SoCal twins on the move with The Garden 

click to enlarge The Shears brothers, from Orange County, are The Garden. - COURTESY RYAN BUSSARD
  • The Shears brothers, from Orange County, are The Garden.
Orange County twins Wyatt and Fletcher Shears really don’t mind being pigeonholed as having just another pretty face. Their angular frames, androgynous good looks and shrewd instinct for cool clothing have helped their duo The Garden, in which Wyatt plays bass and sings and Fletcher – who occasionally dresses in drag – anchors on drums.

Two years ago, St. Laurent Paris designer Hedi Slimane discovered them at a Los Angeles concert, and flew them to France for his winter men’s runway show. Invited back to the spring-summer runway, the brothers, 21, were featured in a massive advertising campaign.

“We had always talked about going there, but that YSL trip was our first visit to Europe, and right after that, we started touring very frequently over there,” says Wyatt, who brings The Garden to the Bay Area this weekend. “It was definitely a nice little career boost. And we’ve done quite a bit of modeling after St. Laurent, and we’d like to do more because it’s something we’re interested in – not as much as music, but we don’t mind doing it.”

The Shears lads didn’t grow up ugly ducklings, exactly. But in high school, they avoided cliques and hung out with each other, forming experimental outfits like the Minutemen-primal MHV, which segued into The Garden, for which they created specific rules: no songs longer than two minutes (a genre they call VadaVada), and Max Ernst-like collage concert posters (artwork handled by Fletcher). Their Killing Joke-inspired debut album is “The Life and Times of a Paperclip”; upcoming tunes from their untitled sophomore disc include Cloak,” “Devour,” and “Crystal Clear.”

They still live at home with their carpenter dad and hairdresser mom, in the same bedroom they’ve shared since childhood.

“But I think this year we’re actually going to find our own place,” says Wyatt. “What’s held us back until now is the constant touring, so there hasn’t been too much reason to leave the nest. But now that we’re a little more on our feet…”

And plastered across St. Laurent billboards, all over the globe.

“We’ve had some real ‘Holy crap!’ moments,” he says of learning that their mugs had towered over Tokyo and Las Vegas. “And we actually went to see one ad for ourselves, when we were in malls along Rodeo Drive.”

Acting offers have started to trickle in; the Shearses would make great evil-twin henchmen in an action flick.

“But for us, it’s all about evolving, and not staying stagnant,” Wyatt says. “We want to move forward with our music and whatever else we’re doing, and we don’t want to be left behind in our own dust!”


The Garden

Where: Leo’s Music Club, 5447 Telegraph Ave., Oakland

When: 9 p.m. Feb. 20

Tickets: $10 to $12

Contact: (888) 477-9288, w

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Tom Lanham

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