What’s in the water in Sacramento?
It’s home to Cake, Far, the Deftones and Oleander, to name a few, and now there’s Simon Says. The young hard-rock quartet’s Hollywood Records debut album, “Jump Start,” was issued April 20.
“The scene in Sacramento, what’s cool about it is there isn’t a specific sound coming out,” singer Matt Franks said recently. “It’s not like grunge from Seattle or metal from Florida. All the bands coming out, they’re a really eclectic collection.
“Obviously, we have some great musicians there and great bands, but I don’t know why it’s happening there all of a sudden, other than the fact that the talent’s there. It’s not like people are moving to Sacramento to start bands. It’s just one of the new buzz towns.”
Franks, guitarist Zac Diebels, bassist Michael Arrieta and drummer Mike Johnston impressed Hollywood after a pair of indie albums, “Little Boy” (1995) and “Perfect Example” (1997), did well on the West Coast.
“We’ve been together six years this month, since we were juniors in high school,” Franks said. “We toured our asses off through the West Coast and we started to develop a regional following. Our name got out there. The turning point was working with our new manager. We recorded demos and he personally took them down and shopped to the labels and we ended up showcasing for 15 labels.
“The music’s heavy and we’ve been criticized as being Ozzfest-like, but I don’t really take that as a criticism. We have elements of the Deftones and all the heavy bands, but there’s a melody in our music. That’s what appealed to these labels, that while it is heavy and they can gain the respect of the hard-core audience, they can ride the fence and maybe go to radio at some point.”
Simon Says has its hands full, juggling three tours at the same time – a headline tour, a series of ESPN-related dates and several high school appearances.
BWF (before we forget): Right said Simon Says on the Web @ www.hollywoodrecords.com.