Brothers in a band, touring with some friends

San Sebastian gears up for cross Canada tour with Arkells

San Sebastian appeared on DisBAND, one of the few music-related TV shows seen on MuchMusic in the last decade. The band opens for Arkells this weekend at the Pyramid. Supplied

Brotherly love takes on a whole new definition for Ontario indie rockers San Sebastian, who seemingly tore up the Canadian music scene overnight.

Formed in 2008 by brothers Greg and Mike Veerman, Brodie and Sean Dawson and non-sibling Ted Paterson, San Sebastian has had instant success following its appearance on Much Music’s DisBAND.

The show, which has since been canceled, allowed young bands to go against a panel of industry experts and prove if they have what it takes to make it. On the show, San Sebastian was aided by host and guru Greg Norie (ex-Treble Charger).

“Greg’s a really cool guy to have on board,” says bassist Greg Veerman. “He’s got a lot of wisdom that he’s passed on to us.”

Band name origin stories are always interesting, and San Sebastian wasn’t the group’s first choice for a handle. SS’s original moniker, Pumps, was already taken.

“It was an absolute awful process,” Veerman says. “One of the guys’ favourite soccer teams was from San Sebastian, so we wanted to see if it would work with the ladies.”

Released last month through Universal Music Canada, the band’s debut full-length, Relations is already a hit. It was released hot on the heels of a few EPs, the first of which won a Hamilton Music Award for Best New Artist/Group and sold out of two independent pressings.

We’re all really good friends. It’s like hanging out at home.

Greg Veerman of San Sebastian on touring with Arkells

After the second EP, 2010’s Young Youth, San Sebastian was able to use the three-track album as the base of what would become Relations. Several of these tracks were produced by Norie, who, outside of fronting Treble Charger until a decade ago, is also an accomplished producer and manager (Sum 41).

San Sebastian has recently started their cross-Canada tour with neighbourhood rockers, Arkells, who also call Hamilton home.

“We’re all really good friends,” says Veerman. “It’s like hanging out at home.”

Published in Volume 66, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 17, 2011)

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