Social Club, of North Park, has invented a new genre they call “pull.”
“It’s a really bad name,” says John Levan. He fronts the band, writes most of the lyrics, and sings most of the songs. “I like the idea that music pulls everybody together,” he says, “but it’s kinda tough to say. It doesn’t roll off the tongue.” Social Club came about in 2011. “I moved to San Diego a while back from the East Coast and I didn’t have any connections. I found a band online — Boombox Renaissance, a hip-hop group. All due respect, they’re a great group, but I knew that wasn’t my main focus.” When Levan left Boombox Renaissance, he took bassist James Spratley with him. Soon after, they got a drummer, Jeffrey Litzman, and Thea Tochihara came aboard on keys. An EP was released. A label deal with Pacific Records was consummated. The only job left was to push “pull.”
So far, the push is paying off; it’s been a good 2013 for the band. Gamma Rays came out early this year; then, Social Club won MOFILM’s Take Your Band to Texas video competition and got a slot in music-industry showcase South by Southwest.
A lot of the success, Levan thinks, is because Social Club does have a social club. “We like to interact with people and make it more than a show — a party,” he says. “Get ’em involved somehow.” We talk about the near-useless simplicity that marketing on social media is fast becoming, an arena where he says appearances don’t mean a thing. “You can get a ton of people to ‘like’ you on Facebook,” Levan says, “but sometimes people use media as a substitute for getting out and actually doing it.” He laughs, but it is a wry laugh. “Every now and then, you gotta get up and go to an actual show.”
Social Club: Oysterfest, Embarcadero Marina Park North, Saturday, June 15, noon to 7 p.m., 21+, $25