By Kelly Dearmore
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"We make as much money in Kansas City as we do in Denton," Garza says. "We make as much in Lawrence, Kan., as we make in College Station."
Instead of getting turned down by record companies, now it's Garza who has been saying, "Thanks, but no thanks," at least to a couple of indie deals he's been offered.
"It may have been a mistake to turn people down, but it's not like those people are going to go away," Garza notes. "There's always another South by Southwest. There's always tomorrow, in a corny kinda way."
Besides, lately Garza's even been getting recording funds from Sony Music, the same company (though with a different owner) that didn't ink Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom.
"They keep giving me money for demos, and I don't have to sign anything," Garza says.
So while the music business weasels scurry around looking for the next Nirvana (short-term cash-in) instead of the next Sinatra (long-term payoff), Garza continues to build the sort of career that should assure him a nice long run, with or without a record deal.
"Look at Trees the other night," Garza says. "We had 525 people paid after basically being equally ignored by press and radio. Have you ever heard me on the radio? Have you ever seen the big glowing feature on me?
"I have supported myself from music ever since I left Twang," he continues. "I have an office. I have somebody who works for me 30 hours a week, and a drummer and bass player on salary. I'm glad and I'm lucky that I have been able to support myself without an outside source. I also have total freedom, and I love it.
"I'm proud of my catalog, I'm proud of my art, I'm proud of my music," says Garza, and like the Energizer Bunny banging on his drum, "I just keep going. I've made a living out of falling between the cracks.