Scarlett Stevens answers the phone as if she already knows you. San Cisco are, by now, one of the most popular indie-pop bands in the country, but they’re still very much that – indie. There are no labels or publicists listening in as Stevens sits down between a photo shoot and band practice.
Scarlett Stevens is San Cisco’s drummer and, since they formed in 2009, has also taken “a lead in the image realm” for San Cisco’s dreamy, disco look.
Stevens offers a glimpse into that disco-ball-glitz – a European summer, replete with Parisian apartments, Italian beaches and dope APC clothes. It’s all a much needed break before San Cisco join fellow Aussie indie-darlings Ball Park Music on a country-wide tour September through October.
And what have her band-mates been up to before they hit the road again?
“Jordi (Davieson) goes up north and he surfs and he goes down south, and he surfs.”
“Jenny (Aslett) has been tour managing Stellar Donnelly, so she was actually overseas as well.” Not to mention juggling another full-time gig, admin for the Instagram account @DogsEatingGently.
“Josh (Biondillo) sometimes takes holidays but he pretty much likes to be home I think, working and recording and that sort of thing.”
While the band has toured the world, it’s the shows on home turf, Perth, that Stevens concedes really get the nerves going. “There’s always more pressure on the home shows. When you’re away, maybe you lose a bit of your inhibitions, ‘I’m out of town! I can do what I want. Be myself’.”
Perth is still very much home for all of San Cisco and home remains a source of inspiration. From finding their newest member, Jennifer Aslett, to discovering the artist whose work graced the covers of their last two records – Peter Matulich (Matulich sadly passed away this year). The band formed a connection with him after seeing his work in their local café, and, they learned through work-shopping the album art, their personal histories drew a lot of parallels
It’s on the note of personal histories that Stevens believes lies lead Davieson’s biggest song writing strength.
“We constantly try to get him to channel his inner character turmoil. I feel that’s where his songwriting really shines. Songs like ‘Fred Astaire’ where he’s kind of self deprecating, that’s when the magic happens.”
Stevens gets excited, “I think with the shiny pop music we make, it’s nice to juxtapose that against darker lyrics. Which is something we’ve never done consciously, something we always tend to (do) without knowing.”
So could we see an Aussie ‘Watch the Throne’ after this tour with Ball Park Music?
Stevens laughs. “That would be amazing, maybe. We haven’t really spoken about any recorded collaborations but wouldn’t discount it.”
And when asked who would be a dream artist to work with, Stevens is one eyed about Disco legend Nile Rodgers. “Usually the people you want to work with don’t want to work with you or they’re impossible to pin down.”
Perhaps then San Cisco’s cover of Daft Punk and Rodgers “Get Lucky” was a message for the man, the myth. If you’re reading this Rodgers, give em’ a chance.
Stevens remains tight-lipped about any new covers though and says as little as possible for now about a potential future solo project, DJ Beryl Streep. One thing is for certain; she’ll keep building the hype. Smoke machines, laser beams and all.
Catch San Cisco and Ball Park Music around the country this September and October.
When & Where: City Oval, Ballarat – Saturday October 20.
Tickets via ballparkmusic.com & sancisco.com
Written by Darby-Perrin Larner