As things open back up after the pandemic lockdowns both fans and bands are ready to get back out there and experience each other again. The bands that are ready to take advantage of this and connect with the fans will gain a quick following. Our new friends Sandspits are ready, willing, and able.
We had a chance to chat with the surf-rock band to get a little deeper. Enjoy the interview:
First off, tell us about the name Sandspits?
When we left our old band to form a duo, we had music written well before we had come up with a name for ourselves. One night, in the makeshift basement studio, we sat down and listened through the songs we had laid down and decided that we needed a surf-related name. We ran through the list of each of our local surf spots and recited them out loud, but they either didn’t stick or were already taken. Until, that is, I remembered an out-of-the-way San Luis Obispo surf break that I had surfed once with a buddy from the area, called Sandspits. We looked on different platforms and couldn’t find anyone using the name, and that ended up being the one that stuck.
How would you describe your sound? Without the standard genre descriptors.
A lot of our songs are clean, groove-driven, feel-good songs designed to get stuck in your head. They are driven mainly by the rhythm guitar and the drums, with easy-going, flowing lyrics. You know, the kind of songs that belong on your surf playlist. The B-sides to our singles are usually wide, mountainous, acoustic songs with ringy guitar and unique vocals from our drummer, Jack.
-you guys take from many different genres landing in neo-indie/rock, some ska influence, music you can easily move and sing along to
Which artists have had the biggest influence on The Sandspits?
We’ve been playing music together for so long that our individual music tastes have basically become identical, because of how often we show each other new music. Bands like Manchester Orchestra and Racoma have greatly influenced the sound of some of our more alternative songs. Bands like Sticky Fingers and Lime Cordiale are the main influence behind our surf songs, and we also draw inspiration from a lot of Matt Maeson, Built to Spill, and Modest Mouse.
New music coming soon from Sandspits
How does a song come together for the band? What is the songwriting process?
Since we live in two different cities (San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles), a lot of our music is written online. Usually, one of us will record out most of a song, filling in the missing instruments with a stand-in part (MIDI drums until Jack can put real drums on the track, or a placeholder guitar recording until Lucas adds his). Since we’ve been writing music together for so long, we both know what the other wants on a track, and they usually come out exactly as we planned. Before we release, we meet up in LA and spend a weekend mixing, mastering, and making sure we’re satisfied with the songs.
The single B-sides (“Idaho” & “Dead Fellow (Cliffs, Not Mountains)”) have all been recorded in one take. Jack has a special ability to come up with incredibly meaningful lyrics completely on the fly, and we definitely play around with that. We’ll come up with a simple rhythm guitar part and do one or two takes, which is usually all we need for a meaningful and captivating song as Jack’s creativity and unique sound speaks for itself.
We have heard stories about your high-energy house shows. Describe what goes on to a person who has not been to a show?
As Covid19 eases up, we’ve started playing our first shows as The Sandspits. The most readily available venues have been frat houses in San Luis Obispo. We set up the drums on a makeshift stage and pack the basements of frat houses with over a hundred people per show! Especially with how ravenous everyone is for live music after Covid-19 lockdowns, the energy everyone brings to the shows is amazing. We gig with a very “go with the flow” style. Running a show this way allows us and the crowd to get comfortable and loud! Crowd-surfing and mini mosh pits are to be anticipated at our gigs.
Congrats on the new EP release. What can you tell us about the music?
“Dead Fellow (Monks),” the first track on the EP, is a shortened demo version of one of the songs appearing on our upcoming album. “Monks” on the album will be the full-length, studio quality version of it, but we were excited to share a little bit of our album with listeners, as we are still working hard towards its completion.
How do you aim to connect with the listeners of your music?
We have a lot of things involving our listeners planned for the summer! These include merch giveaways we will be doing throughout the summer, a potential music video involving our audience, and lots of other interactive events to get our name out there all while meeting our fans. We appreciate it when bands we are a fan of interact with their listeners and we would like to emulate the same idea.
Share some advice for other bands trying to navigate this difficult time for a band that thrives in the live setting?
If you are still dealing with lockdowns affecting the availability of venues or shows, use this time to prepare yourself for that first show back. Switch up your songs, put a spin on it that they won’t be expecting, especially if you know you will have fans that know your music showing up to your post-covid show!
It’s been a tough year for musicians and venues but the good news is that everyone is ready for live music, the energy we’ve seen at our shows so far is a perfect example of that.
What is next on the horizon for Sandspits?
We are in the process of recording our first, full length album. It will feature some re-recorded and remastered versions of songs that are no longer on streaming services, and a bunch of new music with so many different inspirations behind them. This album represents both our past and future, while having put a much higher level of care and thought into it than we ever have with our previous releases together. Also eating tacos. Fish tacos specifically, though.
The album’s sound will cover ground all the way from alternative ballads to upbeat surf rock jams. This album is a collection of some of our favorite songs that we have written and been saving for a long time. Now that we have matured as musicians and established ourselves with a few releases, we feel that we can do justice to these songs.