Crowquill Records artist Sisters of... Interview




1. On " Follow me as a ghost" I was in wonder of the bleak dark massive sounds but with the follow up " The Serpent, The Angel and The  Adversary" your sound has grown to a Post musical frenzy. Were did the inspiration for the new release come from?
I'm not sure if our inspiration really changed, per se, between the two records. I think this record is just what we felt the natural progression and evolution of us getting more comfortable with our music, and our process of writing and recording had morphed to. The EP was kind of our first venture into uncharted waters and we were kind of in a hurry to get it done and out for people to hear. Aaron had riffs and song ideas, threw them together and them I put my spin on them. This one was MUCH more of a collaborative effort, and we took a LOT more time focusing on individual parts and how the parts work together. I'd say our inspiration hasn't ever really changed, but our comfort level and willingness to be more open minded is where the shift came from.


2. I love the elements of Doom and Post Black metal mixed with with Post Hardcore and gothic ambiences. Please let us know what artists and bands brought you to this collections of sounds?
Thank you! We are both big fans of Deafheaven and Neurosis, so you may draw some influence from those two as far as the doom or post black metal thing. Sunbather was a frequent play in my car, for sure. But, they definitely we not the only artists that may have played a hand in over-tone-ing our sound. At the time we were writing and recording the record we were both listening to Ghost (B.C.) a lot. Russian Circles released Memorial which we were both really, really into. I think some of the point-counter-point guitar stuff we went for on this record can be attributed to the last Baroness record too. That thing is a fucking masterpiece. Aaron will usually tend to lean more toward the heavier stuff, and I tend to gravitate towards stuff like Chlesea Wolfe, Mogwai, Hammock and the more goth or dark-wave type thing. Oh, and Nails. We fucking love Nails.


3. Will Sisters of. be taking this epic journey out on the road with live shows ever as I really think it would be a spectacle to see?
A formal "tour" in the traditional sense, is still a very big question mark. We've brought on three of our friends, and some really incredible musicians, and have been working on the "live" thing for a couple of months. We just announced our first shows in our hometown area (Kansas City) this August. We'll build from there. I can definitely foresee us going out to do some regional stuff, but as far as full-blown nationwide routing, who knows. This band was started as a "studio" sort of thing, that has kind of evolved into something else. We all have full-time jobs, wives, Aaron has a son. So, who knows.


4. Is there a story behind the new release at all? 
Satan <done in my best Ghaal voice>. Hahah. Honestly, if you research the song titles and pay attention to some of the sonic themes that carry through the whole record, it's pretty apparent. It's about the dark side of all things.


5. What kind of long form video if budget's where not issues would a band like Sisters of. present to the world?
I've actually often though of that, as I do video and graphic design for my day job. I put together the album announcement / teaser we released last fall. Even if budget wasn't an issue, it would probably still be simple, mono-tonal. Obviously dark in nature and probably elements of the darker side of theology. But overall, something that would accompany the music well, without overshadowing it. We definitely wouldn't be riding elephants in Sri Lanka or doing a performance video. That is for sure. We're just not that interesting to look at.


6. I feel art and literature play a major role in the world of underground music. What are art and books or writers have inspired you to bring Sisters of. to where the sounds are now ?
We actually get asked that question a lot. I think any one form of art can influence another. What you read or what movies you watch can inspire the music you create. We both really like the photography of Nicolas Bruno. Really incredible stuff that everyone should check out. For movies, ff course we love the classics like, The Exorcist, Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, Serial Mom, and Friday After Next. Our tastes of any other forms of art, are just as wide as our musical taste. If it's good, we like it.


7. What bands and artists are currently impressing the members ?
Aaron recently introduced me to Kowloon Walled City, which I'm starting to really dig. They kind of have that late 90's / Chicago / Touch & Go Records thing that we grew up listening to. I've also been exploring Helms Alee lately as well. We saw them last year with Russian Circles and they blew my mind! I've got high hopes for this new Refused record, but I haven't spent enough time with it yet to really gain an opinion. We are both very excited for the new Ghost (B.C.) record to come out, so I've been revisiting them a lot. I know Aaron has been finding recent live recordings of their new stuff that he's really into. 


8. This is just a left field question but I really here a lot of influence from Tool and Russian Circles would these be bands that have made a major impact on the both of you? 
HAHAH! That's not a left-field question, whatsoever. We get that ALL the time. As I mentioned before, we are both BIG Russian Circles fans. Aaron has always been a huge Tool fan. Borderline obsessive at times. Since we were in high school. Me on the other hand... not so much. Maybe I'm not a fan of them because of him?


9. With Physical sales on all media down . Do you see the digital side of sales a new frontier as I pay for a monthly streaming service myself as I want to support the artists always. Or will Vinyl and other more personal formats be the outlets as Cds seems to disappear?
Ultimately, the answer is yes, on both accounts. I think anyone who is more than just a casual music fan likes to have that physical product in their hands, especially with vinyl. I think we've been in this "vinyl renaissance" for a while now, and I honestly believe it is growing. It's just growing slower than the death of CDs and cassettes happened. Therefor digital makes the most sense. I can't listen to vinyl in my car, but I can put 7,000 songs on my phone. However, when I am home, I do enjoy vinyl. Digital sales will always eclipse physical sales. It's a matter of cost and convenience. You will always find those people who just LIKE CDs or cassettes. You're just not going to find as many as the folks who prefer digital. 

10. Is Social media/ Digital press now the best PR option or do you see print and radio still making a difference for the underground music world?
I see the conversion to Digital media as a double-edged sword... a necessary evil. However, it has been VERY good to us. For a band that has never played a live show, only released an EP before this record, we actually have shipped a lot of records overseas. Before there was such a thing as digital media, bands would have to tour and grind all over the world to get exposure. The downfall to that it is an industry that is HEAVILY saturated. A lot of digital media relies on the end-users ability to see through someone else's bullshit. Social media, from the artist standpoint, is great. It is by far the best way to interact with your fans, and get information out quickly, and inexpensively. Again, it's very oversaturated so you have to make sure you have some sort of a presence on all major platforms. Sadly, I don't see radio ever being what it once was. Radio has turned into wallpaper for the casual Mumford & Sons mom-fan to have playing in the minivan. Some of them may be veiled in a "hey, we're hip, we're edgy." image, but at the end of they day they're still just trying to sell more Chlorox Bleach Pens.


11. Do the members have other musical projects still or is Sisters of. The only focus needed now?
Not really. I play in a fun, throwback band just for kicks, but S.O. is really the focus now. We're really hoping to get back into the writing phase soon. 


12. If you could collab with any artist for a 7" or special release who would it be and why?
Metallica? Hahaha. I dunno. Ghost (B.C.) of course. Russian Circles, Isis, Deftones, Pelican, Converge, Deafheaven, Hammock, Godspeed You! Black Emporer, Mogwai... Tool.


13. How do you record the songs is it a more layered approach or live with adding elements to the live recording? I ask as there is such an organic feel to this band that i feel you want to make this feel like a performance as much as possible?
That's a very good question. I appreciate your comment on the "organic feel", however, we write and record in a VERY unorthodox way. It all starts with Aaron having an idea or a collection of riffs. He will bounce them back and forth to me just through email or whatever. Once the skeleton of the song is assembled, we move on. With this record, we had a collection of assembled "skeletons" that Aaron then did scratch guitars and drums. From there, he did a few basic, remedial guitar tracks. At that point, the songs begin to morph and take shape. I will do bass over those, and then we kind of take turns writing and recording guitars. A lot of our parts are written AS we are recording or as we go through the process. The songs evolve as we record. A lot of the spacey, etherial sounds on the record are a complete afterthought, that we were just like "hey... I think I came up with a keyboard line on this part" or "just stand in front of the amp, turn all your pedals on and make noise for 5 minutes." The choral thing on Serpent was something that just popped in my head while listening to one of the early mixes. I had our friends come over and do them in my kitchen, then sent them off to Aaron. He hadn't heard the idea or anything. I'm glad he dug them. Hah. But yah, it's a cooperative, methodical building of layers.


14. Let say a major label came to you and offered a deal would this be an interest or would that be the kiss of death for a band like Sisters of..
I don't think it would be the "kiss of death", however, I don't see something like that ever happening. Haha. Of course we're open to any possibility of growing the band and expanding our reach to anyone who would like it. We're very happy with our current label (Crowquill Records), who has supported us and dealt with us and our bullshit through the process of getting this record out. A task that NO major label would EVER do. We take our time, and really focus on creating the best music we can, on our own schedule and our own time frame. We have had a lot people ask if we'd consider letting our music be used in film and/or TV, and we would definitely be into that. But right now we're just focusing on getting it translated to a live format, pushing the record as hard as we can, and look to the future as we move toward writing the next effort.


15. Thank you again for the time any closing thoughts place here.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk with you. I just want to remind everyone that our new record The Serpent, The Angel, and The Adversary is out now, available on vinyl or digital formats through Crowquill Records. If you buy the vinyl, you get a free digital download of the record. The digital version also has one more song than the vinyl. Just go to http://crowquillrecords.com/products/544186

Thank you!

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