HopMonk Sebastopol presents
The Soft White Sixties
230 Petaluma Ave
Sebastopol, CA, 95472
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
The Soft White Sixties
Five years together, and the members of The Soft White Sixties have rarely sat still. They’ve lived much of their life in a 15-passenger van, traversing the country, whipping up new riffs, new rhythms, new lyrics and then, almost immediately, breaking them out onstage. For these hard-working musicians, it was simply a way of life.
But the band needed to step back. “You don’t always need to be out there selling the song live,” lead singer and principal lyricist Octavio Genera says now. The Bay Area band, as he sees it, needed to exhale. The four musicians, who’d grown beyond close with one another since forming in 2010, owed it to themselves to give the new songs they were concocting their proper due.
“It was about giving these songs the attention they deserve,” Genera says of the band’s decision to hunker down in a one-bedroom house in East Nashville in the fall of 2014 to workshop what became their tightest, most sophisticated and melodic material to date. “Every little part of each song was really put under a microscope much more than we had in the past,” says guitarist and keyboard player Aaron Eisenberg, of constructing tracks armed with bluesy struts and squirms atop menacing guitar lines. “It was an exercise in patience for a lot of us sitting with parts for awhile and letting them settle,” Eisenberg adds. “You have to be able to step back and say, ‘Alright, cool there’s one idea. But is there a better one?’”
For the Sixties, who’d released their debut full-length album, Get Right in 2014, capturing a certain vibe and a particular mood for their next batch of recordings was essential. The band always took an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to writing, but in the past they chiseled their song arrangements on stage without a clear sense of direction for the final result. For the next album the musical collective — which includes bassist Ryan Noble and drummer Joey Bustos — made a conscious decision to apply a forward-thinking kind of approach, continually asking the question ‘what kind of band do we want to be?’ To further ensure an open-book approach to the sessions, the band enlisted producer/mixer Matt Linesch (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Dave Mason), working with him at United Recording in Los Angeles. “Matt was almost like a fifth member, at times,” Eisenberg says. “He embraced our new approach, while really stressing the importance of the music not being perfect. It’s a human form of expression.”
Who did they find themselves to be? “A band not afraid to embrace its murkier side”, says Genera. “We wanted the songs to have a little darker tinge to them than those on our last record. Live, the tones were always a little darker, and there’s a little more energy. We wanted to make sure to capture that in our recordings,” Genera explains. In-studio discussions often turned to films — and more specifically the ominous tones their respective soundtracks conveyed — band members loved so much. “A lot of the movies we love have a darker, grittier side to them, grit that our music has as well,” Eisenberg says, referencing the acclaimed works of filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson and Martin Scorsese. “We wanted to write a song that would be used to introduce the villain,’” Eisenberg explains.
For Genera, the new Soft White Sixties material marks some of his most autobiographical work yet. “It’s cliché to say music is my therapy but it’s so often true,” the singer says with a laugh. “With creativity there isn’t a manual. If the words are right and the feeling is right it doesn’t matter how you sing it. What you’re trying to say will come through.” Many of Genera’s lyrical revelations, he says, center on his belief that “all too often, relationships make one lose sight of oneself in the process. Whether it be a man needing a girl to let him go rather than string him along with hopeless expectations, or a deep dive into the concept of being in the moment and being present.”
The Soft White Sixties have no doubt they’re on the right path. “It’s really about doing what you love, and realizing everyone is doing the same thing, just in a different way,” Genera says with a smile. Scratching their creative itch — whether in songwriting mode or performing live — is what keeps them excited for what’s to come. Eisenberg says they have “a ton of other songs” they’ve been working on, not to mention a slew of music videos. Of course, they’ll also be hitting the road to reveal their new material for much of 2016. For Genera, however, everything really boils down to a simple motto he can’t shake. Says the singer with supreme confidence and conviction: “It’s always about doing it better than the last time.”
Four lifelong friends from Northern California grow up obsessed with the sounds of AC/DC, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, The Bee Gees and Michael Jackson. Living within a block of each other since kindergarten, they began playing anywhere and everywhere with a stage by the age of 16, taking over supper clubs, parties, and backyard barbecues. After their single “Make It Real” cracked 2 million Spotify streams, they made a collective decision to forego college and trade their small Sacramento suburb for Hollywood, forming Vista Kicks in late 2015. Living together in a cramped one-bedroom apartment, the quartet—Derek Thomas, Sam Plecker, Trevor Sutton, and Nolan Le Vine—quietly ignited a buzz throughout L.A. and beyond with two full U.S. national tours under their belts and recording with Tommy Lee behind the board.
Back in L.A., they’d sell out local shows and host intimate (and raging) booze-soaked “Vista Kick Backs” in the studio where they resided for four months. Within a year, the band’s independent 2016 Chasing Waves EP and additional singles generated over 5 million cumulative Spotify streams and 3.2 million YouTube views. However, everything set the stage for the release of their 2017 full-length, Booty Shakers Ball—self-produced by the musicians themselves and engineered by their guitar player and vocalist Sam Plecker.
Best described as a smoked-out collaboration between James Brown and Jimmy Page, it bridges eras.
“This is ‘Booty Shaking Rock and Roll’,” says Trevor. “We’re so far behind that we’re ahead; I don’t think there’s anything else like us out there. Every song is different and eclectic.”
“We’re old soul millennials,” exclaims Trevor. “We’re young and wound up like everybody else our age, but our roots go deeper. We’ve found an audience that’s just like us. It’s rock music that you can shake your booty to and party.”
That’s exactly what the first single and album opener “Gotta Get Away” offers. Hinging on bluesy and ballsy riffing as well as a simmering, soulful groove, the track opens up the world of Vista Kicks, treading a fine line between rock and funk.
“Lyrically, it’s about how ambition can get in the way of love,” reveals Derek. “It happens at any age. Art gets in the way of contentment and ambition—or vice versa. It’s a conflict.”
Elsewhere on the record, “Fight The War” turns into a rallying cry for anyone chasing a dream soundtracked by bold guitars and brash vocals.
“It was about our struggles in the business,” sighs Sam. “A couple of years ago, we were doing a lot of songwriting sessions. We’d go into these sessions, and we’d be told these songs aren’t good enough. We had fans saying just the opposite. We didn’t have respect from the industry; however, the people did respect us. We sided with our fans.
“We put in our 10,000 hours since we were 16- and 17-years-old, that’s what makes our live show our strongest asset. It’s also where we have the most fun.” - Sam
In the end, they will be heard in a big way as they invite everyone to the Booty Shakers Ball.
“I hope people know these songs are there for them,” Nolan leaves off. “Hopefully, the music is useful. We’ve benefitted so much from the music of others. We want to give something back with what we do.”
“We don’t make an effort to be cool; we put all our efforts into being honest,” concludes Derek. “When you hear us, we just want you to be yourself and enjoy the moment and the ride.”
$12.00 - $15.00
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