Giga Herbs
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Giga Herbs

Staten Island, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Staten Island, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Indie




""Mad Deep" Album Review"

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Here's how the space war begins, as prophesied by cosmic rock band Giga Herbs.

It starts from within each person. And then, as Giga Herbs bassist Eric Alter explains, messages from our core radiate out to the universe.

"They send a solar flare of each person's own power," Alter explains, epically but casually from the band's small rehearsal space in Stapleton.

These messages can get misconstrued — perhaps as signs of war — to alien life, Alter says.

The 5-year-old band from Staten Island has just released a new concept album, "Mad Deep." It's the second in a trilogy of albums laying out the details of this space war, from the set-up to the resolve. The band will hold an official album release show with other musical guests on Dec. 19 at Hashtag Bar.

Giga Herbs is comprised of Alter, Paul Barbato (lead guitar/vocals), Steve Money (drums) and Elsa Kanae Josephs (keyboards/vocals).

The album is at once silly and ominous, politically relevant and completely fictitious, depending on how you want to listen, Barbato said.

"We're not actively trying to be political, but there is a political element for those who are hungry for one," he says. "But there's also sugary sweet snacks for those who don't have that appetite."


Giga Herbs is as much influenced by bands like The Unicorns as they are by literature and science fiction films like Solaris and Blade Runner.

One song, "Mr. Spaceship" is roughly based on the short story by the same name by Philip K. Dick. In the story, humans use the brain of a dying professor to power a spaceship they use to fight aliens. That's the sort of material they're working with on "Mad Deep."

As silly as the idea of a space war might sound, it makes sense when you think about the era the band members grew up in.

"We're not actively trying to be political, but there is a political element for those who are hungry for one."
All four members are in their late 20s, and have spent most of their adult years watching years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan slowly dwindle. The attacks in Beirut and Paris earlier this month made these concepts all the more visceral to them.

"I think it's created a longing in society," Alter says. "We have this spent feeling, of 'what's left?'"

At the same time, "Mad Deep" is a fun album, with plenty of melodic guitar riffs, whimsical harmonies and easily danceable beats.

"There's a lot of escapism here," Alter says.

Songs like "Ronnie" turn the New York City mantra, "If you see something, say something," into an upbeat disco jam.

"You have this cheery feeling, but there's a threat there," Barbato says.

In many ways, that can be how it feels to watch war from afar — even if it is in outer space, the band suggests.


Whereas the first part of the trilogy, "Mad Weird," was a live recording, "Mad Deep" is a more polished, thoughtful collection. The band had more time to work on the album, which was recorded in Stapleton's Red Room Studios with the help of Joe Pecora.

The third and last part of the trilogy is already in the works. Song names are scrawled onto the band's rehearsal space wall, alongside murals of various space monsters.

The band is currently seeking funding via a grant to make the third album happen. They hope their progress on the trilogy will be viewed more as an art project than a hobby. Barbato, an art director for Nickelodeon, has even created an adult coloring book to accompany the song's lyrics.

Plus, with its sci-fi themes, band members like Money believe there's a message in Giga Herbs' music that can resonate with people, on more than a musical level.

"The difference between good and bad sci-fi," Money says, "is how much you can get it to relate to someone's life." -

""Mad Weird" Album Review"

Here's the latest single taken from New York indie-rockers Giga Herbs' debut album Mad Weird LP. Solaris starts off much more stripped-down than previous tracks we've featured by the band, but it doesn't take long for a nice dose of fuzzy, distorted guitar to kick in.

It's good to know there are still bands out there who know how to make a great-sounding guitar-based pop record.

Spiky, off-beat guitars contrast with balmy, bell-like keyboard lines in this track by New York four-piece Giga Herbs.

Woodrow Shuffle is the second single taken from Giga Herbs' debut album Mad Weird LP.

Today's glorious May weather has been soundtracked by Smile Machine, a groovy, lo-fi track by Giga Herbs, a four-piece from Staten Island, New York.

The song is taken from their debut album Mad Weird, which they've just self-released on Bandcamp. - Deezen

"Giga Herbs make "Mad Weird" Sounds"

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Giga Herbs has been carrying the indie rock cross on Staten Island for quite some time. Someone has to do it.

The four-piece band is a mainstay of the local music scene (and just represented it in WNYC's Battle of the Boroughs 2014 in The Greene Space) and has probably played at the Cup in all the venue's incarnations. It's only right that I dedicate my column's maiden voyage to their music.

Giga Herbs subscribes to the same whimsical ethos as seminal Canadian rockers The Unicorns and play their instruments -- cheeky synth lines and noodling guitars -- with a similar irreverence. And the band seems to have a penchant for outlandish, hip hop album art from the early 2000s.

The lyrics are full of Staten Island references and some, perhaps not so obvious, metaphors:

Giga Herbs -- "Chicken Nugget Girl"
"Chicken Nugget Girl" maybe isn't the first song I should be featuring. But it's a good example of the band's modus operandi. Their sometimes juvenile lyrical content is always underlined by interesting musical atmospheres. I don't know what a chicken nugget girl is, but I like her.

Giga Herbs -- "Smile Machine"

Not that there is anything wrong with juvenile lyrical content. "Smile Machine" is a good example of some simple and sugary Herbs.
You can find these songs on Giga Herbs' most recent album "Mad Weird," which you can download online for free. It's the first earnest full length release from the band and, while it has some slow points, hints at a lot of room for growth. -


Giga Herbs has released two albums “Mad Weird” and “Mad Deep,” which comprise the first two installments of their space trilogy. The third and final release, (Title TBD) features themes of love, war and madness. The 3rd album in the "MAD" trilogy is targeted to release Summer 2016 with the help of a NY DCA Premier Grant provided by SI ARTS. 





Giga Herbs is an indie rock band from NYC, held together by a mutual appreciation of alien conspiracy theories, space colonization, snack food and cosmic tales of love and war. Many of their tracks reference Sci-Fi films such as "Blade Runner", "Dune" and "Total Recall." Giga Herbs meet every day at their 24/7-access studio where they plan, plot, pitch-shift and propagate their musical spores of whimsy. 

Giga Herbs have self released two full length albums, launched two crowd funded tours and have played political rallies, dive bars, basements, art/poetry showcases, staple venues throughout NYC and even made it to the WQXR's Battle of the Boroughs in 2014 & have aired tracks on BBC radio/Love Our Records.

Band Members