Interview: Social Club



Some of you might have noticed that along with our normal video contests, periodically we run Battle of the Bands competitions, offering groups the chance to fly out and rock out at one of the many MOFILM events across the world.  Most recently we ran a contest offering bands the opportunity to join us at our upcoming SXSW Awards.  We had a number of great entries for this, but in the end the panel unanimously voted for California natives Social Club, a great choice we hope you’ll agree.  Ahead of the awards next weekend, we caught up with them to get to know a little bit before the show.  Here then, are the results!

Thanks for taking a minute to catch up with us, first of all then a huge congratulations on winning the Battle of the Bands! We’re super excited to have you guys joining us in Austin!

I guess first of all, would be nice to hear a little bit of background about you guys – how did Social Club come to be?

We’ve been Social Club for about 2 1/2 years. We’re based out of San Diego, which is also where we all met, but we all come from different spots around the States. We all just kind of moleculed together…John and James were in a hip hop band together, they broke off to form their own group with more of a rock element, Jeffrey spotted them at a show and made some double bonds…and Thea’s the only asian girl in San Diego that plays keys so it was kind of a no brainer!

It would be great to hear how you found out about the contest, did you know much about MOFILM before you entered?

Thankfully Jeffrey found MOFILM on the internet. After a little research it seemed like a great opportunity to get involved with a great company and also put our newly finished music video out there to see what people thought….. Looks like you guys like it!

Well we did, it’s always great to be able to shine a bit of light on up and coming talent! Could you tell us a little bit about your musical influences? Do you share pretty common grounds here, or is there a bit of variety in the mix?

Well, the Beatles are rad, don’t think there is any arguments there. Thea likes gritty blues and soul, some rock, some jazz, some hip-hop. James is into anything that makes the ladies dance. John likes indie rock, but has fancied Mayan flute quartettes as of late. And Jeff is a Sound of Music kind of guy… something about that Julie Andrews.

How do you find it being in an active band today, the music world has obviously changed a lot in the last ten years or so with downloads/online becoming most people’s go to for consuming music. What’s your take on all this – would you say it’s a good time to be in a band at the moment?

Man! You actually want us to use our brains!  Well, things have definitely changed a lot in the last ten years, completely agree on that. I hear bands got signed and made millions a decade ago and needed the big time players to do so…today you hear about people that put up a YouTube video that goes viral and the next day they’re on the Ellen show with sold out live performances.

Same race, different outfits I guess…you still gotta run! Right now there’s so much good music that people are actually listening to…even though it’s not on the radio, so for that reason, I’m grateful for the download/online wave.  At the same time, it’s a bit overwhelming to see just how many people there are out there making and selling music, regardless of the whether they can play an instrument, sing, or put on a live show.  So…what was the question?

A lot of bands these days hold down a job on the side to keep themselves going. Is this a full time gig for you guys, or do you work outside the band too? Tell us a little about yourselves, we’re all ears!

This is a full-time gig for us that requires us all to have additional full-time ‘jobs’. That plus the two or so hours we set aside a day for dreaming and our schedules are packed full. Thea provides free counseling services over strong cups of Joe, Jeffrey builds v8 engines for bicycles, James makes people look good on stage at the House of Blues, and John…I think he spends all day making his voice sound pretty.

Always an awful question, but does Social Club have ‘favourite’ album you could all agree on?

Nope. There is no agreeing on this one. This question causes many of our studio debate sessions.  Thea’s is a Beatles, Van Morrison, Etta James or Billie Holiday album. Or Christina Aguilerra’s Christmas Time.  James’ would be Purple Haze or anything that makes the ladies dance.  For John it would be a Tom Waits live album. And for Jeff probably the Sound of Music sound track.. he can’t get enought of that Julie Andrews….or the newest Taylor Swift album…seriously.

If you guys were to curate your own festival, who would be on the dream lineup?

Oh snap! mmm…the Black Keys, The Roots, Franz Ferdinand, Kimbra, Awolnation, Muse, WuTang, Social Club, and of course Taylor Swift. Done.

If the Social Club were a superhero – who would you guys be?

Probably Superman with a Batman complex…and Catwoman on the side? No?

What’s the dream for the Social Club in the near future – any major aspirations that you’d still love to tick of the bucket list?

Near future, to knock MOFILM off their butts with a rockin’ afterparty…in their hometown of London, UK!….shortly after rockin’ their socks off in Austin!…eh, eh?…

We saw that your album Gamma Rays was just released earlier this year in January. Congrats! How does that feel at the moment, have you had a good response so far?

Thanks, It feels great to finally have the album out…..and the response has been great so far! But I think one of the most exciting parts about it for us, is the next step… which is playing out as much as possible and spreading the word about Social Club!

Finally then, to give the MOFILM team a little taste of what to expect in Austin – in three words how would you describe the Social Club live experience?

Hopefully we make you all feel like Superman…with a Batman complex…with a little Catwoman on the side…? what?

Cool, thanks then, look forward to seeing you all out in Austin!!!

Thanks guys, see you in Austin!

Well thanks once again to Social Club for ‘riffing’ with us (see what we did there, don’t worry, you can LOL,that was funny)!  Why not support them by picking up a copy of there debut album Gamma Rays and then buy two more for your friends while you’re at it! 🙂

Well we look forward to seeing you out in Texas then team – till then keep on rocking in the free world!


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