Introducing JB woman Scarlett Stevens, we are so excited to share our feature on San Cisco’s lead drummer Scarlet Stevens. Having followed the band since it’s beginnings in 2009, I have always admired Scarlett as one of the few female drummers in the music industry. Scarlett gives rock a uniquely feminine touch with her style and personality; we loved chatting fashion, music and the future with this glam rock star.
When did you first start playing music?
I started learning piano when I was about 8, then drums at 10. I joined my first band ‘The Flairz’ when I was 11!
Were you always interested in the Drums?
I was always surrounded by music growing up, my parents were promoters and would bring over artists from all over the world to Fremantle and put on gigs, they also owned a bar at one point, so I guess being in that environment sparked an interest in music. However Josie and the Pussycats (the movie) was the main catalyst for me to want to play drums, seeing Tara Reid’s character do it made me want to do it!
Wearing Flora Dress
How did the band form?
I’ve known Jordi since we were in nappies lol and met the other boys when we were all in highschool. Jordi and I both played in different bands and eventually he asked me to play drums for his solo project. Josh and Nick ended up playing on that recording and the band was born.
How did you come up with the name San Cisco?
We used to be called King George, we were making more folky music at the time but we soon outgrew that name as the style of music changed. I remember there were a few names in the mix but San Cisco just kind of stuck.
What is your process of writing songs together?
Sometimes Jordi will have a fully imagined song on acoustic guitar and we will do our best to to turn it into a pop banger or we just leave it in its natural state and add minimal production, like ‘Flaws’ (one of my faves off the our latest record). A lot of the songs come from demos/voice memos that the boys have made and we slowly build from there and write lyrics together. A lot of the time we’ll reference a track from an artist or recording we all love and try and emanate something from the production, whether it’s a guitar tone or a drum beat. It hasn’t always been a smooth process but I think we really hit our stride on ‘Between You and Me’ and it was a huge learning curve working with different producers and mixers to get the album to a point where we were all happy.
Have you been influenced by any particular genres of music or musicians?
Hmm that’s a hard question because I love most genres of music, I guess I’m a bit of a rock pig at heart. When I was first getting into drumming I was obsessed with the Ramones, The Strokes, the White Stripes, AC/DC but also Outkast, David Bowie, Neil Young, Pj Harvey, Fleetwood Mac. I guess my taste in music is still very broad. At the moment I am listening to Haim and Aminé.
How have you found being the only woman in the group?
In the beginning it could feel quite isolating being the only woman in the band and touring the world. I experienced a lot of casual and overt sexism in the industry and it was really hard. Looking back now, I’m proud of myself for standing up to that kind of behaviour at such a young age and at a time when these issues affecting the music industry weren’t being talked about so openly. I feel optimistic about where the industry is headed now.
How would you describe your personal style? On stage and off?
I love getting dressed up for the stage but it’s hard to strike a balance between glam and comfort with being behind the drums. My go-to look for gigs is usually a playsuit or little top and hotpants. I’m mad for vintage. I guess my style is influenced by 1960s and ‘70s icons but I’m also loving the trends of the early 00’s that have made a comeback, not even in an ironic way.
What are your plans for the future? Would you ever embark on a solo career?