The Sandspits | Courtesy Photo

Editor’s note: This article first appeared on KCPR.org, the website of Cal Poly’s radio station.

Combine the Central Coast surf scene with catchy beats and energized lyrics and you have the San Luis Obispo-centered surf rock band, The Sandspits. Cal Poly engineering students, bassist Abby Neal, singer Lucas Erickson, guitarist Nilav Maulik and Los Angeles music school student drummer Jack Vitek, have managed to become a popular listen among students and Central Coast locals. 

The group’s first single titled “Jeanjacket” was released in 2021. They went on to release an album, “Save Trestles,” and another single titled “MGB” in 2022. 

Their music graces over a range of topics, with a focus on the Central Coast beach scene. However, the inspiration for their music ranges from their experiences living in Utah to even their favorite TV show, “Rick and Morty.” 

Playing shows since September 2021, the band has become a large part of the DIY style house concert scene around Cal Poly’s campus. Additionally they’ve played shows at local bars, concert venues and campus events.

We chatted with band members Abby, Lucas and Jack in the KCPR studio. Take a look at the exclusive interview below to learn more about the band, their history and their plans for the future. 

Video by Gabrielle Downey, Interview by Zoe Boyd

KCPR: How did the band start?

Lucas: We started the band in December of our freshman year [2020] and dropped our first release on Feb. 18, 2021. Then a little while after, Nilav moved into the dorm next to me, and we ended up just meeting him like that. 

Abby: I was walking behind my dorms one night and [Lucas] was just belligerent and yelling at nothing. There’s no one with him and he’s fighting the air … and he was yelling, “I need someone that knows how to play bass.” I had just gotten a bass for Christmas, but I didn’t really know how to play, but I was like “Yeah I play bass.” Then we spent two months blowing each other off because I thought he was a Soundcloud rapper … but then “Jeanjacket” came out and I thought “Yeah, I can get behind this.” 

KCPR: What’s your favorite thing about performing in SLO? 

Abby: Since September, we’ve been consistently playing the DIY house shows and it’s so cool because the same community is all a part of the house show scene. So we go play a show, and it’s kind of like we are playing for our friends even though it’s a crowd of people. 

KCPR: What was the first song you ever played together?

Lucas: Probably “Jeanjacket.” We start all our shows with the first song that we ever released, “Jeanjacket,” because it’s nice and easy. It’s a warm-up song, but it still sounds good and fun. 

KCPR: What’s your recording process?

Abby: We got to record three songs in the Cuesta studio which was a really cool opportunity. 

Lucas: The one we’ve released from the three, “Melacoda,” is a little bit different from the rest of our tracks. It still has some of the reggae rock, but it’s a little bit more mature and dark. Nilav took a lot of creative freedom on it… and it was the first time he got to sing in a song because in the past it’s just been Jack and I.  

Jack: It’s a nice contrast because “Roro n’ Digs” was written off of Lucas and I making a joke off of Mordecai and Rigby from the “Regular Show”… but I remember sitting in Nilav’s room because he asked me to help him write some lyrics and we were just sitting and writing actual poetry. 

Abby: It’s our first track where Nilav’s shown his lyricism. 

In Spring 2022, The Sandspits had the opportunity to record three new songs in an LA studio as well as borrow the Cuesta College recording studio. They plan on utilizing the Cuesta College studio further to record new songs. 

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