Jenny Merullo is now playing drums for The Shady Francos. The band's previous drummer, Cameron Sisti, took a step back from playing music to focus on school. So when Merullo, who also drums in The Heavy Guilt—which is now on an extended hiatus—heard the band was in need of a new drummer, she jumped on the opportunity to get back behind the kit.
"Since the Guilt kind of stopped playing, I've been getting kind of antsy," she says in a phone interview with CityBeat.
Merullo heard about the Shady Francos' need for a new drummer through her friend and Heavy Guilt bandmate, Al Howard, who passed on the information, and thought she might be interested in giving it a shot. After Merullo got in touch with the group's frontman, Joshua Kmak, everything fell into place with one rehearsal session.
"It started with a text that turned into a jam session," she says. "It kind of clicked from the beginning. I'm a basher. It's right up my alley."
The difference in musical styles was also attractive to Merullo, who had played in a bluesier rock 'n' roll band with The Heavy Guilt. By contrast, The Shady Francos are a louder, more manic garage rock group, and allows her to change her style a bit when they perform, which is an added bonus.
"It's a completely different animal, coming from a six-piece band to a three-piece band," she says. "[In the Heavy Guilt] it was more my job to keep that train on the track. With this band itís a little louder, there are more cymbals—it's very splashy. It's all about the energy."
The Shady Francos' first San Diego show with Merullo playing drums will be Friday, Aug. 28, at Queen Bee's, followed by another show on Saturday, Aug. 29, at The Casbah.