Steve Garden’s career began in the mid-70s as a touring musician, playing drums in various bands (Rough Justice, Rockinghorse, Short Story, Sharon O'Neil, Outlines, Mike Farrell, and an early incarnation of The Crocodiles). In the early 80s he worked primarily as a session musician, recording seminal albums such as Graeme Gash’s After the Carnival, Dave Bowater and Robbie Sinclair’s Three Voices, and Fane Flaws' I Am Joe's Music.
In the mid-80s he and a few friends set up a small demo studio in Mt Eden. Basement Tapes was literally set up in a basement, but the low-fi 'all-hands-to-the-pump' approach gave Steve a solid grounding in the fundamentals of audio recording. During this period he and Ivan Zagni recorded A Selection of Trouble Spots and Music (Avant Garage), projects that informed in the eventual formation of Rattle.
After a number of years and many album projects, Steve was awarded Producer of the Year at the 1991 NZ Music Awards for Midge Marsden’s Burning Rain, the same year Rattle was launched.
Steve continued gigging with various local artists (including the first incarnation of Don McGlashan’s 'The Muttonbirds'), but his primary focus was (and continues to be) the recording of album projects from his home studio, Garden Shed.
Steve has had a pivotal role in the development of Rattle, most evident in what some have called 'the Rattle sound’. With many Best Album awards to his credit and an enviable critical reputation, he is one of the most trusted and respected recording collaborators in New Zealand today.
Steve is especially enthusiastic about the development of the Rattle Jazz Series. “It’s early days," he says, "but the albums we’ve released so far have made a clear statement of intent. We want the series to be forward-thinking , devoted to capturing great performances of great compositions by great artists. I’d like to think that the series will, in time, be a significant and influential body of work.”