Rock and roll is the family business
Veteran Poway punk quartet Unwritten Law is quickly approaching its 30th anniversary. The Scott Russo-led rockers were part of San Diego’s prolific early-90s scene alongside acts such as blink-182, Stone Temple Pilots, Rocket From The Crypt, and Three Mile Pilot.
And while the band is still active — they were just in town as part of the final Vans Warped Tour — Russo is looking to pass the torch in a different way.
RUSSO, the L.A.-based rock quartet fronted by his daughter Cailin, releases its debut EP, House With A Pool, this week.
Raised in San Diego with regular visits to both the studio and stage, for many years the younger Russo didn’t imagine following in her father’s footsteps.
“I didn’t sing around the house,” she said recently to PACIFIC while hanging out at Kane Navasard’s tattoo parlor in Orange County. “I wasn’t really trying to do that. I didn’t ever really think that could be my role, so I never really entertained it.”
Cailin did spend some time as an American Apparel model and gained a sizeable social media following after appearing in a pair of Justin Bieber videos. But instead of bolstering her career path, those successes made her re-think it.
“When I started modeling,” she said, “I had a better idea of myself. And I decided that I didn’t want to be a canvas for someone else. I wanted to paint my own.”
Last year, the sure-voiced frontwoman released three singles under her own name — Hierarchy, September Rose, and Pink Sand. The trio of beat-oriented pop tunes did well to showcase Russo’s husky timber, but little to lay a foundation for her top priority — the live show.
So earlier this year, she held auditions for a band-oriented project. And that’s where she met drummer Hayley Brownell and her roommate, bassist Sean Ritchie. Once Tyler McCarthy was added on guitar, RUSSO was born.
The new quartet has already released two singles, May’s Lonely and last month’s Ghost, and will support indie electronic duo Opia on Thursday at the Casbah — just a day before RUSSO’s debut EP is released.
Although the new tracks add a definite rock and roll element to Cailin’s solo songs, the emerging foursome isn’t limiting their creativity in any way.
“We’re at the beginning of this, figuring things out as we go,” said Brownell. “We’re learning from each other, trying new ideas, and will continue experimenting and expanding.”
With a current U.S. tour, the new EP coming out, a U.K. tour to follow that includes a big festival, and another U.S. run scheduled for the fall, it’s likely the band will have to put creative impulses on hold for a while.
And for now, that’s just fine with the band.
“I agree with Cailin,” Brownell said. “The most important thing is to get out and play, to have people see the music and vibe with the live sound. That’s an actual experience. And that’s what we’re gearing towards right now — connecting with people in that way.”
RUSSO w/ Opia
When: 8:30 p.m. July 12
Where: The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Middletown
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