Back when singer/guitarist Steven Bradford was in Waiting for Autumn, it looked like the power-punk band was about to break big, with writeups in Alternative Press magazine and a tour opening for Underoath. Many were surprised when he quit the group in 2003 to form Get Back Loretta, a decidedly more soulful and psychedelic outfit.
“[The breakup] was all about women, and of course the usual creative differences,” he says. “I liked that Waiting for Autumn played the all-age clubs, like Soma and Epicentre. That’s a great crowd to learn your chops in front of, but I wanted to go in a more funky, layered direction and do more of a Queen-meets-Jeff Buckley kind of thing. And I wanted a beer.”
With his band named after a line in a Beatles song (“Get Back”), one may wonder what Bradford’s cousin Lars Frederickson (of Rancid) might say of his defection from punk to pop.
“I’ve only met him twice in my life,” laughs Bradford, “and I didn’t even know who he was at the time. I doubt anyone will ask him if he’s related to me any time soon.”
Get Back Loretta won Best New Artist award at the 2005 San Diego Music Awards and the Best Pop award in 2006. At the 2007 awards they won for Best Pop and Best Pop Album (for the record Over the Wall. They won Best Pop again in 2008, and in 2009 their record Where Did You Go won Best Pop Album. Around this time, guitarist Santino Romeri was replaced by Chris Wilson (though both guitarists played together for at least one show at the Casbah, in April 2010).
As of 2010, Get Back Loretta’s manager is “Jocko” Marcellino, of ’60s greaser rock group Sha Na Na. It was Marcellino who got some of the band’s songs into the hands of former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. After listening to GBL’s tunes and liking what he heard, the Foo Fighters’ front man and drummer for Them Crooked Vultures suggested the band play a showcase for Hollywood Records and RCA.
In 2011, keyboardist/singer Kevin Martin released a solo album, Throwback Pop. A video for the song “TV News” was shot during the October 2011 Occupy San Diego rallies downtown. The live footage was captured by photographer Steven Brannen using a hand-held camera. The finished video, which was posted to YouTube the same day, incorporates the studio version of the song with footage of the NYC Occupy Wall Street protests.
Former Get Back Loretta guitarist Santino Romeri went on to form the noise act Illuminauts, as well as founding the boutique vinyl and cassette label Kill Quanti. Patrick Fitzmaurice and Isaac Cass cofounded psychedelic electronic band Swambi in 2013, releasing a self-titled debut full-length in early 2014 on the Kill Quanti Label.