San Cisco unveils their dreamy single ‘Honeycomb’ today, we sat down with Jordi for some behind-the-scenes insights, anecdotes and a generous glimpse into their musical journey.
Australian indie-pop darlings San Cisco’s latest single, ‘Honeycomb,’ is a delightful and ethereal offering that showcases the band’s ability to seamlessly blend genres while spotlighting Scarlett Stevens’ sweet pop vocals. The Fremantle trio takes a sonic detour on this track, blending electronic, garage, and house elements for a refreshing twist.
Drummer Scarlett Stevens steals the show, perfectly capturing the dreamy and introspective mood of the song. “Honeycomb is about the moreish feeling of falling in love,” the band explain. “It’s about self love and self confidence and the joy of food. It treads this fine line of not wanting to lose yourself to love but also surrendering completely to someone and the sweet feeling that comes with that.”
‘Honeycomb’ follows in the footsteps of San Cisco’s recent singles, ‘Horoscope‘ and ‘Lost Without You,’ and marks the end of their intense studio sessions for their upcoming fifth studio album. Collaborating with producer James Ireland and mixed by Grammy award-winning engineers Neal H. Pogue and Anthony Dolhai, this album promises to be a treat for fans.
Lead singer Jordi Davieson sat down with us and generously shared some hot tips, shedding light on the band’s traditions and offering valuable insights into their musical journey.
Jordi revealed that Wednesdays hold a special place for the band, as they indulge in a Parmy Special Day ritual. Their chosen dish consists of a Parmigiana with no chips but extra salad, perfectly paired with a pint of Swan beer. Jordi explained that the omission of chips serves a purpose – to avoid succumbing to a food coma and maintain a productive afternoon. This attention to detail and discipline is reflective of San Cisco’s commitment to their craft.
The interview turned nostalgic as Jordi shared a heartwarming story about his admiration for Scarlett’s drumming skills. In the early days, Scarlett’s band The Flairz and Jordi’s band The Real Life Animations played at an underage concert organized by Scarlett’s father. Jordi was impressed by Scarlett’s mesmerizing drumming and knew he wanted to be in a band with her. This marked the birth of San Cisco’s future success.
As fans eagerly anticipate the full album release, ‘Honeycomb’ serves as a tantalizing taste of what’s to come. San Cisco’s willingness to experiment with their sound, incorporating electronic, garage, and house elements, demonstrates their growth as artists. Their ability to strike a delicate balance between dreamy introspection and catchy melodies is a testament to their artistry.
Their journey from the vibrant underage music scene in Fremantle to becoming indie royalty is an inspiration for aspiring musicians. With ‘Honeycomb’ marking a new chapter in their musical evolution, San Cisco’s future holds boundless possibilities, making them an exciting force to watch in the indie music landscape.
Happy: What are you up to today?
Jordi: It’s pretty gloomy today in Freo and since we finished the record, I haven’t quite settled into a new routine, I think I’m gonna try get these question done and a few other wordy things that MGMT have sent through. When I can’t sit still anymore, I’ll head down to my shed and try finish off a table and bench set I’ve been building from recycled timber. Wood work is something I enjoy as a creative outlet that isn’t music.
It’s Wednesday which is also known as Parmy Special Day so for lunch, Josh and I will probably head to the pub and get a no chips extra salad Parmigiana with a pint of Swan. Hot tip: no chips is so you don’t fall into a food coma and still have a productive afternoon. I’ll then spend the rest of the arvo finessing my furniture project and probably end the day with cooking a nutritious meal and finishing off any wordy stuff I didn’t get done this morning.
Happy: Tell us about where you live, what do you love or not love so much about it?
Jordi: The three of us all live in Fremantle WA which is about a 30 minute drive south of Perth City. Josh lives next door to me and Scar has a place down the hill about 5 minutes. Due to Fremantle’s location and size, you can feel a little isolated from the rest of the world which I like but sometimes it gets a bit slow so I always appreciate leaving for tour and getting out of town for a while. That said, I’m always looking forward to coming home. I’ve never been much of a big city person. I think Freo has a good balance of city vibes and a country town. The coast line is also amazing and it isn’t to hard to find somewhere to yourself.
Happy: Tell us about your average day?
Jordi: We finished recording the album about a week ago so I don’t really know what to do with myself. It’s been a very intense few months and now I kinda feel like I’m on holidays in between the meetings surrounding all the back end stuff for the album. I like to do creative activities first thing in the morning or late at night. I try to fit in either a gym session or a run/swim most days with a sauna every second day. It’s fair to say I’m on a bit of a fitness tip right now.
Happy: What about your ultimate day?
Jordi:Working on a song all day and finishing it is a pretty incredible feeling. Other than that, being in a secluded area along the coast with a bunch of water activities with people I love is the dream.
Happy: What did you read or watch growing up that fuelled your passion for music?
Jordi:As a kid, I found it quite hard to sit still let alone concentrate on reading. I did love watching Rage most Saturday mornings. Growing up in the years of the epic music videos was great and once we got internet in the home, I hit YouTube pretty hard watching everything I could on the artists I loved.
Happy: What did you read or watch last that opened your eyes and mind to a new perspective?
Jordi: I listened to a podcast that Jerry Seinfeld was interviewed on. He spoke about his creative process and how important consistency is and to spend 6 hours a day writing and creating new material is just unrealistic. A program like that will never last and you need to have an easy achievable goal that you can turn into a habit. He suggested 1 hour a day of uninterrupted creation.
After that, you could refine work or tend to the many other roles of running your business but the main takeaway for me was the consistency and quality of work. I followed this for the vast majority of making the record and I could really feel my musical muscle getting stronger.
I used to think I did my best song writing sporadically and I would wait for the magical moment to fall upon me. I have since learnt that this is not true and you really just need to work everyday even when you aren’t inspired. That is when you turn your craft from a game of chance into a consistent practice.
Happy: Can you tell us a bit about your journey as a band, from your early days to where you are now?
Jordi: Back in the early/mid 2000s, there was a very healthy underage music scene in Fremantle and the surrounding areas. Scarlett was in a band called The Flairz, they were a serious kid rock band in the vein of AC/DC and had already played a lot of shows. I was playing rhythm guitar in an outfit called The Real Life Animations.
Our now manager and Scarlett’s father Phil decided to put on an underage concert called the Garage Kids Ball at a The Fly By Night club which was a local venue across the road from the old prison. I remember we had to film ourselves rehearsing and send it to Phil to see if we had what it took. We ended up making the cut and playing the show with a lineup of very talented young bands playing original music and it was a proper sold out rock show. It was so successful I think three or four Garage Kids Balls proceeded.
It was these shows that I think solidified my love for writing, recording and performing music and was the birthplace for many talented musical characters in the WA scene.
At this point in time, although Scarlett and my parents were friends, I hadn’t seen Scarlet for years and I didn’t know her very well. After watching her play drums for the first time, I really felt like I wanted to be in a band with her. She was very cool and she scared the shit out of me but it was so impressive the way she played with such ease and charisma.
Whilst all of this was going on, I met Josh at high school. We were becoming good mates along with Nick Gardner (our former bass player) and Josh’s younger brother Luke. I was Year 8 and Josh and Nick were the year above. Josh played guitar mostly in his room and sometimes in his cousin’s country band and had great taste in music and design, two things I really didn’t know much about at the time. The Real Life Animators eventually broke up and I recorded a solo EP with some recording time I had won from a local songwriting competition. After playing a few shows by myself, I realised the solo life was not for me and that was when the band formed as King George. We later changed our name to San Cisco along with moving away from folk music and into a more pop focused direction.
Happy: You’ve been making music together for several years now. How has your dynamic as a band evolved over time, and what have you learned from each other?
Jordi: It’s been over a decade and there has been some huge dynamic changes between us as a group as well personal growth. I think we are always learning from each other, we definitely have our ups and downs. Things can get pretty heated sometimes but in the end, we all love and respect one another and are grateful for having each other through this journey.
Happy: Can you discuss your creative process as a band, and how you collaborate on writing and recording music?
Jordi: There are two ways we generally write a song. I have a small catalogue of songs and ideas that are usually lyrics and melodies that I constantly work on and when I feel like something is at a point where it is presentable, I show the group. If someone catches a vibe, we usually start fleshing it out and fine tuning it. If it falls flat, it just goes to the bottom of the pile and I try another one. These songs usually turn out to be the most traditional San Cisco vibe.
The other route we take is writing a song in the studio from the ground up. James (Ireland, our producer), Scarlett and Josh in a room together makes for a very fast song building operation and often I would find myself writing words and melodies to fully finished music while they cracked on with the next one. I found this process quite challenging to come up with lyrics and ideas, but it was something I worked hard on with Scarlett over the course of the recording.
Happy: What’s the story behind San Cisco’s latest track ‘Honeycomb’, and how does it tie into their upcoming fifth studio album?
Jordi:For this record we had the opportunity to live out our wildest musical dreams and we decided to not let any specific genres or ideas for the record restrict us. ‘Honeycomb’ was one of the earlier songs we wrote in the studio and I feel like it set the tone for our experimental attitude for the rest of the writing and recording period.
Happy: Can you tell us more about your collaborative work with producer James Ireland and Grammy award-winning engineer Neal H. Pogue for the upcoming album?
Jordi: James is a friend of ours and he also lives around the corner from us so the recording sessions for this album were some of the most casual and stress free sessions we’ve ever experienced which created an environment that enabled us to feel the freedom to try anything and everything without having to hold back. As well as being a freak on the keys, he is also a wizard on Ableton so the distance between dreaming up an idea and the idea coming out of the speakers is as seamless as ever. So with all of these cushy elements combined, it made for our most honest and mature musical effort yet.
With Neal, it was amazing learning what it is like to work with a world class mix engineer. When we sent him the stems to a song, he would have a mix back to us 24 hours later which gave the song a new lease on life. He really took the sonics to a new level and was a perfect fit for these new songs.
Happy: What was your approach to writing and recording your new album, and how does it differ from your previous work?
For the the previous 4 albums, we had worked with the same producer. For the first time in our career, we had a fresh new energy in the room that breathed new life into the band dynamic and made for an approach that for us was very new and exciting. It was interesting seeing another person’s perspective on the sound that we have spent our career developing and how he interpreted it and put it through his own filter to create what we think is our most exciting album yet.
Happy: How have your experiences as a touring band shaped your sound and influenced your songwriting?
Jordi: I think playing music live gives instant feedback that you otherwise can’t get from Spotify insights or YouTube comments. You can really see when the music connects with a crowd which is something that I love about writing music. I also think that being able to play a lot of shows together and having the opportunity as teens to hone our skills of playing as a band and building that instinctual connection with one another has shaped the way we write and perform together.
Happy: As a successful independent band, what challenges have you faced in the music industry, and how have you overcome them?
Jordi: It is hard for me to say because I don’t know any different. Ultimately, we really make all the decisions surrounding our careers and sometimes I wish someone would just tell us what to do! That said, I’d probably hate it if that happened. We have an amazing team that we have worked with for a long time and I’m so proud of what we have built together, but sometimes I wonder if being signed would open up a few more doors for us.
For instance, it’s very hard to get on a big show as a support act when you are independent. Also knowing what song to choose for a single and how to structure an album roll out in this ever-changing industry can get tricky. Although we are independent in Australia, we are singed to Nettwerk for the rest of the world and it is great to reach out to them for advice.
Happy: What do you hope listeners take away from your music, and what messages or themes do you strive to convey in your songs?
Jordi: Whenever I have been struggling through a period in my life, I have turned to music to soften the blow or kind of carry me through it – both through listening and writing. I just hope that our music could possibly do the same thing for our fans, that would be a true honour. A kind of a shared experience, I think that helps a lot.
Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?
Jordi: I really enjoy cooking a nice meal and sharing it with friends.
San Cisco’s energetic live performances are not to be missed, and they have some exciting shows lined up, including Darwin’s Bass In The Grass Festival and a headline gig at The Roey in Broome, WA. They’re also set to grace the stages of Bali’s 2023 Dream Machine Festival and Mackay’s Be Social Fest in June.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES*
20th May – Bass In The Grass – Darwin, NT
21st May – Roebuck Bay Hotel – Broome, WA*
9th June – 11th June – Dream Machine Bali 2023 – Nusa Dua, Indonesia
24th June – Be Social Fest – Mackay, QLD
All photos : Olivia Senior