Austin Steele learned the hard way that it’s hard to play pop music in San Diego. “There is no scene for our music at all,” the singer/songwriter told the Reader three years ago about his trio Super Groupie. After one album and a couple of breaks (a popular video with model Cailin Russo and a song on the soundtrack to MTV’s Washington Heights) Steele moved on.
“I always thought the Super Groupies thing would take off,” says Steele. “But as time went on, the band just grew apart. Things started to get a little bit forced.”
"Life I Know"
...by Creature Canyon
Super Groupie folded. But the experience may have helped Steele with his latest project, the alt-rock Creature Canyon. The band’s “Life I Know” single was just named the 91X Local Break song for March, and they were added to the X-Fest lineup in June.
Steele says his current bandmates share the same appreciation for a well-crafted rock song. “I had always been into the Beatles and the Stones and the Small Faces. I just wanted to play rock and roll.”
After the Groupies, Steele says he started jamming with guitarist Ryan Amyot and bassist Elliot Ramsey (both ex–Viva Apollo members). “We kind of just let ideas roll around for a couple of years. We slowly crafted our songs.” He says that “marinade” process led to the band’s current repertoire of about 20 songs and the Life I Know album, which was recorded at Studio West.
While the video for “Life I Know” jokes about a long struggle with drummer auditions, Steele says the selection of Kyle Victoria from L.A. was easy.
”When he auditioned, he had already learned our stuff.”
While Steele’s current band is sonically a lot different from Super Groupies, he says one reality he learned still applies to Creature Canyon: “You have to have videos. YouTube is everything. My buddy Mitchell Harris helped us direct ‘Life I Know.’ We both went to Westview High School [near Rancho Peñasquitos]. He was trying to progress his career as a director and we needed the help. Andrew Rowley hit us up to do a Red Trolley video in January. He’s from P-Q, too.”
Creature Canyon appears at X-Fest with Phoenix, Empire of the Sun, Bob Moses, Skip Marley, Missio, Sir Sly, the Lemon Twigs, Lo Moon, and Lightning Cola on Sunday, June 11, at the Qualcomm Stadium Practice Field in Mission Valley.