SAN CISCO Mexican Waves

San Cisco
San Cisco Photography: Kane Hibberd

 “Apparently Nick’s walking and driving now. He’s just got a scabby bit on his foot that’s really gross.”

Touring in support of their recently released second LP, Gracetown, San Cisco will perform at the Fremantle Arts Centre on Thursday, April 23, (licensed) and Friday, April 24, (all-ages), as well as Groovin The Moo Bunbury on Sunday, April 26. BOB GORDON chats with drummer, Scarlett Stevens.

San Cisco drummer, Scarlett Stevens, is “in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, in Amsterdam.”

Sounds terrible doesn’t it? This isn’t, however, a holiday. The band are in the midst of a European tour following on from a very successful US visit that included a performance at Mexico’s Vive Latino Festival.

“Mexico was insane,” Stevens enthuses. “It was like a big scale festival. We had a big crowd and that was really nice but the thing that kind of blew our mind was the signing that we did at a record store the next day. The line was going down the street and around the block. It took like two-and-a-half hours to meet everyone. The fans there are so passionate and affectionate. They bring you letters and fan art. The level of enthusiasm from the fans was crazy.

“I haven’t seen that anywhere else. We meet fans all over the world but we’ve never had anything on that scale. Their energy! Maybe it’s the South American way, they’re just so vibrant and enthusiastic… they want to kiss and hug you.”

And sing to you. The band’s Mexican fans sung along to the songs from the new Gracetown album quite joyously.

“It was pretty surreal,” Stevens says. “I don’t know how, because I don’t think the album had been released yet, but they knew the words.”

The band’s headline shows were also a success, so much so that they’ll be returning Stateside for a bigger jaunt in June.

“We sold out both New York shows and The Troupador in LA and they were all really fun shows,” Stevens says. “We’d been at South By Southwest(Austin, Texas) just before, so we were a little bit run down but they were really great, fun shows.”

Well versed in the art of touring, Stevens realises that ‘run down’ may as well mean ‘keep running’.

“We’d all gotten a bit of flu, at the time we went to New York, but we all had ours heads in the game, I think. We were well-rehearsed from SxSW so the New York shows ended up being the best ones on the tour.”

San Cisco have been playing roughly half of the Gracetown album with the response approaching Mexican levels of positivity.

“We’re playing About You, Bitter Winter, Snow, Wash It All Away, RUN and Too Much Time Together,” Stevens says. “That’s it for now. They’re sounding good. I think Too Much Time Together is a fun one for the crowds, seeing as it’s the single as well. Snow goes down really well, it’s a bit more dancey, four-to-the-floor. It kicks in and has a really big sound… it works well at gigs. Bitter Winter goes well… people sing a long to that.”

Of course bass player, Nick Gardiner, has been absent from this tour, having injured his foot in a shooting accident on a farm (and has rather ironically been subbed by Jen Aslett from Freo friends, Gunns). He’s been in touch while all this fun’s been going on.

“Yeah, we have heard from him,” says Stevens. “He’s been organising some stuff for our next tour, the Groovin The Moo tour. Logistical things on the production front. Hopefully it’ll all be ready when we get home so we can start rehearsing.”

So he’s all good to play then?

“Yeah, apparently he’s walking and driving now,” Stevens says. “He’s just got a scabby bit on his foot that’s really gross. I don’t think he’ll be dancing a lot, but he’ll be present. He should never have had a gun in the first place!”

Prior to the band’s national Groovin The Moo run, they’ll be performing two shows at the Fremantle Arts Centre. It’s a lovely way to come home.

“The Arts Centre is such a pretty venue and we have a lot of history with it,” Stevens says. “I think I played my first ever gig there.”