Scissors for Lefty
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Scissors for Lefty


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"Best of 2006"

Best Up-and-Coming Indie-Rock Band
Scissors for Lefty

Bay Area musicians have pretty much given up trying to be the local version of the Strokes, probably because now everyone wants to be the local version of Joy Division/Gang of Four (i.e., dancey, goth-y rockers). Which, it turns out, is a hell of a lot easier to pull off. Hell, even the Strokes did it for only one album. But here's where Scissors for Lefty comes in. Like the Strokes, this San Francisco band — two sets of brothers who met in San Luis Obispo — has a charismatic frontman who squeals and mumbles; a guitarist who discharges tight, delirious hooks; and a rhythm section that pumps up the jams, motherfucker. And like Scissors' N.Y.C. counterpart, the quartet caught the eye of London's indie tastemakers, Rough Trade Records, who will release its second LP overseas in September. (The band is currently talking to U.S. labels.) But there's one important way in which Scissors isn't like the Strokes: The foursome shows genuine enthusiasm during its live shows, exhibiting the kind of wide-eyed exhilaration that's been missing from rock 'n' roll for a long time. - SF Weekly

"Scissors for Lefty interview"

It all started in San Luis Obispo, with four college kids who inevitably connected through their shared love for songwriting. The two sets of brothers – Bryan and Robby Garza, and Peter and James Krimmel – used their creative talent to simultaneously “screw around in class” and keep themselves out of trouble. With their shared love for Radiohead, Grandaddy, and college radio, they began their journey into the foggy realm of indie music via a band called Scissors for Lefty.
Classifying their music genre can be slippery but Scissors for Lefty can point you in the general direction of their sound. Their music blends catchy pop hooks, quirky beats, witty lyrics, and manic vocals that inspire sporadic dance movements – both onstage and off.
“I don’t think there’s too much Kelly Clarkston in us,” says B. Garza. “But, hey, pop songs aren’t easy to write. To find a hook and melody that you want to sing along to all day is pretty hard to come up with. So, we like to give credit where credit is due, to pop music.”
Scissors for Lefty appreciates the energy their music brings to their crowds. When the audience begins to move, sometimes aggressively, it becomes contagious to the band mates. At times, they even grade the audience with scorecards on a one through ten scale. Onstage, their sporadic movements usually reflect singer B. Garza dancing to a slow tempo, keyboardist P. Krimmel moving up-beat, guitarist R. Garza dancing off-beat, and the nearly 7 foot tall drummer J. Krimmel performing with wildly animated movements. The four culminate into one “handsome circus”.
Now a part of the San Francisco scene, the band is inspired by their collective adventures and their love for the city. Using their music as a craft for storytelling, they have dedicated the title of their new album – Underhanded Romance – to their memorable city tales. The title’s intimate vibe is not meant to exclusively illustrate a relationship’s romance, but also the romance of San Francisco and the city’s charm. “The favorite kind of things that turn you on [and] get you excited, [like] maybe your neighborhood, the local store, the restaurants, the parks… sometimes [make] you feel a little underhanded, you know?” says B. Garza.
Recently hopping onboard with the leading UK indie label, Rough Trade, these boys have been spending a lot of time in production. This translates to quitting their day jobs and cutting back on their shows. Their songwriting takes place in hallways, the backseats of cars, and in front of computers, while they record ideas on pocket recorders and voicemails.
Working full-time and playing shows is not easy, they admit. After signing with Rough Trade, they realized that being burnt out while making songs was not going to happen. So, despite living in an expensive city, they took a chance to do what they love to do most.
“All of us were working sort of bum-ho-schmo day jobs before. We’d like to make sure we gave it our best effort so we don’t have to go back to those jobs!” says P. Krimmel.
Their focused effort on this album is apparent when compared to their previous record, Bruno. Underhanded is more playful and sonically-balanced, in contrast to Bruno’s more somber and experimental sound. In the past, Scissors For Lefty juggled going to school, moving from San Luis Obispo, and playing shows, which made recording time a leisure. However, with their current arrangement, Scissors have put together twelve songs in three weeks. In the land of music production, this means “a lot.”
When recording music, the band hopes that their songs will stand the test of time. Although they are conscious of the scene’s current popularity with synthesizers, they assure fans that their electronic sound is not an effort to steal a piece of the limelight. “We’re not necessarily trying to be like this big radio band or anything. Our biggest goal is to make a really good recording so that kids will want to listen to 20 or 30 years from now,” explains P. Krimmel.
Equally important is having new material for shows. The band recalls one of their favorite shows last October at the Castro Street Fair, where they were dressed in pink and introduced by drag queens on a lengthy outdoor stage. Although they prefer the intimacy of a night club, being greeted by 10,000 fellow San Franciscans on a sunny day was notably worthwhile.
“We had no idea it was going to be that kind of audience and that kind of receiving. I felt like we played for San Francisco because we were looking down Market Street and Castro… when you play a big show for your own city, it just feels really good,” reveals B. Garza.
It is apparent that Scissors for Lefty have a humble love for their city, friends, and fans. These boys have come a long way from writing songs in class, and they have musically documented their journey thus far. Ultimately, they hope that their storytelling and erratic melodies might be incorporated into your own journeys as well. - Redefine Magazine

"Family Affair"

Did someone say it’s a family affair? And not even one that’s dominated by one family, like the Wilsons versus one lone Love, or the Van Halens versus two other guys; here it’s all about what happens when two Garzas meet two Krimmels. And if you ever wondered what indie pop (with a little love for synths and a great debt to the new romantic) from San Luis Obispo sounds like (even though Scissors for Lefty have relocated to San Fran), now’s your chance, as the band comes back to Los Angeles to play Spaceland..."
[expand]. After their last Hollywood gig, the band hit the IHOP; this time, the act is looking for a label to sell their records in North America, as Rough Trade handles them everywhere else. Expect a few diehards but a lot of industry. - LA Weekly

"Show Preview"

Scissors for Lefty is a band of contradictions: While redhot in their San Francisco home, these Scissors are disco-level happy and unpretentious. They're good-looking, yet talented. And the live shows promoting their occasionally downtempo lo-fi debut, Bruno, are notoriously tight, frenzied and inspired..."
[expand]. This band can fuse dance-friendly electronic and introspective punk, or prove that delicately melodic songs (your Yo La Tengo or Iron and Wine quota) needn't be weepy, and can be as downright fun as the music of Beck or the Flaming Lips. And even though they're ridiculously young, you won't be ashamed, days later, to realize you're singing their adorably poetic lyrics around at work. - Portland Willamette Week

"Show Preview"

In their heyday, Pulp swaggered around the Brit-pop party with a bottle of bubbly in one hand and dancing shoes in the other. They were calculated cool with enough rock to help the club kids do the stiff shuffle all night. San Francisco's Scissors for Lefty follow a similar trajectory, with electronic beats, and whispered nightcaps. Stylish without sounding too self-aware, Scissors for Lefty are an interesting amalgam of calculated styles. - Seattle Stranger

"S.F. band figures out a way to cut through SXSW"

(03-17) 04:00 PDT Austin, Texas -- With the barrage of major-label showcases and boldface names flying in from all corners of the globe, it's almost impossible for an independent band to land a decent gig at Austin's annual schmooze-and-booze music festival, South by Southwest.
Scissors for Lefty has seven. How did the buzz-worthy San Francisco group elbow out the other 1,500 acts fighting for prime slots at the five-day shindig that runs through the weekend? We asked singer Bryan Garza.

Q: Is this your first time at South by Southwest?

A: This is actually our sophomore year. Last time we were in the middle of recording our album so we drove out, played just one show and headed straight back home. We still had a good time -- it was a good way to get the name out there.

Q: There are over 1,000 acts competing for shows. How did you manage to get seven good ones?

A: I think we're ripe for SXSW. We've just been playing our butts off. Plus, we're already out touring, so it's perfect. It's beautiful to play seven shows and not have to find a new hotel.

Q: You're playing at parties for both Wired and Jane magazines. That's quite a cross-section.

A: Our personalities are right up that alley -- we have a penchant for clothes and we like to fix peoples' computers. We're San Francisco chameleons.

Q: Are you at all worried about the health impact of packing in so many shows in so few days?

A: We'll probably blow out our voices and strings but we're determined not to play the same show seven times. If we're going to come to South by Southwest you have to throw some variety in there -- there's some antics to be seen, for sure.

Q: Are you hoping to get discovered by a major label?

A: We just signed with a huge label called Eenie Meenie that's going to release our new album, "Underhanded Romance," in June. We've watched a lot of majors fall apart so we've been really picky and decided to go the independent route. I don't think a larger label could do anything more for us. We make enough money to eat Denny's and stay at motels.

Q: So why are you playing South by Southwest?

A: I just hope we get exposure and that the album gets some energy behind it. We'd like to be thrown out to the sharks to see what happens.

Q: Any advice for bands that are playing for the first time?

A: Have a good time. Don't let the words "showcase" or "industry" change the performance you put on. If you have 40 Blackberries in front of you just imagine it's your 10 best friends. There's no reason to get uptight. It's like junior prom. You don't want to save all your hopes and dreams for one dance. If you put all your energy in one event, you have expectations that are unrealistic. And the best advice: Keep your hands in your pockets because everyone will try to give you a flier for their show. - SF Chronicle

"Live Review: Scissors For Lefty - The Knitting Factory, NYC, 04/01/07"

Guide Rating -
Scissors for Lefty is America's answer to British rock. No, they're not from the UK or Europe -- but they sure sound like it! And they sure as heck give those Brits a run for their money. Based in San Francisco, Scissors For Lefty have made quite an impression as an opening act for up-and-comers The Arctic Monkeys. For a band that started in the garage as just a means to hang out and do what they love, they sure have come a long way.

Scissors for Lefty: Live & Very Alive

Scissors for Lefty's debut album, Bruno was released in 2005 and although got some recognition, it wasn't up to their "personal standards." Therefore, they set out to record something that was fun, daring and wildly unique. That follow-up, Underhanded Romance, is due out June 12th on LA's Eeenie Meenie Records. If this album is anything like their live show, I can already predict that you'll want to hear it.

Let me be forthright: Scissors for Lefty was probably one of the most enjoyable live bands I have seen this year. They are wild, energetic, crazy and you know they are having a great time in front of the crowd the second you see them busting out all their dance moves. Not to mention, their music is, well, great. Fun. Spunky. Awesome.

What does it sound like? Well, it's a bit of '80s dance, infused with electronic beats and boppy synths. The music reminded me of Hot Hot Heat, while the vocals reminded me of The Killers -- but maybe that's just because singer Bryan was singing through an intercom that gave his vocals a good amount of distortion. And there is also the incessant, fast drumming patterns which certainly kept me on my feet chasing after the hard rocking bass lines and wild guitar riffs. (Does that not sound good?)

The crowd was going wild dancing to every song and how could they not -- the fantastic infectious rhythms and the stylistic lyrics kept everyone on their feet. The stage pretty much glowed with energy and the fresh tunes that could stand up to any actually British New Wave revival band. Scissors For Lefty have no trouble proving what they can do: which is be an unique band playing great shows. They've already done that. At the Knitting Factory. I saw them. I know. You can too: catch them when they swing through your town. -

"Rock’s Killing Rap Right Now"

Let’s be honest: the best rap record this year is going to be DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz. Period. I heard the rough cuts of Common’s Finding Forever. I’m checking out T.I.’s T.I. vs. T.I.P. next week. I don’t know what’s popping with the Outkast project. But really, who cares.

I heard Drama’s Gangsta Grillz album today. All I have to say is, that boy Andre 3000 is what today’s emcees wish they could be. Cannon blessed him with "The Art of Storytelling Pt. 4."

On the contrary, the most anticipated rock releases are all over the board . . . mainly because rock is running it right now.

Radiohead, Linkin Park, White Stripes, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica and Interpol are all set to drop albums soon. It’s going to be a beautiful year for the guitarhead.

I purposely left out Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy. That project’s been pushed back more than Saigon’s.

This past weekend I checked out this San Francisco indie band called Scissors For Lefty at the Knitting Factory. Besides the best indie band out right now, the Silversun Pickups, seems like Scissors are quickly becoming The Strokes of the West Coast, particularly after having toured with the Arctic Monkeys.

When I arrived at Factory, I was delighted to find that my tickets weren’t at will call as expected.

“What’s your name again?” the will call girl asked.
“Aw, fuck it,” she answered, stamping my hand before I had time to answer.

When I got to the bar, the band was already setting up. The quintet’s vocalist, Bryan Garza, 27, had on a turquoise sweater, zebra-stripped glove, pink polo shirt, and frumpy dirt brown hair. He looked like the type of kid who was voted “Best Looking Senior” in high school. The other members looked like adjunct professors.


For those who don’t know, Scissors are completely new wave. They’re also completely pretty. A clutter of brunette and blond bombshells danced at the foot of the stage. The guys in the audience just stood there and stared.

“Could we just cut the lights down a little bit?” Bryan asked at one point during the set. “I heard my mom is coming.”

Truthfully, I couldn’t understand a word he was singing, but I did notice he had a cool falsetto a la Mick Jagger on “Miss You.”

At one random point during the show, he changed out of a pair of gold vans into a pair of Converse- he then hopped down off the stage and sang a la la ballad to the ladies and asked for eyeliner.

After the show I hooked up with Steve Garza- who I had chatted with earlier that day on the phone- at the bar. Steve, 25, is Bryan’s brother and the band’s bassist. Surprisingly, around the time the band formed in 2000, Steve was a triathlete and Bryan was an engineer. And even more surprisingly, both claim to be single. “I quit my job for this,” Steve told me, looking like a better version of the guitarist in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Wearing a white fitted tee and ash gray skinny jeans, something about him seemed no nonsense. And something about Scissors seemed like it was headed for some serious pop-esque success. - Vibe


Bruno, self-released 2004
"Ghetto Ways" single - out June 19, 2006 in the UK - current play on Radio 1/BBC
"Mama Your Boys Will Find a Home" - August 11, 2006 in UK
"Underhanded Romance LP"- June 12, 2007 in US/Canada

"New Album" (Unsigned for this one, you might want to know more... ;) - September 2008



Scissors For Lefty is a personality!!! 2 sets of brothers that skip alongside Dirty Glam, Indie Rock, & Soul. They have strict standards that land somewhere in between "Pro" & "Garage". They know that such a signature is not a sure-fire formula for instant success in America, and truly... that's OK by them. Why be famous, when you can be infamous?

So what are these fellas like? Mostly, they are endearing brothers/friends with a penchant for melody & mischief. There's no denying it, they are cute & charismatic, yet there is an element of danger going on at every show. Not to mention wardrobe changes. It all adds up to people dancing, sincere moments of connection, and a grand finale release. They are large venue San Francisco headliners for a reason.

In brief, the band signed to Rough Trade Records in the UK in 2005, and then to Eenie Meenie in 2007. The heart throb/ambitious younger brother, Steve Garza joined the band also in 2007. Since, they have played over 350 shows across the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, & Germany. Scissors For Lefty has toured with, or shared a stage with: Arctic Monkeys, Dirty Pretty Things, Erasure, Smashing Pumpkins, Metric, Panic at The Disco, Blonde Redhead, The French Kicks, Locksley, The Matches, The Fiery Furnaces, Semi Precious Weapons, Kaiser Chiefs, Rykarda Parasol, Elephone, Suffrajette, The Pigeon Detectives, Paolo Nutini, Ben Kweller, Juliette & The Licks, Grandaddy, The Bravery, & The Bloody Heads, & White Lies, along with festivals like Reading, Leeds, Hurricane, Southside, BFD, CMJ, SXSW, Noise Pop, Hyperactive, and Indian Summer Festival.

Who does Scissors For Lefty admire? Who has influenced them? Musically, the band formed with a shared love for melodic college radio format. Stage wise, folks like Prince, Kiss, Karen O, Stuart Murdoch, Michael Jackson, Stephen Malkmus, Bjork, and of course, Ian Svenonius have inspired their live flame. Scissors For Lefty has always embraced exotic stage performance, if not getting lost in moment.

In the press, Bryan’s voice and lyrical style has been compared to Joe Strummer, Jim Morrison, Jarvis Cocker, Julian Casablancas, even James Brown. When asked how he felt about those comparisons, he said, “Well, what can I say?? I sing in the key of J! ...I tried K and it lacked J it is!!!“

In 2008, Scissors For Lefty spent the entire year cutting 15+ new songs at Talking House Productions in San Francisco. Scissors For Lefty just released a 5 song EP in November 2008, titled “Consumption Junction EP”. It is a self released body of work, and is a teaser to the new full length album, out in 2009. They are looking for major representation on this upcoming album, because it is worth every drop of sweat and tears. Expect great things...

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