Towards the end of last year, all five members of the indie-rock band The Soft White Sixties packed their bags and moved down to Los Angeles. Though the quintet, which formed around 2010, had been living in San Francisco for years, moving to the Southland made sense for the sake of the band.
“It wasn’t anything bitter that made us leave San Francisco,” says musician Aaron Eisenberg. “We were just feeling like we’d been spending enough time down there recording and working on music that maybe it was time to permanently move there.”
We caught up with The Soft White Sixties ahead of their Saturday, August 27 show at Rickshaw Stop to get the lowdown on the things they miss from the Bay Area. Because, let’s be honest, L.A. and S.F. might be in the same state, but they’re a hell of a lot different.
Aaron Eisenberg: I miss the tap water. That’s definitely, for me at least, something that I’m most reminded about. Especially with the weather in L.A., I drink a lot of water and being able to go to my sink in San Francisco and have this amazing, delicious tap water was something now that I realize I probably took for granted a little more than I should have when I was there. L.A. water is notoriously not delicious.
Octavio Genera: I’m missing two things. I used to go to King’s Boxing Gym in Oakland. I used to go there all the time, and I really miss it. It was just a cool spot with a cool community. And then, I used to go run through Golden Gate Park all the time. It was awesome because it’s never hot, and there’s no traffic lights for like four miles. You can just run. And I have yet to find a place like that in L.A. where it’s not 105 degrees. I used to park in the Lower Haight and run to the park. It was great. You could run all the way through and you didn’t have to stop at all, as opposed to doing multiple laps.
Rob Fidel: Right now, L.A. has been kind of brutal weather-wise. So I definitely miss that nice, cool breeze. The L.A. sunshine is beautiful, but it’s been a little hot. And I also miss what Aaron mentioned earlier: the tap water. Last week I was in San Francisco, and the first thing I did was grab a glass of water. I’m definitely missing the burritos from El Farolito and Tacqueria Cancun. My Mexican food now has changed from burritos to tacos in the transition to L.A.. I get my burritos in S.F. and my tacos in L.A.
Joey Bustos: The two big things I miss are family and friends. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and being in the City the last 15 years, I have a lot of roots. I definitely miss people in my life. But I also miss the convenience. L.A. is so spread out where San Francisco is so dense that I’ve never lived anywhere in the City where I wasn’t within a block of a liquor store or a convenience store or whatever. I mean, the place I was in recently was above a liquor store, so to be able to just leave my place and have whatever I needed right at my fingertips was great. Whereas in L.A., you have to get in the car and drive to do anything. So that’s been a huge change. I used to be like, ‘Oh, I need cigarettes,’ or ‘I feel like I want some candy, I’m going to go to the store,’ but you can’t do that in L.A.. You have to actually make a plan and get in your car, and it sucks. But I’ll get used to it.
Ryan Noble: I think above all I miss the people. That’s just kind of an expected thing when you live somewhere for 15 years. So my history is there, and I still consider it my home. But then there’s other specific things, like places I would go eat and places I would go hang out at. Those I can live without because I think L.A. has a lot to offer in terms of food and scenic locations and secret hangouts and stuff like that. I think I also miss, honestly, the geographical familiarity of knowing where I’m going and just instinctively knowing how to get places. I kind of miss that. I mean, there is an adventure that comes with moving to a new place with regard to learning where to go and how to get there and how long it takes. So, there’s an adventure aspect to that, but there’s also kind of a comfort that comes with having earned it by living there for a while. I think we are all in the same boat in that we knew that coming down here was going to be an adventure and there was going to be a pretty serious amount of unknowns and a lot of question marks and a lot of things to think about. But, I think the fact that we’re mutually committed to it makes it a little easier because we can sort of lean on each other and deal with the struggle of being in a new place together and that makes it a little easier to deal with.