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Scissors for Lefty
Scissors for Lefty might tease you. They're kind of quirky and sexy and flirty, a little tortured, and talented. Whatever it is they've got, it's pure, it's intelligent…and it comes from the heart. Their hearts. And it's good. Really good.
These boys have went from a local San Luis Obispo band playing on driveways and in coffee shops to enamoring San Francisco crowds which are often hard to please.
Not to mention, oh, playing shows with Grandaddy, Pedro The Lion, The Coral, Little Wings and Black Heart Procession, to name a few.
iTunes even picked up their first album, "Bruno"? as a Staff Pick in early October.
But wait, to top it all off …they've now captured the hearts of the legendary London based Rough Trade Records and signed on for their second full-length album and first UK tour. You know…the label that signed THE SMITHS, in the early 80s? That one.
They're releasing the first single in the UK next month.
So, it's exciting??? Yeah, pretty much.
Ok, I'll stop and let SFL front man Bryan Garza, do the rest of the talking…..
J: How did Scissors for Lefty get started, I mean the beginning?
B: We were called, "The Unsad". Needless to say, that name was too rocking, and so we evolved into "The John Stopsigns." Needless to say, that name was too sexual, and so, Scissors For Lefty was all that was left out there. In
San Luis Obispo, the running policy for starting bands was, "Change your name, ditch last week's songs, and get back
out there." :)
J: You guys are family in more ways than one right?
B: As far as how we met....well, there are only two last names in this band. Rob & I met when I was born, though I must admit, I don't really remember him much until age four or five. James & Peter have the same story. I met James & Peter at the same time. They had a blue Malaysian acoustic guitar with them, and I had plenty of bad poems. From there, it only took a little Thai food to pull our visions
J: Anything you'd like to say about the other boys, since I'm not interviewing all of you together?
B: Here's the skinny:James - Tallest and youngest. He's the most versatile musically, and definitely the most easy going. James was originally our bassist. Then, he played keys. Now he's our drummer. He's curly locks have the most bounce, but at the same time, they keep Rotor-Rooter in business.
Peter- He's the miracle riff maker. He also seems to possess the best feel for arrangement. We wear the same shoes and such, so it's commonplace to see us swapping garb from show to show.
Robby- Rob's got the rock. He grew up on KISS, and to this day, has all the dolls. He originally played guitar, but we really needed some bass action, and so he rocks it. Robby's quite possibly the most playful person on this planet. He's never in a grumpy mood. If he was a character on Street Fighter, he's skills would all be 5/5 with the exception of timeliness. He's the guy that Great Aunt Pauline has to make a special invitation for, stating eleven o'clock instead of four o'clock.
Bryan- That's me. I'm just a guy. A few endearing quirks. That's all there is to say about that.
J: How did you name the band? (p.s. I'm a lefty)
B: A friend came up with the name. She was hip, and so we respected the name right off the bat. Coincidentally, I'm a lefty also. We should have a pencil smear-off Jillian!!!
J: Second release. What's it about? How is it different this time? (Bruno, 2004).
B: "Underhanded Romance" it's due out in the fall. It's ridden with playful melodies…quirky & fun songs with bigger choruses than Bruno. Most of all, it's much more complimentary to our San Francisco live sets. We're releasing the first single over in the UK next month. It's our first cohesive album, meaning, it was designed, recorded, and mixed all according to a plan of sorts. We basically wrote the bulk of it in a month, and recorded it in three weeks. Bruno was more or less songs that we happen to record here and there over two years. Don't get me wrong, I really have a soft spot for Bruno. By recording those songs ourselves, it gave us a lot more room to experiment with our sound. That made life a whole lot easier for us in the studio while tracking Underhanded Romance.
J: So, you recently signed with Rough Trade records, in all territories outside of North America…how does it feel to sign with a label that started the careers of bands like The Smiths, The Moldy Peaches, Belle and Sebastian, Arcade Fire, The Libertines, The Strokes and so many others?
B: We're very, very flattered. To be honest, it's given us a new kick in our step. We can't wait 'till May. It'll be our first time out playing shows in the UK.
J: Did you imagine from the beginning that success like this would be coming???
B: We always believed in our songs. We like hanging out together. That to us is success in itself, but shit, it sure is cool to have a handful of other people feel the same way :)
J: How does it feel to be going on your first (is this the first) European tour to promote this album?
B: It feels like we're about to get schooled!!! What I mean is, it feels very similar to the night before your first day at a new school. I can't wait to ride their public transit. I love riding public transit in new places, plus there's all that fun nervous anxiety about what coins to use?, where's the stop handle?, should I get off here, or continue to make eyes with that girl being escorted by the cops??
J: What's the biggest show you've played to date?
B: Fresno Baby!!! It's just a day away!!!
J: The BEST ever?
B: Well, we played the Castro Street Fair last year. That was super!!! South By Southwest was a lot fun this year. All time best show, is a tie. Either, a backyard party show at our friends' house off Haight, or this show at Club Deluxe on Haight & Ashbury. Perhaps, the latter. Sadly our drummer quit on us the night before, Robby had the flu, and I was on crutches with a cracked kneecap. James had one night to learn drums, Robby had to pick up the bass, and I had to learn how to hop on and off pedals using one leg. Despite all the handicaps that night, we were all in good spirits, and that's all that mattered. Curveballs get the blood pumping.
J: What is your video all about?
B: It's being produced by Danny Drysdale. He's a great guy, and has some seriously cool footage on his hands. Spanish disco party with a little murder. Originally filmed in the 70's....but of course, with four new cameo appearances by yours truly....Scissors For Lefty.
J: How did you end up collaborating with the SF Art Academy to do it?
B: Oh, that's actually another video. It was shot and edited by a class, but they're still working on it. We'll know more about that one when the class is over :)
J: Is this your first time playing in Fresno?
B: Mmm Hmm...
J: Any expectations?
B: I'm hoping to find true love. James too. Honestly, we're just looking to forward a good show, making new friends, catching up with old ones.
J: If you could tell Fresnans something about you guys before the show Thursday, what would it be?
B: COME CHECK US OUT!!!!!!
J: Aspirations…for life, or the future J?
B: Same stuff as any other set of dorks. Looking to pop better wheelies, cook a few good meals, provide reasonable tech support for friends, etc...In the meantime, we be writing songs.
J: Words of wisdom or secrets of the universe to share with us?
B: 1) Adding "in bed" to the end of your fortune cookies makes for an uncomfortable family outing.
2) Sneak up on loved ones in the shower with a jug full of ice water whenever possible.
3) Find time to make your loved one's feel special.
Check out some full articles on the band…in the LA Weekly, the SF Chronicle, Zero Magazine, SF Bay Guardian, the Portland Willamette Week, the Oregonian, The Seattle Stranger, The Wigs Fit All Heads, Playing in Fog, The Owl Mag, Three Imaginary Girls, among others...!
Enough said….see you Thursday, post-Art Hop at Tokyo Garden. Scissors for Lefty, Rademacher, Joey Know Noes (of El Olio Wolof), and The Nancys. Cost is $3. Worth every penny!