The San Francisco Bay area has always been an epicenter for American music. So it is with the bay local artist The Soft White Sixties. When journalists write about bands they feel the need to compare them to other bands. Unfortunately I’m not going to proceed with such triteness but what I will say is that TSWS beckons a new age for rock music. Their sound has this vibe that only San Francisco is indigenous to. What they’ve proven and most notable is that they are developing a whole new brand of Glam 2.O music to the scene. Festooned with R&B, Funk and Psychedelic Rock sounds they are molding what Marc Bolan and David Bowie did so successfully back in the 80’s (seems like a century ago); but millennials can now rejoice in the fanfare and call it their own.
David Bowie… Mark Bolan S.F. Corner of Peace and Love
Their bio refers to themselves as “romantic rock”. Though I can understand this portrayal I feel that it’s not telling their story in full. What they do that is so “funkin’” cool is that there are elements similar to Sly Stone who started his legacy in the East Bay by bringing rock and soul music together thus making it accessible to both white and black audiences.
Stone’s course was amazingly successful considering the racial and political climate in America. It could only have happened in the San Francisco bay area. In the mid-1960s, Stone worked as a D.J. for the San Francisco soul radio station KSOL where he included white performers such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones into his playlists. This station was not use to playing white rock and roll; especially bands that were part of the “British Invasion”! During the same period, he worked as a staff record producer for a small local label producing for San Francisco-area bands such as The Beau Brummels, The Mojo Men and Grace Slick‘s first band, the Great Society. Adopting the stage name”Sly Stone,” he then formed “The Stoners” in 1966 which included his sister Cynthia. With her and bassist Larry Graham he started the multi-racial band Sly and the Family Stone. Currently Sly is “dead broke” and living in a van in N. Hollywood, CA.. Perhaps TSWS could have a similar impact by bringing a lot of genres to their music. The opening track from their self-titled debut starts with “City Lights”; an up-tempo ditty that sets an eager vibe.
Smokey Robinson Octavio Genera Curtis Mayfield
TSWS singer Octavio Genera is a star! Yes it’s true! His bravado is uncompromised by his captivating persona. Vocally he moans of early Smokey Robinson and the late Curtis Mayfield who both have left indelible marks in rock and roll and racial alchemy. Genera told us during our email interview regarding musical influences, ..”Im gonna do my best..but this first question is at least a 30min conversation. We have all been fans of band that can deliver live and that being so..we always wanted to make sure we could as well. I have always been in awe of artist like James Brown, Otis Redding, Freddy Mercury and Sly Stone. They were all great artists and part of amazing bands. Bands that were able to roll with the mood of the crowd and cater to any feeling that was necessary.
I think our live show is a combination of all of our musical backgrounds.. Well…when the band first started we began playing live as soon as we had a 20min set. Then we moved on to make some recordings.”He doesn’t let up throughout the album. Playing guitar and keyboards is Aaron Eisenberg who sets a welcome pace and attitude. The flow of his vision and ability creates the essence of TSWS by which an aural topography is set.
Again, the music is far beyond categorical presumption. Much of the credo behind this brilliant debut was due to producer Jim Greer whose body of work included the well-received album from Foster the People. Astonishingly this album only took five days to record and this is why the record is so masterful. Guitarist, Eisenberg when asked about meeting up with Jim Greer, “Jim was definitely on the same page with us as far as a good song being the priority over any kind of genre constraints. We met Jim a little over a year before we actually got around to recording the record, he was working out of the studio in Berkeley where we ended up recording Get Right. I remember talking about Jeff Lynne a lot with him when we met, and we still do that now. We kept in touch and luckily one thing lead to another and we were able to make a record we’re proud of.
Importantly this album is a rock album first and foremost; I attribute this to the killer rhythm duo of bassist Ryan Noble and drummer Joey Bustos, together keeping the direction truly modular with rock and roll. Seeing them live is their greatest venue. As a band their synchronicity is what makes them brilliant and special…..So when they play it’s a sure shot that they will aim to please and GET RIGHT.
We rarely do this but the new video of” Don’t Lie To Me” is so killer we made this adjustment…
Much thanks to Will Kiker from TSWS management team…