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Swimsuit Issue’s Miles Garber goes from modeling to music

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David Gagliardi, left, and Miles Garber front Swimsuit Issue. (Courtesy Erik Snyder)

When vocalist Miles Garber was thinking about a name for the drone-pop outfit he formed with Trash Talk guitarist David Gagliardi, he didn’t have to dig too deep. In his youth, he was a competitive swimmer until he was sidelined by a dislocated shoulder. He sent the rest of his teenage years as a professional model, posing for posh photo shoots around the world. “But I was always the weird model. I didn’t have six-pack abs or anything, and I think people just booked me because I was funny,” says Garber, 27. His band, with the songs “EP3” and “Look Now,” appears at the Rickshaw Stop this week.

How did you first get into modeling?

It’s actually a funny story. When I was a kid, I was a total little s—. And there was this dude in the neighborhood that drove this totally weird green car. So me and my friends made fun of this douche-y car, but he turned around to address me, and I just knew it was going to be something dramatic. But the guy said, ‘Hey, man, do you model?’ And I laughed. I was like, ‘What the f— are you talking about?’ But he gave me his card, then me and my buddies went to this mall The Grove, but we got arrested and my mom had to pick me up from the police station. And to make her less upset with me, I showed her the business card.

But there was an ironic twist?

Yeah. My mom said, ‘You know what? As punishment, we’re going down to that agency and see if they actually want you to be a model. And if they do? You’re going to do it!” So I basically got discovered in the street by this guy named James Charles, and I guess the rest is history. I quit for a while to finish high school, but then I moved to New York and did the whole modeling thing. And as a kid who’d never left L.A., suddenly I was on assignments in Iceland, Paris, all over. I think modeling gives you a good sense of the world.

How did music come into the picture?

It was always there. I was in hardcore punk bands when I was a kid, and I grew up very blue collar. My parents weren’t in the entertainment industry, so there were no doors being opened for me, no upward mobility. I had to make things happen for myself. So I started making demos, and I would send them to fashion people that I knew, thinking they probably knew someone in music. Then Dave finally said, ‘You should send that music to me. I really need to hear it!’

IF YOU GO
Cat Pierce, Swimsuit Issue
Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. May 22
Tickets: $10 to $12
Contact: (415) 861-2011, www.ticketfly.com

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