San Sebastian broke into the Canadian music scene after forming in 2009, and took off after appearing on Much Music’s (now defunct) show, “disBAND” in 2010. The band consists of two pairs of brothers, Greg Veerman (bassist), Mike Veerman (vocals), Brodie Dawson (guitar) and Sean Dawson (guitar), as well as drummer Ted Paterson. This week, ANDY caught up with Greg Veerman, who spoke about the band’s successes and disBAND, as well as his favourite things about Hamilton and touring Canada.

Each episode of disBAND consisted of a camera following a music group around for one week, while they were put through challenges and tested on their musical skills. It culminated in the judges deciding whether or not the band should remain together, or ‘disband.’ While Veerman admits that the judging “was used as a dramatic effect” he maintains that it was “the best thing that happened to us. We got exposed to so many people, that the day after it was done filming – it hadn’t even aired – we were getting calls from labels.” But when they were initially asked, they were “wary” about going onto the show. “We talked to another band who had been on the show, and they told us to go for it, so we had a team vote. It ended up being 3-2, so we took the chance.” In the end, “the exposure, that half hour of television, the way it portrayed us was what we thought was most important and we were all pretty happy with how it turned out because it was pretty true to who we are.” And it was during disBAND that the group changed their name from ‘Pumps’ to ‘San Sebastian.’

“It was Sean who always liked the name - it was his favourite Spanish football team, and we went through about a hundred names, and found the one that everyone hated the least, I guess.”

Before disBAND, the group got together after splitting apart from other bands. Greg talked to Brodie, and both of their brothers got involved. After they lost their initial drummer, Ted signed on and they “started jamming together.” Veerman talks about the influence of the Hamilton music scene, and mentions how the number of bands “form a really great, supportive community, where we all know each other, play together and help each other out.” They’re good friends with the Arkells: “they’re really supportive, and help us bounce ideas off each other. They’re already very successful, so it’s always a good thing to know them and to play with them.”

Since disBAND, they’ve released the album Relations in October 2011, put out three music videos (including the hilariously popular video for their single, “Say I’m Alright”) and toured all over Canada. Their favourite city? “Hamilton ends up being the best show because friends and fans show up - but it's also the most stressful one because it's always a comeback show; but when you play it's super fun and it ends up being the best one. Outside Hamilton? Thunder Bay, Saskatoon, Kingston, Vancouver - anywhere can be a really good time. Thunder Bay, maybe, if I had to choose.”

Now, they’re looking to the future. Veerman mentions how “we have a bunch of songs, and we’ve put a few out recently. We’re messing around, toying with something more fresh.”

Look for San Sebastian this coming April 14 at Club Absinthe in downtown Hamilton!

By: Palika Kohli


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