Live’n’loud: San Cisco turn the vol­ume up on new re­lease ......

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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

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