Starting a band is full of logistical challenges – and that’s assuming you have the two most elusive elements, raw talent and good songwriting. You need bandmates with the right chemistry. You need luck. You need cash for gear and gas. You need a place to practice, which can be outright crazy-making in a city like San Francisco with prohibitive rents and close, therefore quiet, quarters.
Last year around this time, the recently-formed Edwards Crossing had to practice in a S.F. studio space they rented for $20 an hour. Drummer Garrett Peters estimates the band scratched together $1,200 just to play together.
But something powerful emerged along with promising music. The DIY demands have empowered the band to sculpt the way everything’s shaped, including the recordings.
The indie rockers kick off the new year on their first two-week tour, culminating in the release of their not-yet-titled full-length debut. And the band – also featuring Megan Maurer (keys, vocals), Phil Di Leo (guitar) and Greg Zeppa (bass) – made it all happen themselves, from making their own merch to finding that elusive rehearsal space.
“In my hometown [Nevada City, California] it’s as easy as playing in someone’s garage,” Di Leo says. “In San Francisco you really have to figure out another way.”
But, he adds: “Our goal was to get to where we are today.”
Last spring, Edwards Crossing competed in The Depot SF’s Battle of the Bands, alongside several rising Bay Area acts, including Hot Flash Heat Wave, who recently opened for Surfers Blood. Coming out in third place was much better than the quartet expected.
“We were stoked just to be involved and have the experience,” Di Leo says.
Edwards Crossing’s sunny folk rock single “In the City” is a bright acoustic excursion that slides down easier than a greased-up hot dog. But the outfit has also shown a more introspective side with the melancholy “Thick Like Blood,” a Bright Eyes-touched ditty about trying to remember something that’s getting harder to remember as time passes.
As Di Leo looks to the future, he’s adamant about sticking to the DIY thing to keep them fresh.
“I don’t think it matters if we fit in a mold,” he says. “One of the benefits of doing it on our own is that we don’t have to worry about that.”
EDWARDS CROSSING and BOBEY 8pm Tuesday, Jan. 6. Bull and Bear, 479 Alvarado St., Monterey. Free. 655-3031.