Steve Garden’s career began in the mid-70s as a touring musician, playing drums in various bands including Rough Justice, Rockinghorse, Short Story, Sharon O'Neill, Outlines, an early incarnation of The Crocodiles, and various ensembles with the exceptional guitarist Mike Farrell. 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 housed 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 with Avant Garage, projects that led to the eventual formation of Rattle.
After a number of years and many album projects, Steve was awarded Producer of the Year at the 1992 NZ Music Awards for Midge Marsden’s Burning Rain. He 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) recording.
Steve has had a pivotal role in the direction of Rattle, particularly the development of what some have called 'the Rattle sound’. With many award-winning recordings to his credit and a highly-regarded critical reputation, he remains 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 released so far have made a clear statement of intent. We want the series to be as forward-thinking and as boundary-pushing as possible, and we'd like to think that the series will grow to become a significant and influential body of work.”