2015 in Review

Looking back on our first year as a band

Posted by Travis Hanna on December 30, 2015

It’s hard for me to believe, but on this date last year, The Jilters had yet to play our first show. I’d just finished mixing a demo that we recorded in Chris’ spare bedroom. Chris and Chuck had been working the material for awhile but I barely knew it to be honest. For most songs, I was improvising my bass lines from a lead sheet during the recording. What a difference a year makes!

Mixing Demo on Ferry

Thirty Two Songs

In 2015, we performed at least thirty two songs live: twenty two originals and ten covers. It was an ambitious effort to get that many tunes prepared in a year. Many of them have taken turns in surprising directions since we first performed them. I can only assume that they’ll continue to develop in unexpected ways as we add horns and begin our first studio recording.


  1. Smirk or Smile
  2. Better Than Perfect
  3. Again
  4. Sorry Anyway
  5. Anti-Muse
  6. Go Home Joe
  7. Cog
  8. Sunset
  9. To Continue
  10. Messes
  11. Stranded
  12. Either Way
  13. Subject of Your Whims
  14. At All
  15. Walking on the Left Hand Side
  16. Better Man
  17. Send It Back
  18. It’s All on Me
  19. More Complicated
  20. Perfect Atmosphere
  21. Ransom
  22. We’re All Done


  1. Never There - Cake
  2. Lean On Me - Bill Withers
  3. Get Lucky - Daft Punk
  4. Eminence Front - The Who
  5. Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder
  6. Chameleon - Herbie Hancock
  7. Let’s Stay Together - Al Green
  8. Take the Money and Run - Steve Miller Band
  9. Norwegian Wood - Beatles
  10. King of Pain - The Police

Two Band Members

We’ve added Mike Chong on guitar and Jeff Worrall on trumpet. Mike brings much needed texture and rhythm support to the tunes while Jeff has formed the nucleus of the soon-to-be-world-renowned Jilters Horn Section (watch out Tower of Power).

Jeff and Mike

Twelve Shows

We played our first twelve shows at eight different venues in San Francisco, Alameda, and Hayward in 2015.

  • Hotel Utah
  • Rooster’s Roadhouse
  • Otis Owlapalooza
  • The Fireside
  • The Bistro
  • 50 Mason Social House
  • The Milk Bar
  • McGee’s

Our first show was opening for Stage 11 at Hotel Utah. That gig caused a frantic scramble because we booked it a week beforehand only to realize that we didn’t have a promo pic, bio, website, stage plot, or really anything that we needed to actually function as a working band. The peak of this chaos was getting together at Lucky 13 and shooting a promo pic with a phone borrowed from the bartender using a random patron as the photographer (Thanks Patrick!). Somehow everything worked out in the end. We still follow Diego and company on Facebook and are looking forward to their upcoming album.

First Promo Pic

The week leading up to our second show was equally crazy. We booked a date at Rooster’s Roadhouse without enough material to play for the entire evening. This meant we had to find other bands. We had a friend, James Riddle who was a perfect opener but didn’t know anybody else to call. In the end, being the nerd that I am, I built a spreadsheet of almost 400 bands who had played recently in the Bay Area. For each of them, I tracked down a recording and scored them based on how they fit with us musically. We whittled it down to our top 10 choices and Sad Tires were the first to respond. After we had things lined up, Chris had a bit of a panic attack over the fact that we’d never actually met them or seen them live. We’d based the decision on nothing more than a couple of tracks posted to SoundCloud. Luckily, it ended up being a good call. Sad Tires rocked the place, and we later had the pleasure of playing with Scott and Kyle’s other (equally awesome) band, The Old Folks.

Sad Tires

After the first two shows, booking and performing shows went a bit more smoothly but there are plenty of stories we’d be happy to tell over a beer or two if you’re interested. Ask about Hayward if you really want to hear the good stuff…

Looking Forward to 2016

The first order of business for 2016 will be to hit the studio and start recording. We’ll likely record and release singles or an EP first as opposed to immediately diving into a full LP. We’ll still be playing shows while we work on recording but it might be at a slightly slower clip early in the year. Expect to see us at McGees in February and and a yet to be determined venue in San Francisco sometime shortly afterwards. Like our Facebook page or join our mailing list so we can reach you as we know more.

Thanks for making 2015 a special year for The Jilters!