If you’ve been to a local DIY show in the Santa Clarita Valley, you’ve probably heard of Full Safari. In fact, legend has it that if one says the name “Full Safari” three times fast, the band will appear and headline out of nowhere, fully equipped with long hair and baggy pants.
Full Safari was initially established under the name “The Ooze,” until copyright threats came in and squeezed the ooze right out of them. Under their new identity as Full Safari, the band has worked to bring the local music scene in the SCV to life.
For the past few years, lead singer Joey Voge has networked with other local bands to host art and music showcases. Working alongside College of the Canyons’ student-run record label Hipified Records, Full Safari performs for a wide array of venues – from Vincenzo’s Pizza to friends’ backyards.
Santa Clarita, according to Full Safari drummer Josh Martin, is notorious for its lack of venues for local artists.
“There are basically no venues that will allow young kids in indie bands to play, except for Vincenzo’s,” Martin said. “The only real venue in SCV is the one at the mall – The Canyon Club – and they only want dad rock bands and cover bands to play.”
When it comes down to it, wherever Full Safari can plug in, they will play. It can be difficult, however, when the community doesn’t feel the same way about live music as they do.
“Most of the time, we have to resort to playing house shows, but a big problem with that is that you get the cops called on you at 9:30 p.m.,” Martin said.
At their most recent “Warm Milk” show, the cops were called several times, requiring Voge to instruct the bands to play more quietly. Not quietly enough, apparently. After a final call to the police, the night was brought to and end as one band was forced to stop playing in the middle of a 23-minute song.
Voge has spearheaded many art and music showcases, so it is his name that gets written on the insurance liability waivers, and it is also Voge who has to deal with the authorities. And for a college student, asking venue owners to place their trust in a security deposit signed by a 20-year-old is not an easy task.
“My biggest obstacle was with the owners of the venues, because they saw me as a kid and didn’t treat me with respect, even though we follow the rules down to the letter,” Voge said in an interview about an arts showcase in November.
Financing these shows is also far from easy. At that same showcase held at a neighborhood clubhouse, the bands were not allowed to charge for tickets on the premises. Instead, band members took turns sitting in the dark down the street with a shoe box full of change to avoid penalties.
Sketchers cash boxes aside, Full Safari is working to build upon what they’ve started by continuing to play and host DIY shows for the music lovers in the community.