2012 was a rather hectic year for Fremantle, Autralia four piece San Cisco, and 2013 is shaping up to far surpass that. Conor Giles caught up with the guys before the opening show of their first UK headline tour in Birmingham.
Hey guys. Despite the diversity in your songs, they could all still be described as pop in a way. When writing a song, do you have an idea of how you want it to sound or does it just take its own direction?
Jordi: When I sit down to write a song, and I’m trying to do something too hard I never get anywhere. In the studio, and in the production sense of things it’s a lot easier because we can listen to a track and be like ‘we want it to sound like this’ or ‘we want this sort of vibe to it.’ So I think there’s always an idea of how we want the song to end up, whether it’s just the last stages of production, or the beginning when writing it.
Does the name San Cisco have any particular meaning?
Scarlett: Not really, it never did at the beginning
Nick: You’ve just got to make it up as you go. It can be whatever you want it to be…
From the outside, it seems like your rise to fame has been rather instantaneous. Has it felt like that for you, or has it been more gradual?
Jordi: I was actually thinking about that today, because I was watching The Beatles anthology…
Nick: Don’t compare yourselves
Jordi: No, we’re not comparing ourselves, but it seems, I was just watching and they had a rise but yeah, I just thought they were huge in every sense. But this is all irrelevant. Anyway, it hasn’t been overnight. I was also thinking about the first gigs we played together and how long ago that was, all the things we’ve done along the way, and all the interviews, photo shoots and like, shitty little gigs that we’ve played. There’s been so many.
Scarlett: Yeah, it’s been 3 or 4 years as a band now. Quite a while.
Your song ‘Awkward’ has now gathered 3.7 million YouTube views. First off I should say congratulations on that, and secondly, did you guys ever have any idea it would get that big?
Jordi: No, not really. Well, I didn’t really know it. Our producer Steve was like ‘this will be a hit, this will be a single’ and I was like whatever, I didn’t really like it that much.
Scarlett: I don’t think we’ve ever seen it in that light, so that’s why we never expected it to be this successful.
Jordi: We just thought it was a bit silly and simple. But it has definitely been a very good launching pad for us, and it’s done what we set out to do with it. We just tried to write a pop song, a really simple, good pop song.
What about the Fremantle music scene? Was there much there, or did you find yourselves travelling to the larger cities?
Jordi: The Fremantle music scene is really good. I think we’re lucky to have grown up in that, you know, it was very isolated. Lots of really good bands have come out of there, like Tame Impala and Luke Steele.
Scarlett: We were playing most of our gigs in Fremantle, at about 3 different venues, and then we went to Perth which is only about 20 minutes away.
Jordi: Our age group, in the very beginning we were all very young, and there was like 3 bands. Scarlett was in one, I was in one and then there was another one. They all split up and started new bands and then we ended up playing together. There’s always been a bit of competition, just because there have been so many bands around there. You’ve got people you aspire to that you actually see in the street, so I guess that pushes you in the right way. But there is lots of other elements to it as well.
So was your music influenced by this scene, or did you take your influences from elsewhere?
Scarlett: It was mostly outside influences. I mean, you just aspire to have the success of other bands, whether you take influence from them or not.
Nick: To a certain extent we would, but the majority of it was just what we listened to.
What’s the next step for San Cisco?
Jordi: Well we’ve got to finish this tour in the UK which goes on for another week, and then we go to SXSW in America.
Scarlett: Then we have a gig in Amsterdam.
Jordi: We’ve got a gig in Amst… Another gig?
Scarlett: Well it’s a festival.
Jordi: Oh we’ve got a festival in Amsterdam.
Josh: It’s not in Amsterdam, it’s in Zeewolde.
Jordi: It’s in Holland somewhere. And then SXSW in Texas, our headline tour across America, and then we’re going home for a month because we would have been on the road for about 3 months, so we’re going home for a month, and then we start our Australian tour, which will go for about a month, and that’s going to be pretty fun, that’s going to be our album tour in Australia. And then we have a couple of weeks off before we return to the northern hemisphere for the festival season. Meanwhile, I think we’re going to be writing songs, and thinking about the next album. But for you guys, you’ve still got quite a lot of singles to get, in the UK and America, but Australia will want something new I think.