When putting together his new band August Sun, Santa Cruz guitarist/vocalist Christian Walsh gave a lot of thought to what had gone wrong with his previous group, Poor Beggar Thieves, which dissolved last year.
“We didn’t try hard enough. And I wanted to try harder,” Walsh says. “So I was just like, ‘It’s go time.’ I started booking and booking and booking.”
That was last September, when August Sun started as a trio with a punky sound. By the end of the year, they’d expanded into a five-piece with two guitars (Walsh and Dan Knox), bass (Brendan Brose), drums (Jonny Hampton), keys (Tony Whittaker), and multiple members providing backing vocals. And their music evolved quickly, as well.
“I’d say it’s centered around straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll,” Walsh says. “Over time, as we’ve grown our sound, we really delved into more classic sounds.”
In 2017, the band played 25 shows. They’ve already more than doubled that this year, while recording and releasing the full-length album Mountainside, and writing several songs for a follow-up album.
“We’re playing four to six gigs a month. We practice twice a week. We like to treat this like a job, because that’s what it is,” Walsh says. “We’re working hard. I want this to happen. I’m not getting any younger.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10. 429-6994.