San Cisco may be a west coast band, with a name that could pass for a tourist’s abbreviation for San Francisco and an upbeat Californian pop sound, but the quartet actually calls the west coast of Australia home.
The quartet will be touring its new album, The Water, up and down the U.S. west coast later this month and RIFF chatted by email with guitarist Josh Biondillo about the similarities, his band, and the new album.
“At the time when we came up with the name we never even imagined we would be taking our stuff outside of Fremantle, let alone outside of Australia!” he said. “But having played in San Francisco a few times now it has always been somewhere that we have had an amazing response. I guess because we live on the west coast of Australia and our music does at times have a coast [and] beach kind of sound, that we have had a connection to the West Coast of the U.S.”
Their latest album certainly reflects that. Though not as big a change as Bob Dylan going electric, it is an evolution for the Biondillo, singer-drummer Scarlett Stevens, singer-guitarist Jordi Davieson and bassist Nick Gardner since recording 2015’s Gracetown, not to mention since their initial success with 2011 singles “Awkward” and ” Fred Astaire.”
“I definitely think that The Water came from a very different place to our previous musical efforts,” Biondillo explained. “After coming off the back end of nearly three years of touring Gracetown, we hadn’t really sat down properly to work in any new music for so long and really had to reactivate that part of our brains.”
Traveling half-way around the world has motivated the band to grow its sound.
“We love touring America. It really is always refreshing to see the response we get from people on the other side of the planet and it definitely is something that drives us to work harder in the studio to hopefully get more of a following over there and touring it more,” Biondillo said.
So what has changed?
“There are the common threads in our music that give it our sound, such as Jordi’s vocals and songwriting lyrically, jangly and stabby guitar riffs,” he said. “But the style and sounds are always changing usually with the different influences we take on as we discover new music. Because in the time that we have been making music, we have individually grown and developed into very different people to how we were when we started San Cisco. We are certainly still pushing ourselves as hard as we ever have musically, if not harder.”
Follow editor Daniel J. Willis at Twitter.com/BayAreaData.