23 Jan 2019
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Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara Newsletter Interview

30 Jun 2017 // An interview by Shade
Santa Barbara is what happens when 3 Kiwis move to LA and discover a mutual love of 60's influenced pop/rock. Santa Barbara is definitely about making music that suits a party but the underlying vibe has a depth and passion displayed through beautiful harmonies and sophisticated arrangements. Its surf rock/doo wop/guitar pop for the 21st century from New Zealand via Los Angeles. Cassie answered the following questions for muzic.net.nz:

How did you become involved in music?

I've been singing and playing guitar since I was 7 years old. I was heavily into songwriting right through to my early 20's then took a break to pursue acting. I moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and realised I hated everything about the acting biz so I went back to my roots, I picked up a guitar and started a band here with Nick Gaffaney (Cairo Knife Fight) and Geoff Maddock (Goldenhorse). We live our good friend Neil Baldock who is an incredible sound engineer who helped us record some early demos as well as our EP's and that's pretty much how Santa Barbara came about.

If you could perform with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Lucinda Williams - she's been my hero since I can remember. Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast would be up there too. I love them both so much.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

I'm really proud of all our songs. I think our new single Reptile Lover is fun to play live. I've only started playing electric guitar in the last couple of years so it's a total buzz to rock out at shows.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

I'd say it's alternative rock with a 50's/60's aesthetic. Catchy chords with sophisticated arrangements and lots of guy/girl harmonies.

What can we expect to see from you in the next year?

New Songs! We will be releasing new singles throughout the rest of the year. We are also planning a west coast US tour later this year too if anyone is going to be over in California and wants to catch a show.

What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?

Delaney Davidson is amazing and his live show is killer! I'd love so much for Santa Barbara to come to NZ and do a tour with him. Bic Runga is amazing and would love to hear another album from her. 

What local albums have you been enjoying recently?

Cairo Knife Fight's new album Seven is SO GOOD. It hasn't been released yet, but when it is you'll see why!!

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

I've seen so many good shows at The Powerstation and The Kings Arms in Auckland.

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

I don't recommend caffeine but then I always go against my own advice and usually smash a Red Bull before a gig.

How do you balance your music with other obligations; family, job etc?

I'm constantly thinking about music even when I'm at work, at home. Since I'm basically managing the band there's always so many things I'm trying to juggle at once. I know I can get a little obsessive which drives my husband a little nuts (since he's in the band too! haha) but he's incredibly supportive and vital role model to me. He works so hard and I strive to be as dedicated and passionate as he is. 

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

I am really inspired by other musicians and artists. I sometimes hear a song that I like and I try and create my own version of it which usually sounds completely different. I sometimes use songs like a springboard for ideas. Our new single Reptile Lover was inspired from an LA band I like called Dengue Fever. Their song Cement Slippers is a killer surf/rock jam that sounds nothing like Reptile Lover but it's what inspired the riff.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Surround yourself with good people and always trust your instincts.

 


Image courtesy of Emery Becker
 

About Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is what happens when 3 Kiwis move to LA and discover a mutual love of 60's influenced pop/rock. Lead by Cassie Gaffaney on guitar and vocals the band formed in the Valley in late 2014 when Cass and her husband Nick met up with their good friend from NZ Geoff Maddock the 3 of them decided a band would be the best way to pass the time in a new country.

Santa Barbara is definitely about making music that suits a party but the underlying vibe has a depth and passion displayed through beautiful harmonies and sophisticated arrangements. Its surf rock/doo wop/guitar pop for the 21st century from New Zealand via Los Angeles.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Santa Barbara

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