Introduction and interview by Kevin McGough –
San Cisco are fun to be around.
Musically they bounce around on their incredibly catchy tunes and in person they come across as smart, funny, genuine people who enjoy the success their young careers have reaped.
Earlier in October, the band were touring Europe in support of the release of their self-titled debut album and we caught up with Jordi Davieson (vox) and Scarlett Stevenson (drums) from the before San Cisco‘s headline performance at the Thekla in Bristol. (Click here for review)
The album came out here on October 7th, but you’ve actually been touring and playing these songs for 2 years now. How do you keep them sounding so fresh? Have they changed/evolved much in that time?
Jordi: I think they’ve just become tighter in that time
Scarlett: …but sloppier too. Well some have become sloppier some have become tighter
Jordi: It’s all about the audience. The people who come to see you keep them fresh. We feed off them.
How do you enjoy having to effectively start the process over again when the album is released on a new continent [i.e. Europe] – same dopey interviewers asking the same silly questions etc? Do you find it easier now you know the tricks so to speak?
Scarlett: It’s a bit weird isn’t it?
Jordi: I think the hardest thing is trying to cast your mind back to where you were at when we recorded them. What mind-set you were in, you know?
Scarlett: It seems more like 5 years now!! Our mind set now is all about what we’re doing next and the next album.
Have you had a chance to develop any ideas for the next album as yet?
Scarlett: Not really.
Jordi: We’ve got 10 more days of this European tour but after that we really don’t know what were up to.
Scarlett: We’ve got a few ideas but we just need to go into a room and jam them. Josh and Jordi will get together and come up with some ideas first and then the rest of us will add to that.
Do you have a studio you rehearse in back home?
Scarlett: We do.
Jordi: At the moment we rehearse in this warehouse but we’re probably moving as I’m not sure it’s going to be big enough for us anymore.
Scarlett: The boys made the place themselves. It’s a room within a room. It’s cool but yeah we probably need something a bit bigger now.
I understand you both have musical families. Did that influence your music at all?
Scarlett: Yeah my Dad’s a manager, but I don’t think any of our families were really pushy and said ‘this is what you should do’ or anything like that.
Jordi: My Dad was a jazz musician so from a very young age he had me listening to all sorts of stuff like Bowie, Lou Reed, the jazz greats like Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong which certainly influenced me.
The songs have done well everywhere you’ve been but which are your favorites?
Jordi: That’s hard because we’ve played them so many times now that it’s not quite the same feeling for us anymore. The ones we enjoy playing now are the ones the audience is into.
Scarlett: Yeah, we feed off their enjoyment. So Beach, Wild Things, and obviously Awkward are always good.
Jordi: I still love playing Fred Astaire, and that always goes down well.
I understand that the artwork for the album is a picture which came from Jordi’s grandmother. Is this true and what’s the story behind it if it is?
Jordi: Without going into this too much because I’m not too sure if she would appreciate me going into too much detail. It’s of a friend of hers that she used to hang about with quite a bit when she was around my age. He would take her way up North to this remote cattle station called Minderoo.
Scarlett: And she’d take photos.
Jordi: Actually, he would send those photos to her. Now she’s got this really cool book with all of them in.
Scarlett: Most people ask ‘is it an American cowboy?’ and don’t realise we have cowboys of our own. It’s beautiful up there. Red dirt and really peaceful.
Jordi: About-4 songs on the album were actually written when I was up in that part of the country [North West Australia]. I’d love to record or play a gig up there, but I’m not sure how practical that might be.
“Awkward” is a fictional tale of a stalker but which one of you would most likely be a stalker and who would you stalk??
Scarlett: Probably Nick
Jordi: Hahaha. We’re always ragging on Nick. Whenever we get asked: ‘who’s the smelliest?’ …..’Nick’
Scarlett: Isn’t everyone a stalker now anyway?? With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – they are made for stalking aren’t they.
What’s been the highlight of the tour thus far?
Scarlett: Germany was pretty cool because we got to go to Oktoberfest and we also had this German lady who works with our PR people with us and she could translate and explain everything to us.
Jordi: The band who are touring with us – Furs [main support] – are great too.
Scarlett: Yeah. They are a lot of fun.
Jordi: It’s like hanging out with the Mighty Boosh. This place [Thekla] seems pretty cool. I love boats so this could be a highlight.
Last year you played at Reading and Leeds, do you enjoy festivals??
Jordi: Yeah, I do.
Scarlett: Its better when you do a run of them.
Jordi: Reading and Leeds are tough.
Scarlett: Some of them treat you really well some don’t.
Scarlett: We’d love to be asked for Glastonbury but I’m not sure what we were going to be doing next summer.
Finally, you’re all still very young [under 21] but have already achieved a lot. What have been the highlights thus far and what ambitions do you still hold for the future??
Scarlett: Touring with The Vaccines was pretty fun
Jordi: Playing good shows in America at places like Bowery Ballroom, the Troubadour was really cool. But I guess when we first started touring a lot and we did this national tour around rural Australia that was mine, that was so much fun.
Scarlett: When we played at Lollapalooza [Festival in Chicago, USA] that was amazing. We played to about 8,000 people, it was the biggest the festival I’ve ever been to. We were second band on and they really looked after us. The catering lady was Australian and sorted us out for whatever we needed!
You can find out more about the band at www.sancisco.com
While you’re here… The Fix is delighted to be involved with film series ‘The Awkward Conversations We Have’. Here’s the first film from the series, titled “Son We’re Swingers”: