Featured Local Band: Back Seat Driver

www.backseatdriver.com (Back Seat Driver)

www.backseatdriver.com (Back Seat Driver)

Shaggy hair. Laid back antics. Sunny day. What a better time and place to interview Robbie Bancroft of the band Back Seat Driver?

Back Seat Driver, an original Pacifica band, has come a long way since they formed in 2002. The band was born when bassist Daniel Piotter overheard Bancroft singing an Enrique Inglesias song in Spanish class one day, and invited him to audition for a different band. Piotter loved Bancroft’s outgoing antics so much that he asked him to join his own band, which now includes guitarist John Seeterlin and drummer Drew McEwing. By fall of 2002, Back Seat Driver was performing as a whole, and loving every second of it. Before long, the band was writing their own material and rockin’ it anywhere they could.

Nineteen year old Bancroft has always been involved in the community, attending and partaking in numerous events, in which he gives credit for his decision to join a band.

“[Checking out different things] opened doors” Bancroft says. “It gave me an opportunity to be in a band, which is one thing I never thought I’d do.” He also encourages everyone to step up to the plate and venture out beyond their general limits.

Back Seat Driver would also like to encourage other people to join or start a band, even if you don’t play an instrument. Bancroft remembers his initial reaction to his invitation to join the band.

“Growing up, I thought you had to play an instrument to be in a band” he says. “I didn’t realize you could be a singer.” Bancroft and the rest of the boys are merely just people- musicians, if you will- doing what they love. Back Seat Driver appreciates each other as a band even more, for the simple fact that they’re in it for the fun, and if getting themselves well known through networking and press releases assists in any way to their local fame, then so be it.

But the members of Back Seat Driver are no strangers to networking; between a recent photo shoot for the global business company Hewlett-Packard (in which they are printed on thousands of company brochures issued all around the world), and winning $500 in a district wide talent show within their first year of playing together.

Bancroft recalls the talent show experience, explaining that it was one of his most memorable moments, on or off stage. Upon trying to squeeze two songs into what was supposed to be a one-song performance, the music and lyrics were spliced, and improvisation was dire. Bancroft threw the microphone to the main rappers in the group The High Rollers, an inner city rap group competing against Back Seat Driver in the same talent show. The High Rollers rapped through the rest of Back Seat Driver’s set, passed the mic back to Bancroft, and, most importantly, brought together the segregated crowd of urban hip-hoppers and beach loving rockers. The performance left a mark, and the band is ever thankful to The High Rollers for saving (and stealing) the show.

Back Seat Driver has played a few local venues including Boys and Girl’s clubs, The Pound, and a Battle of the Bands at The Great American Music Hall. Currently, they are planning a west coast Boys and Girls club tour. But don’t worry about the band having a bad influence on their younger fans- refraining from profanity during audience interaction is a must for these guys.

“I used to swear on stage” Bancroft says, “but then my dad told me that it was distasteful and I could find a better way to talk to the audience. That’s what I pride myself on- talking on stage and [acting like] you’re no better than anyone out there.” Back Seat Driver would also like to overrule any stereotypical gimmicks that a hardcore- emo band would normally transmit.

“[Bands like] My Chemical Romance- their gimmick is to be hard.” Bancroft explains, “Just like rappers- they have to be gangsters- but they still go home. Even Snoop Dogg is just Calvin Broadus”.

Back Seat Driver would like to head out on the road with some good friends of theirs, fellow Pacifica band Operation Hooligan, but insist on having fun and “keeping it real”, that is, staying true to themselves, the community, and their music.

“We’re definitely from Pacifica,” Bancroft boasts. “We’re P-Town kids with a little bit of edge!”