By Zachary Corsa
I’ll admit that my Spanish skills are rusty enough these days that I had to turn to a trusted friend (Google Translate) to decipher the meaning of ‘San Salida’, which apparently means ‘Saint Exit’. “That’s perfect” I said to myself, because it really does get to the heart of what the ragtag Memphians of San Salida are offering – there’s something both dustily liturgical and gracefully fatalistic to their no-brakes power pop, buoyed by a faint undercurrent of the mysterious. The swaying country-rock waltzes are late-night dive bar eerie, the uptempo numbers desperately filled to bursting with hummable angst. All this makes San Salida one of the brightest lights of an encouraging crop of Bluff City bands in the post-pandemic landscape. We’re muy grateful to Chris Davenport for answering our five burning questions.
If San Salida had a mission statement (or perhaps an anti-mission statement), what do you think would it be?
We don’t have a mission statement per se. When someone new joins the band I say something like the goal is to have fun; that I hope everyone feels some creative fulfillment; that there are no definitive versions of our songs, but as a group we can create something unique. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re a rock band. And I think we all agree that the best rock has emotion, but is a little loose and rough, with some danger in the mix.
What do you think each member of San Salida brings to the band in terms of strengths?
I (Chris) bring three-chord songs, pretty good singing, and unpredictable guitar playing. Andrew Geraci is the other original member. That he can play anything on bass is no surprise, but his backup vocals are great, and we’ve played a couple of his original songs, which I’m very happy about. He’s also the band HR manager – he built the band, more than once recruiting ringers to bring it all to life. And he does most of our booking! Dustin Reynolds has been on drums for about a year and is a super drummer, a great guy, and I think will also be recording some of our new songs at his house. Krista Wroten on keys and violin just makes everything better. The soul-y songs are soul-ier, the countryish songs are country-ier, the weird moments get weirder in the best way. I’m lucky to play with them.
Do you feel like San Salida fits well in/is representative of the wider Memphis indie scene, or are you more like rebellious, singular outsiders?
One answer to this question is that we fit right in to the Memphis indie scene because the band members other than myself have been part of the Memphis indie music scene for many years. Otherwise, I think we fit on a bill with just about anyone, but we have a unique blend of rootsy, ragged, noisy, garagey rock that’s not exactly like any other band around.
‘Who are your influences?’ Is a very, very tired music interviewer question. So instead, what’s one album you think San Salida would aspire towards emulating, if any?
I aspire to make a record like Tomorrow’s Hits by The Men. It’s a perfect combination of Neil Young, Velvet Underground type rock with noisier, punkier stuff – and just the right amount of danger.
Lastly, any grand or devious plans for 2023, and beyond?
We’ve got new songs, some of which we’ve been playing live, but the plan is to get some recording done this year, probably in the form of some singles. We’ll playing shows, and trying to get people to come to them. Maybe this will help, thanks!