Live’n’loud: San Cisco turn the volume up on new release ......
SCARLETT Stevens has known Jordi Davieson since they were both in nappies.
Their parents are friends and they grew up together in Fremantle, forming the indie-pop band San C i s c o i n 2009 with musicians Josh B i o n d i l l o and Nick Gardner.
The pair have shared many firsts together but a first kiss was not among them, despite the rumours that started circulating when Awkward, a song detailing flirty exchanges between a boy and his crush, propelled the band to fame.
‘‘The song isn’t about me and Jordi. It’s actually about a stalker and a girl who’s not that interested,’’ says the San Cisco drummer, who was pressured into becoming a vocalist by her bandmates.
Awkward came in at No.7 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 and was more recently beamed into living rooms as part of a Vodafone advertising campaign, two significant profile boosts fitting of San Cisco’s ambition.
On forming the band its members set out a detailed business plan, and from two scene-setting EPs to an acclaimed album, overseas tours and licensing deals, they have been gradually kicking goals.
The band recently returned from a 11-week tour of the US, performing at the South By Southwest music conference, and Europe, supporting Darwin Deez and The Vaccines on tour alongside a run of British headline shows.
‘‘We mapped out what we wanted to achieve early on so while we’re appreciative of everything that’s happening now it’s not a massive shock,’’ Stevens says.
‘‘We wanted to emulate independent bands like The Black Keys and Vampire Weekend who’ve managed commercial success through touring without compromising their ideals.’’
San Cisco’s self-titled debut album shows a looser ethos than their career arc, with an eclectic bunch of songs representing a stylistic step forward from their folkier EPs.
Despite the success of Awkward, the band has debuted several singles in overseas markets ( Wild Things, Beach, Fred Astaire) with guidance from local radio stations – a versatility in options Stevens finds gratifying.
‘‘Our sound is always evolving and we haven’t yet confined ourself to any one genre. We have explored a lot of different things and I think the album is a reflection of that,’’ she says. ‘‘We haven’t spent too much time in any one place.’’ Being the only girl in an otherwise male band has taken getting used to. Stevens has encountered her share of lecherous fans, including a stage invader in Newcastle who tried to kiss her while she was drumming.
‘‘I was so angry and could have killed him. I should have hit him around the head with my drum stick but then the whole song would’ve been ruined.’’
The song she was playing at the time was Awkward – and it seems being an attractive drummer means you can encounter the odd moment.
‘‘I definitely have to hold my own because I can’t rely on the boys in the band to protect me,’’ Stevens says.
‘‘But I don’t get hit on too much and I’m good at brushing people off.’’
San Cisco is out now. San Cisco play the Coolangatta Hotel on May 18 and the Great Northern Hotel, in Byron Bay, on May 21.
Perth band San Cisco