I first discovered Owls Paws when they opened for Samantha Crain at Amnesia back in January, and then of course made sure to SEE THEM AGAIN when they headlined Bottom of the Hill a few months later. The are SO GOOD. This talented folk trio has been playing together for nearly 5 years — not long after Derek Schultz (guitar/vocals) decided to extend his solo project to include fellow San Francisco State school buddies Timothy Vickers (upright bass) and Lucas Siobal (drums/percussion), and later Wayne Mills (guitar). Their haunting harmonies, alluring acoustics, and restless rhythms truly epitomize the appeal of the beautiful city in which we reside! Just like San Francisco, their sound is distinctive and captivating, and they draw influences from a variety of elements (including some of my favorite indie/folk bands like Local Natives and the Head and the Heart.
Owl Paws released their first full-length album, Reservoir, last summer, and it’s DEFINITELY worth checking out. In fact, you are bound to be keep checking out that bad boy over and OVER. You can even download it here FOR FREE! (although donations are suggested and well deserved): https://owlpaws.bandcamp.com
Standout tracks for me are: Bring Me Back (my FAVORITE), Coils of Spring, Eyes of the Prey, The Things I Forgot, The Fields, Jagged Grin.
Having gone on several small West Coast tours an SXSW last year, and I really think THIS SUMMER is their TIME TO SHINE. Don’t miss their UPCOMING SHOWat Brick and Mortar tomorrow night. You’ll thank me later!
(see below for videos from their previous SF shows)
I caught this photo of Travis Hayes minutes before he hit the stage at Bottom Of The Hill to play his album release show for his new self-released full length, Young Daze. He was in good spirits. It was a Supermoon. The place was packed. Trebouchet and Christian Lee Hutson were putting on good sets. He joked with friends as we dodged cars in the street to get the shot but when he began strumming it was all business. He started out with an instrumental revving up the crowd after which he announced, “It’s Friday night, San Francisco” triumphantly kicking his band into gear. He bled out and we drank like vampires as he smiled back flirtatiously or ran up to the drummer in ecstasy and got lost in his pitch black guitar and sweat. This album is his San Francisco coming of age tale. The seasoned lyricist cries loneliness as the band rages on bravely. He jests with bravado, “Follow me home. Take all my money and never call my phone.” He plays out his revenge fantasies hissing over a crescendoing band, “I’ll take his bones and I’ll build a house. Then I’ll burn it down just to show him how evil good men can be”. But Travis lets down his guard in the stripped down must download song Night Swimming, “I’ll admit I’m not always right. But that doesn’t mean I should quit.”
I’m hearing some Bob Dylan timber nestled in with the dark folk indie twang of his band. It’s an “it” factor coming from a matured sense of self-acceptance that can only be attributed to the gutting of trauma. Travis remains collected or at least that’s how he appears; poised and unafraid. Maybe it’s because he finally got out the poison. “Young Daze” is the complacency anti-venom concocted from the hurt separated from his veins. Drink up. Dance it out. Let it go. You’re going to be ok.
Did I hear correctly… You dropped out of college to focus on your band?
If I did… I think that’s both awesome and horrible!!! (I’m not advocating it… but if they get famous… then they can simply say “I TOLD YOU SO!”) Solwave is an SF band that practices at Plug and Play… Side bar… Have you heard of this place? (I think I want to write about it!) I think they said it best on the site “Leave your amps and drum kit at home. Just bring your axe, cables, and sticks! Pick a date and time, reserve one of four sizes of fully equipped rehearsal studios, and come on down!” Anyway… I think you’ll “heart” Solwave…. for you potential fans I’ve done my due diligence and dug up some dirt that you might find interesting.
First question… to their promoter Mac, “What’s the craziest show story so far?” In their first appearance at Bottom Of The Hill, the venue closed its doors to the public at 10 pm and dozens of people were left outside on 17th street in Portero. Many loyal Solwave fans resorted to jumping into the venue from the rooftops and sneaking in for the show- the cops later escorted these gentlemen out.
I like letting readers decide what they think of music… and focus on giving them more about the bands than about the songs. So I asked Danny (Solwave’s Bass Player and Backup Vocalist) some questions I thought you might like to know.
What is your favorite venue in SF? Why?
As far as playing goes, Cafe Du Nord offers the package deal. Great venue and the best sound system of venues that size. Also a really cool backstage area. They also allow all ages which is always fun. My favorite venue to go see a show is The Fillmore.
Are there any venues you haven’t played that you want to play?
We have not played Rickshaw Stop but we are excited to say that we will be playing there in 2013. We also have not played The Fillmore, Slim’s, or GAMH, and hope to be playing those venues soon.
Are you touring? What’s the hardest thing about touring?
Yes. The hardest thing about touring is the stop and go reality. You spend 9 hours crammed in the van all day and then you get to the city you are going to and you have to go on stage and rock n’ roll as hard as you do for any other show.
Are any of the musicians in other bands?
I am the only one in another band. I play guitar and sing in a punk rock band called Darksliders.
What SF band are they most impressed by?
I love Trophy Fire. The hardest working musicians we have come across in our own paths are definitely the Tumbleweed Wanderers. Those guys are freaking animals.
Joe Collins-Lead Singer-Songwriter/Keyboards
Danny Ferdon-Bass Guitar /Backing Vocals
Tommy Ferdon- Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
San Francisco, CA
booking@strikewalkerET.com – Mac Walker
The Killers, Led Zeppelin, My Morning Jacket, The Strokes, Daft Punk, Muse, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Doors, Otis Redding