the band Rebecca

Rebecca the Recker


Chad the Well-Clad


Andre the Eyebrow Angler


Dave the Anti-Rave

Quick Facts

  • Band members: 4 – Rebecca, Chad, Andre, and Dave.
  • Albums: 5FrictionFriction (2011, full-length), Crush (2010, EP), Downstairs (2009, full-length), and Tremors (2008, EP).
  • Based in: San Francisco. Started in late '06.

Musically Inspired to Song By

Timelessly: Blondie, Prince, David Bowie, New Order, The Cure, Luscious Jackson, Chicks on Speed, Fiona Apple, ELO, ABBA, and Marc Bolan and T-Rex.

Recently: M.I.A., Santogold, Black Kids, Phoenix, The Ting Tings, The Sounds, Cansei de Ser Sexy, The Mae Shi, Los Campesinos, Ladyhawke, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and early Mates of State.

Meet the Band

Rebecca Bortman sings and writes My First Earthquake's lyrics. She's worked with electronica artists such as DJ Amplive, DJ Howlermonkey, The Amazing Rolo, and Mercury Rev's Anthony Molina. She is a proud Pittsburgher. During the day, she's a visual designer, so she also handles the art for the band and is art director for the Disposable Film Festival.

Chad Thornton plays keyboards, bass, and does much of the songwriting. He'd given up on rock and was learning the accordion when he and Rebecca first met. He was designer at Google and designed that chat feature in Gmail.

Andre Salcido plays drums. He grew up in the Bay Area and played in the 'trucker punk' band Crosstops, a lesser-known but locally notorious group who's played with GWAR, Royal Crown Revue, and toured Europe. Andre spends his days at an auction house, where he serves as designer, IT support, and occasional auctioneer.

Dave Lean primarily plays guitar, but also fills in on bass and keyboards. He leads his own band, Sir Salvatore, and has remixed a number of My First Earthquake's songs. He was an engineer at Apple — you can thank him for some of the high-quality materials that make up the iPhone and iPod. He's also a semi-famous, but totally anonymous music blogger. No, we can't tell you. Sorry.

The Story of How I Met Your Father

Three of the four members of My First Earthquake attended Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, but they didn't collaborate until they'd each separately moved to San Francisco. Rebecca started out singing in a psych-metal band called Ice Queen. Chad was playing the accordion and phasing out of rock. He'd played in several bands with Keith Murray of We Are Scientists, but since he'd stayed in SF when they moved to NYC (and on to stardom), he figured he'd had his chance and lost it.

Chad and Rebecca became friends through an acquaintance. After hearing some tracks of Rebecca singing over electronica beats and hearing about the sheer ridiculousness of Ice Queen, Chad convinced her to quit the band and start a project with him. During their first songwriting session, Rebecca experienced her first earthquake. They liked the sexual / geological double-entendre, and after some debate (other contenders: Sleep In The Sea, Tufte, Teenage Girlfriend, EXACTO), the name My First Earthquake was deemed destiny.

They found drummer Andre Salcido in an ad on Craigslist. Without a practice space, they forced him to audition on electronic drumpads in Chad's bedroom. For a while they rehearsed as a trio. After auditioning a few guitarists, they remembered their friend Dave Lean. He started playing shows with them, and they recorded their first EP, Tremors, shortly thereafter.

Long before all this, your mother met your father.

Still reading?

Oh wow. Go give your poor eyes a break and listen to songs from our latest album, maybe even buy the MP3s — we won’t stop you.

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