Steve Garden Profile

Gary Steel
7 Feb 2014

Search the internet for Steve Garden, and you’ll come up with lots of references to “Steve’s garden”. That’s not him. The irony is that he is a kind of musical gardener, occasionally digging plots and planting seeds, but more often planning and directing whole landscaping projects.

He may be low profile, but both out front as a player, and behind the scenes as a producer-engineer, and a label head, Steve Garden has made a significant contribution to the less commercial end of contemporary New Zealand music.

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Phil Bowering recording in Steve Garden's studio, 1983
Photo credit: Murray Cammick Collection
Steve Garden
Nathan Haines's Shift Left (1994): a landmark album, it was recorded by Steve Garden in live sessions at Auckland's Revolver Studios
The 1980 Sharon O'Neill touring band with Dave Dobbyn. L to R: Sharon, Brent Thomas, Steve Garden, Dave, Clint Brown
Reissued on Rattle's Echo imprint, Ivan Zagni and Steve Garden's A Selection Of Trouble Spots album was first released in 1984 on Ode
Rough Justice, 1976. L to R: Mike Farrell, Patrick Bleakley, Steve Garden, Rick Bryant and John Key
Elephunk in My Soup - the 1984 Low Profile (Phil Bowering and Steve Garden) EP
Steve Garden
Two Tides the 2006 release by The Chris Mason-Battley Group. Steve Garden drums with the drum and recorded this album for Rattle Records.
Elephunk In My Soup
The classic 1983 3 Voices album, featuring Steve Garden on drums. Originally issued in 1983 on the Unsung label, it is now part of Rattle Records' Echo series.

Garden won Producer Of The Year in 1992 for his work on Midge Marsden’s Burning Rain album, a record that featured the guitar work of his original inspiration, Mike Farrell, who sadly died in 2000.

Rattle has had a run of award-winning albums recorded and/or produced by Garden, including five awards for Best Classical, and two for Best Māori.