After a rapid rise in popularity in their home country thanks to three EPs and a self-titled album, San Cisco looks is slowly spreading their breezy, lo-fi garage sound to the rest of the world. We spoke with Josh Biondillo (guitars/vocals) about the band’s influences, their favorite records of 2013 and downtime activities while on tour.
San Cisco returns to Northern California on August 12 for a headlining concert at Slim’s.
How much time do you spend in Australia?
This year we’ve been at home a month or less in terms of Australia. The rest of the year has been touring solid. [We've toured the] US, UK, Europe and we just did an Australia tour.
Why do you think Australia is currently such a hot bed for new music right now other than the influence of Triple J radio?
Uhm, I don’t know. I guess it’s because there are a lot of cool Australian bands. We’re all kinda influenced and inspired by each other to do new things. We’re always checking out bands in other parts of the world.
San Cisco has admittedly been influenced by bands such as MGMT, The Flaming Lips and Vampire Weekend. What did the group inherit from each?
Just a lot of ideas in terms of songwriting and production techniques. There’s no traditional style in terms of new recording techniques. Also, I guess a lot of the pop melodies from those bands.
Do you have a favorite record of 2013 thus far?
I really like the Daft Punk record and maybe Phoenix’s record Bankrupt! as well.
San Cisco performed a cover version of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”? Do you think Daft Punk’s new album, Random Access Memories, lived up to the hype?
I love it. I definitely understand a lot of people who were disappointed because it didn’t have as many top hits as they were hoping. It depends on the listener. I like the way the record sounds, it sticks out. The people that they worked with are very clever. It’s very forward-thinking, which is what bands like that usually are, in terms of styles and what they are doing.
Do you or San Cisco have a pre-show routine?
Not yet. Maybe in the future we will. We’re not really in a position to have a routine because the band as a group doesn’t facilitate vocal warm ups or whatever. I don’t want to get in the habit in the pre-show ritual in the event that I won’t be able to perform it. I don’t know, it’s weird.
What’s the craziest thing you witnessed during your first U.S. headlining tour?
Generally seeing people on the other side of our music is crazy enough. You can imagine it would be strange to be writing songs in your bedroom and see a bunch of people in the crowd getting into it so far away. I find it kind of interesting.
What’s your top downtime activity while on tour?
Obviously, we spend a lot of time driving—various television series, read books, write music, surf the Internet. The last [TV series] I watched is the Sopranos. It was really weird actually: I started watching it like in the middle of this year and the night I finished watching the last episode, I woke up in the morning Tony had actually died for real. I’m holding out for new Breaking Bad.
Why do you think San Cisco’s song “Awkward” became such a big hit? (over 4.8 million YouTube views)
I think it’s because it resonates well with a lot of young people, I guess. There’s a lot of traditional textbook pop attributes to it as well.
Have you ever been on any awkward dates recently?
Uhm…no. Not me personally.
What was the last meal you cooked?
I haven’t cooked for a very long time because we live in hotel rooms. It’s probably breakfast back home. I usually make omelettes or pancakes.
What’s your fondest memory of San Francisco?
The show’s we’ve played there. It’s usually like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco that we really have good shows. San Francisco [culture] is great because it’s kind of like a mixture between New York and LA. I like it a lot.