san jose


Scotland’s musical landscape is currently bursting with creativity. Artists from across all genres are providing music lovers with a plethora of choices to satisfy their musical needs. One such band who have already generated a following locally is San Jose. Seeing them for the first time supporting Hotel Lux in McChuils in Glasgow, it was obvious they were a band to keep an eye on. And with a new single released, it was time to find out more.

How did San Jose come to be?
We all have a similar rotting sense of individuality. As individuals, we probably are in contention for the most cynical and contrarian, but as a group it seems to level out somewhat. The cynicism was probably the initial draw, with mutual friends likely desperate to dump us at one another’s feet, however it worked out for everyone involved. The cynicism has been a lasting thing, most of us have known each other for 5+ years, surprisingly it doesn’t get old, and even if it did, we’re all far too stubborn and/or lazy to find a new band. 

We’ve grown a lot, especially in the past year, with the addition of Adam on keys and trumpet. It does feel like we’re getting closer and closer to actualising our own vision, perhaps it takes six devil’s advocates to find the answer.

Who is the Dionne Warwick fan in the band?
We’d say it has to be Cean. We’re going to push the agenda that they’re in some way related, it would be nice to get some false-nepotism benefits. There is a slight obsession within the band over dusty america, it stirs a great hate and a great joy within us. The failure and mirage of the American dream might be the best way we could possibly represent ourselves.

New single ‘For Jim, I Loved You‘ is very different from 2023’s ‘Self Help‘. Can you share a little of the inspiration behind the track?
Faith is an intriguing thing. The majority of us in the band have experience with Catholic education. In some way we are unified by this experience. The long breaks for mass, a limited understanding for the holy trinity and the vivid gruel-ish grey of the school meals. Perhaps the last one was more of a Kilmarnock thing, than a Catholic thing. This experience has always positioned us in captivity of religion. I suppose this song comes from that. The religious paraphernalia that surrounds us. The pope John-Paul pipe or the archbishop’s bong. It’s hard to not link it to the rhetoric of cults. 

Despite that, I do love the concept and exclusive nature of religion. There’s an erotic closeness to it. In it’s words and actions. A feeling like that pushes you to write, and I was keen to include the existent filth.

Your live shows are a fabulously raucous affair, blurring the boundaries between band and crowd.  What does playing live mean to you?
Without live music, you would probably see us using our artistic expression in other mediums, belly dancing and fishing for example. We enjoy playing gigs and we are very fortunate to have people watch our performances. Our aim is to rid the world of plaid shirt wearing, artificially grey bearded music experts, or just to make Jacob Collier squirm a little on his petite yellow bicycle. 

There is a rapidly growing number of Scottish bands who are currently creating a storm locally.  Why do you think this is happening now?
There is a great sense of community in the Glasgow music scene there’s no doubt about it. Almost every week there is a good gig in a glasgow venue. Getting a gig is now a lot easier than it was a few years ago, there is lots of local small promoters who you can contact and arrange a show with. We’d argue that Glasgow has embraced it’s hedonistic nature a bit more now and think that reflects in the music. We all self indulge in a Scottish way, stroking our egos whilst shaming the neighbour for stroking just a little too much. There’s a realness in that though, a self-awareness that isn’t achievable from any brit school attendee or windmill alumni. 

Unfortunately a lot of the talent gets ignored by the media, in an attempt to paint Glasgow as a city of pure ethereal joy, we can imagine. Its a shame that there are bands of serious potential, like the Voitures, that will have to push 50 times as hard as their south London counterparts as a result of their Scottish disposition. It can seem like a lose-lose battle at points. The eyes on the local music scene tend to be few and far between, and when they do eventually choose their “chosen one” , their all mighty “safe-enough” messiah, they often push them as “the Scottish one”, as if they’ve been chosen as a need to fill the Britain quota. The local scene is incredible and there are some extremely articulate songwriters. However, we fear that the media cherry picks the “less political” songwriters and pushes them as some sort of Unionist agenda, that four constituent parts of the UK are involved. Or perhaps we are reading too much into it and/or are bitter little boys.

Any plans for 2024 we need to know about?
We are looking to venture outside Glasgow, there’s a huge bubble down south that’d we’d love to tickle a wee bit. New music is also big on the agenda, try and get on someone with deep pockets radar. If we could be furnished with nice houses and 5 legged pomeranians that’d be a bonus.

If I looked in your fridge right now what would I find?
4 half smoked cigars, an empty packet of ham, Lidl merlot and enough actimel to drown a small child.

San Jose will be playing in Glasgow on Saturday 6 April as part of House Guest, a one day festival organised by Scottish Music Collective and Crowded Flat.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.