthquake.
What’s your favorite venue to play?
RGB: So hard to pick. There are so many SF venues that have been kind to us jerks. Bottom of The Hill, The Make-out, Rickshaw Stop, Great American Music Hall, Elbo Room (RIP) DNA Lounge, Slim’s (RIP), and so many great promoters in SF too, who have given us incredible opportunities: NoisePop, Popscene, Balanced Breakfast, even Stern Grove took a chance on me during my First Earthquake days.
BPG: Outside of SF house parties, Rickshaw Stop takes the cake. After a Valentine’s Day show a few years back, owners Dan & Noah jump-started our Jeep in the rain. It’s the little things that go a long way for me.
RGB: Wait, Bryan… I know the venue that takes-the-(wedding)-cake: THE CHAPEL, the site of our rock opera wedding. We crammed 300 of our closest friends and family into that dance hall and we’ve got memories in every nook and cranny. But for the record: we had a donut tower instead of a wedding cake.`
Do you guys rep’ a particular sf district?
BPG: We tend to rock a 10-block radius from Dolores Park. Nothing against other parks.
RGB: All my apartments in SF have been walkable from either Castro or Church Street MUNI, but now we live in the woods. There was a good ten-year stretch when I couldn’t walk down Valencia without running into a friend and that felt wonderfully homie. So I guess I’m a former Upper Safeway/Mission Woodswoman?
On a scale of 1-11 how ‘metal’ are Love Jerks?
BG: We’re number one!
RGB: This new album we are working on goes to 11.
Favorite Metal Song(s):
BPG: My all-time fav metal song was Angel Witch, by Angel Witch. But then came the pandemic… To avoid going insane from loneliness out here in the woods, we hosted a few friends during those bleak years. Rebecca and I made a pact! Before we would let our friends leave, we would force them to pick a song to rock out to under the Santa Cruz mountain range. Ainsley Wagnoneer, from Silverware, was our first to experiment on. She didn’t hesitate, she requested “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness. The silk scarves came out, and Ainsley, Taylor, Rebecca and I immediately lost our asses to interpretive dance amongst the redwoods. We truly felt free, if even for just a hot minute…. From that day forward, we were re-inspired by Hard Rock Glam. So sorry bluegrass.
RGB: I grew up in Pittsburgh. Once I learned to drive, I got my classic rock and metal education by blasting WDVE in my screamin’ slow Honda. The best drives were when I’d pull up to a stoplight and find a super gruff yinzer blasting the same jams and we’d exchange nods of brotherhood. If I had to pick just one song to really rev me up, I’d go with Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train. We recently watched that documentary on Randy Rhoads (RIP) and apparently Ozzy heard Randy’s guitar idea and said something like: By golly, that sounds like a crazy train. And sometimes it’s just that simple. Makes me love the song even more.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you on stage?
BPG: Funny you ask, our sole purpose on stage is to let the crazy take a hold of us. Sometimes I take off my pants, sometimes I wrap an audience member up with a rubber keyboard. I’ve given fans head orgasms on stage, I’ve ordered a pizza on stage, I first saw the love of my life on stage (don’t worry: it was Rebecca), I’ve proposed to said love-of-life on stage (don’t worry: still Rebecca), I realized that my mom got pregnant with me before my parents were married on stage. I even got married on stage. Love Jerks was born on the stage. Crazy.
RGB: Dang, so many good stage memories. I’m going to go with the most “that’ll never happen again” moment: Stefan Aronsen of Balanced Breakfast and a beloved Broke-ass hosted a show at DNA and he wanted to make it pizza themed. We told him in our delightfully diva way that we would only participate if he ordered us a pizza to the stage during our set. Stefan delivered and I went into the audience during our song’s Scary Things dance solo. Pizza slices went flying out of that box so fast. It literally took 10 seconds to get all the pizza into all them sweaty dancing mouths. That show happened just a few weeks before Covid crushed the nuts out of the live music scene. We apologize if we were patient zero. Can you imagine trying to get sweaty strangers to share pizza out of the same box now? Thanks, Stefan & DNA. Oh, and you too, mRNA.
Any new songs lately?
RGB: Sooo many! All the songs we’ve been working on these days fit into our upcoming film called Tiger Tears. The film is a love letter to hair metal, with a lot of laughs and a literal birth. It’s me: I give birth. That scene is “in the can.” I mean that in the filmmaking way, not in the birthing way. In the birthing way, it was in the tub.
BPG: We’ve been working on some more power ballads, like the one we released this week “I Could Leave On Christmas Eve”. We also have several more upbeat bangers that we are really excited about because isn’t that the backbone of the hair metal genre? We’ve also got a lot of indie songs for the movie (our natural songwriting inclination). We’ll be sure to bend those towards hair metal too, else we might be thought of as posers. Then again, we’re all posers until the day we’re not, right?
Any bands playing in the Bay this winter you think people should know about?
BPG: I’ve been locked up too long to know what’s happening this winter, but I do have my heart set on seeing King Gizzard & The Lizards Wizard this summer at the Hollywood Bowl.
RGB: Nuevo Hair Metal’rs, Steel Panther are playing The Fillmore on January 5. They list no opener and here we are, cranking out the hair metal hits. The least they could do is ask us to play…[bats eye lashes]. Also, any show with Tino Drima is not to be missed. You can see him at Rickshaw Stop on Jan 12. He has a special place in our hearts, because he also got married on stage at his own concert.
Where do you go to hear romantic music?
BG: Sam Evian on Pandora? Is KOIT 96.5 still a thing?
RGB: I think Alex means places. I would say Cafe du Nord. There is something very romantic about entering that venue, it’s like being born into nightlife. We actually made a video once about the seductive capabilities of du Nord. I hope they ramp up their calendar as concert life awakens more.
What’s coming up next for you? (films,albums,shows)
BPG: Lots of writing and filming at odd hours to make the Tiger Tears movie. It’s a classic Rebecca concept.
RGB: Now you’ve got to explain what a classic Rebecca concept is…
BPG: Rebecca will come up with an ambitious idea (like “let’s sing during our wedding” or “let’s get some pregnant people together to dance in a video”) and then I’m like “Um, cool…??” From there, I go through the classic stages of grief, where I finally pivot to competitive acceptance, i.e., I let go of the practical side, and just let my creative side have at “one-upping” her ideas. Instead of sing at our wedding, I say, “Let’s perform a rock opera!”. Instead of filming a few pregnant people, let’s break the world record for the most pregnant people in a music video” From there, I convince Rebecca that we need a new computer. Once it arrives, I lock myself in the studio, reappear days later with song skeletons, grab my ferro rod, and throw some sparks her way.
RGB: The latest wild hair of mine is to make a feature film, interwoven with music. Not a musical mind you, more like Hedwig & The Angry Inch meets Spinal Tap. The script is complete! We’ve got a great core team, and our focus is on filming something legit.
Band Site: www.lovejerks.com