I spent a lot of time recording bands in Santa Barbara, so it was nice to have some of Santa Barbara come to me. On June 27th, 2009, Backpack unloaded at my front door. San Francisco was all-time that day, and while they recorded a One Night Music session on my back deck, the city was alive with blossoms and short shorts. Backpack is Mallory Watje, Eliot Ray Burk, and Jacob Jaffe, plus an ensemble of friends and lovers. The band, primarily led by Malorie's siren-sung calls, features two guitars, bass, and sometimes drums. They come from a long line of Santa Barbara local stars and starlets, such as Girl Band, stints with Water Color Paintings, and probably more.
Backpack is one of those great things that come out of a small community of tight knit friends. With such creative craftiness - like "let's print our own record sleeves, silkscreen patches, and make our own clothes" sort of craftiness - there is no way not to love them. They sing on awkward romance, and their stutter-start guitar riffs and fun time signatures make you feel the words like you are looking into the eyes of your first kiss, under the bleachers where you snuck into your first drive-through before you had a car.
When Backpack played for One Night Music their band was only 2 months old and they had just embarked on a west coast tour with Watercolor Paintings. Here are some words from Jacob about the band at that time: "As summer rolled around, the two-month-old band's bright eyes and bushy tails went wild at the prospect of piggybacking on the left coast leg of Watercolor Paintings' epic tourney. Space considerations kept Tom and his kit behind, but the rest of Backpack went ahead - not entirely sure what was going on, and keeping to known goods: playing shows and hanging out with friends. Handmade artwork adorned burned CDs that were traded to friends and sold for gas cash, and is now available for free. Amazed that they'd pulled it off, the band left WCP in Seattle and returned home to Goleta with friend and tour mate Kaitlyn Ezell playing melodica."
I recorded Backpack shortly after I had arrived to San Francisco: done with my California touring - north to south - I was slowly working to build what has now become recognized throughout many communities in SF as a solid interweb music stop. With the recent Honeycomb session, I went slightly out of chronological order with my productions to time the launch with their album release and Noise Pop. But Backpack returns my productions to a chronological ordering, and I am happy to have them and their nerd-cute rock that punks out the house.
Backpack is currently on hiatus, but we are excited for them to get back together soon!
Recorded in San Francisco, CA on June 27, 2009.