Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with Sisteray find out more about them… (this interview was written in April but due to us being offline, it is only being published now).
Who is in the band, how did you meet, where are you from and how did you come up with the band name?
We are Dan, Niall, Mike and Marco, we met when we collided into each other at a Strokes gig, originally Dan's brother was the drummer but he got the opportunity to go to university, so left, while Dan stayed to experience the university of rock and roll. Then we found Marco Polo, he's from Italy, he's our drummer and has the voice of an angel.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Our influences growing up just with the idea of forming a band were The Libertines and The Strokes plus a wide range of stuff between us from The Smiths, The Jam, Buzzcocks, The Who, Kinks, Stones etc and of course The Velvet Underground (we are called Sisteray after all) and Nirvana. More recently Sleaford Mods, Savages and Slaves have come into the equation a bit. We have just done an interview where we each had to say our favourite album and between us came up with albums by Pain Of Salvation, Cock Sparrer, David Bowie, The Smiths and Kendrick Lamar narrowly missed the cut... so yes, varied.
How would you describe your sound?
Describing the Sisteray sound is probably not for us to do. Distorted, poppy, punky rock and roll... with a message (sometimes).
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
The latest track we have dropped is 3'08 Queens English - the 3'08 at the beginning refers to the fact that it is 3 minutes 8 seconds of our new release 15 Minutes for which we set ourselves the task of recording exactly 15 minutes of recorded music - it was harder than you might think. The track was totally inspired by Brexit and for us that makes it an 'anger' song, it came together quickly and almost wrote itself... seeing Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, causing mayhem and then slinking off... disgusting...
What’s your local music scene like?
In London there's obviously a massive music scene but within that we thought it was important to start our own monthly live music night Welcome To The Monkey House. For loads of bands there still a lot of pressure to pay to play in London, so we decided to set up our own night, choose bands we like and play tracks we like between the bands and after. We've done 10 now and are quite proud of it.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
For the next few months we are going to be focusing on our 15 minutes release... and see how much we can extend it's lifespan for... After 3'08 Queens English we'll probably focus on another track but we can't decide which one at the moment. We've got some great gigs coming up, we're playing Camden Rocks Festival in June (our gig there last year was mental), we're playing Reading and waiting confirmation on a couple of others. If we ever got 10 or 12 songs that fitted together then we might record an album, in these times it's hard to see the point of them though... an EP is a different proposition and it's on our minds at the moment.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
We have a song called 'Gentrification' which is about just that and from our side was inspired by developers taking over the East End of London and pushing life long historic communities back... we even name check a ridiculous apartment block in Shoreditch that is called, wait for it... Avant Garde Tower... but we would really like to work with someone like Novelist because the whole issue of 'Gentrification' is one that affects all communities, so we are looking for new rhymes lyrics and perhaps we can give the beats... there's definitely a collaboration to be done though.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
Because there's no bank of mum and dad with us, we tend to have to use our ingenuity sometimes to get to gigs. We were probably the only band playing the Isle Of Wight last year that got there by Megabus... there were some delays getting there on the ferry and we had to grab our guitars and amps from the luggage space underneath and run backstage. We're not usually envious but it seemed that most of the other bands similar to us on the same stage had these tour buses and at least one parent there. It was a great weekend, though we were never likely to see Pete Townsend or one of Queen on the bus. Our mum and dad were very proud of the fact we were playing the Isle Of Wight festival and sympathised with our Megabus story... so much so they said "if you get it next year we'll pay for a National Express ticket for you."
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about your band?
The one thing that we want readers to know about Sisteray is that we live it and we mean it.