Courtesy of Sully Band
Listen up: North County is home to a thriving music culture, with players including Anthony Cullins, Francis Blume, and Shane Hall making waves in genres like pop, rock, jazz, emo, punk, and folk—and creating a diverse, vibrant scene north of the split.“We love the community here,” says Chris Ruzika. He started the Carlsbad-based Signal for Pilot in 2009. “Even being in the shadows of LA, there are a lot of people who play […] and really care about music.”Ruzika’s bandmate, Hugo De Bernardo, says the laid-back nature of North County is a perk.“The vibe is so different up here than it would be a little more south. It’s definitely more people of all ages and people who are working professionals, families,” he says. “It’s very refreshing.”Signal for Pilot was nominated for Best Indie/Alternative Artist at this year’s San Diego Music Awards.
Photo Credit: Scott Sanford
Playing a local venue like the Belly Up, The Kraken in Cardiff, or the Pour House in Oceanside is something of a rite of passage for local musicians.“Pour House is definitely one of the venues that’s a go- to up here,” says Ruzika. “They do jazz, hard core, emo, pop punk, rock, all that stuff.”As for those acts who haven’t quite reached the level of playing bigger venues or festivals like the Carlsbad Music Festival, Fiesta Del Sol, or even Oceanside’s weekly Sunset Market, there are countless breweries, wineries, coffee houses, and house parties that host live music.Nick Lanari is the vocalist and guitarist for the Oceanside-based band Summer Years. He said the scene is mostly do-it-yourself for younger, fledgling acts.“The kids are playing the DIY stuff, house shows. That’s very punk,” he says.