As frontwoman Greer McGettrick points out, it's easy to pigeonhole The Mallard as a new tenant of San Francisco's flag-bearing garage rock scene — but the band's uneasy, ramshackle approach is fraught with a brooding tension that defies the genre's trappings. The evidence lies on the Mallard's Castle Face Records album, Yes on Blood, and its stage command as a riveting live trio. With a new album gestating in a reel-to-reel machine and an exhausting live schedule ahead, we were eager to investigate The Mallard's formation, aesthetic principles, and plans. In one of the sadly dwindling, rent-controlled Mission Street homes that are miraculously still affordable for artists, we spoke with Greer McGettrick about San Francisco, being compared to other female musicians, and her serendipitous meeting with Jon Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees and Castleface.
The Mallard perform Saturday, June 16, at Brick & Mortar Music Hall with The Cosmonauts and Burnt Ones.
Greer, what was it that compelled you to leave Fresno for San Francisco?
Fresno is a small town. The art scene is especially small, and it goes up and down pretty often. For a year and half or so, people will be really excited about things, but then they go away. I lived there for five years and saw this rollercoaster of a scene. I finally got to the point where I felt like I played music with everyone and I was getting into a different kind of music. I was in a bunch of bands that were mostly folky indie-pop, and I always wanted to do something more punk or more garage. I always loved San Francisco.