Ever since hearing ‘Just Friends’ — a track that nails the ‘indie anthem’ brief — we were keen to snap up an interview with San Francisco. We chatted to Iwan, the talent behind the outfit…
Hi Iwan, how are you?
Hey! I’m pretty good thank you (all things considered)!
How’s lockdown life been treating you?
Well, there have definitely been good days and bad, but I was really lucky in the sense that I had the facilities to record my new single, which helped to keep me focused and maintain some semblance of a routine. Apart from that, it’s just been a bit of a blur of Netflix and daily walks!
You’re here to chat to us about your music. Bring us up to speed with all things San Francisco.
Yeah, so it all started with lockdown really. Like most people, I suddenly found myself facing a long period of free time, so I decided to spend it getting to grips with home recording. I’d been sitting on the chord progression (that became the ‘Just Friends’ intro) for a while, so thought I’d just start there and the rest fell into place quite quickly.
It was all a bit of a happy accident really, because I never dreamed of it actually amounting to a song, let alone what would be my debut single!
It really is a fantastic debut, too. Where are you based? Have you ever been over to San Francisco?
I’ve spent lockdown in a town called Mold in North Wales, where I grew up. But since last September, I’ve been based in Leeds as I’m studying at Leeds College of Music.
It sounds daft really, but I’ve never actually been to San Francisco. The reason it came about was I’d been procrastinating about a name for AGES and saw a t-shirt advertised on Instagram with ‘San Francisco’ emblazoned on it. I’d promised myself beforehand that I wouldn’t spend another day without a name. I thought it had a ring to it and that was that. I did then buy the t-shirt…
Your latest single ‘Just Friends’ epitomises the wistful indie ballad, underpinned by solid riffs and melodies. Big fan right here! How has this been received generally since its release in June?
Aw thank you so much! It’s been nothing short of surreal, in all honesty. It’s gone from being literally non-existent a month ago to having gained a level of support I could never have anticipated, from people ranging from mates to complete strangers who’ve just seemed to connect with it. It’s been overwhelming!
Has the pandemic forced you to postpone or cancel any shows?
I guess the easy answer is no! As perverse as it sounds, lockdown has been somewhat of a blessing as far as San Francisco is concerned. It gave me the time I needed to really get to grips with releasing a record (both the creative element and then the promotional), without the normal distractions that come with everyday life.
Yeah, I can totally appreciate that. Do you have any new material in the pipeline?
DEFINITELY. ‘Just Friends’ opened so many doors and presented so many incredible opportunities that I want to grab with both hands and see how far I can get. The next single is pretty much done, so I hope to get recording it soon!