In a matter of weeks, Fairground Saints went from releasing their debut album to playing at their first festival, as one of the bands that opened Kaaboo Del Mar on Sept. 18 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
With a warm and wistful sound, the Los Angeles-based trio — Elijah Edwards (vocals, guitar, mandolin, keyboards, Dobro, accordion), Megan McAllister (vocals, guitar, dulcimer) and Mason Van Valin (vocals, guitar) — released its self-titled debut Aug. 21. The 12-track album was produced by Matthew Wilder, the composer, musician and producer known for his work with Kaaboo headliner No Doubt.
The band has now kicked off a short West Coast tour with singer-songwriter Marc Broussard. The tour starts Sept. 22 in Napa and ends Sept. 25 in Los Angeles. After it’s complete, Fairground Saints will perform along the East Coast, from New York to North Carolina, through October.
With help from her bandmates, McAllister talked with us about the band’s many firsts, from the new album to the recent Kaaboo performance.
How did you like Kaaboo?
We had an absolute blast. From the music to the food to the beautiful art landscaping the fairground. It was such a cool thing to be a part of.
Did you get to enjoy the festival as a fan as well?
Yes! It was really sweet to see some bands that have had an impact on us as musicians. No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom” record was the first album I (McAllister) bought as kid. So it was such a cool experience to see them live.
What do you enjoy about performing at festivals?
What we enjoy most about it is that it’s just a bunch of people that are passionate about music all in one place, taking in as much music as they can fit into their three days.
What is the first festival you performed at?
Believe it or not, Kaaboo Del Mar was our first festival!
Have you ever played in San Diego before?
Another first-time experience for us!
You recently released your debut album. How does it feel?
For all three of us it feels like the fruition of an adolescent dream. It’s such an incredible feeling to have a finished collection of the songs we’ve been writing to give to people. We couldn’t be more excited to get out on the road and tour this record.
What was the inspiration behind the album?
The desire to put back out into the world what music gave to us. Specifically love.
When and where did you record it? What was the process like?
We recorded the bulk of the album at our producer’s cozy studio in the mountains of Malibu. It was such a great space to create without any distraction. We had the opportunity to bring in some pretty outstanding musicians. It was so cool to witness their taste as musicians and their professionalism. Also, we are all a bunch of goofballs so we had quite a few laughs during the entire process.
Do you have a favorite song from the album?
“All For You.” We love the grandiosity as well as the ’50s-style chord progression and melody.
Where can fans see you next? Will you be back in San Diego sometime soon?
We are going to be cruising up to Northern California touring with Marc Broussard, but we’ll be in Los Angeles at the Troubadour Sept. 25th. We don’t have anything lined up in San Diego just yet, but we hope something comes up soon!
Would you want to be a part of Kaaboo next year?
Absolutely. We felt incredibly honored to have earned a spot this year and would be totally down to come back next year!
For more about Fairground Saints, visit www.fairgroundsaints.com.