Welcome to the Monkey House #2

mercredi, février 10, 2016

Hey all,

We are sitting here today with up and coming indie rock band from London SISTERAY, whom we are meeting at the Stag's Head before their weekly rehearsals at Kafri Studios in Hoxton, East London.
Open fires, comfortable seats, cold drinks – the setting is fitting: intimate and relaxed. Perfect to learn more about these four lads set to bring electric guitars and clever lyrics back in the stale world of today's music. But first we have to talk about the upcoming “rendez-vous” (you can take the girls out of France but never France out of the girls!) 

So guys, we hear you have a gig coming up soon? 

Yes! We are headlining our own night at the Victoria in Dalston on the 11th of February. We're playing in Dalston – that's where you used to get robbed you know! But now it’s a cool place to go with lots of hipsters. People wear beards, not trackies anymore. 

And what’s happening that night exactly then? 

Dan: Mass suicide. [sees me typing it down] No no don’t put that! [laughing]
[Excited] Monkey loving of the highest order! Welcome to the Monkey House number 2! It’s a gig and single launch for our double single “A Wise Man Said” and “Back to Yours”. It’s going to be amazing. 

Why did you decide to make Welcome to the Monkey House a regular event? 
Because the first one fucking sold out!

Brilliant, thanks for all these details, we'll be sure to be there for the... Monkey loving then! Save the date folks. February, 11th !

Onwards to more music oriented questions now. We were wondering where you get your inspiration from to write the songs, since most of them seem to be inspired by real life situations. Are they autobiographic in a way, do you get the inspiration from your lives or from somewhere else?

Niall: Some of them are written from the inside looking out and some from the outside looking in. Sometimes we were actively involved in the situations that led us to write the songs and sometimes the lyrics are purely observational.

Dan: An idea would pop into one of our heads, then the deal is: bring it to rehearsal we'll have a look at it and try it out. And by the time it’s played live it’s a completely different song. Most songs ended up having little in common with the idea we had in the first place.

Niall: But obviously every song is different and has its own journey. Writing “Welcome to the Monkey House” for instance was quite an organic process and the song went through various changes the more we played it.

Tell us more about the Sisteray story then, where, how, when did you guys all meet? Was it love at first sight or was it difficult for you to find common ground? 

Dan: It was me and my brother Ryan playing guitar and drums. Then me and Niall had a date, like, proper date shit going on, in a candle lit pub on Denmark Street. And that very day we hatched a plan for world domination.

Niall: It was at the 12 bar club I think. 

Dan: IT’S NOT EVEN THERE ANYMORE! Anyway, a bit later, actually on Mike’s birthday in Camden two weeks before our first gig, I asked him if he wanted to play bass in our band. Ryan sacked himself and went to uni, and that’s when Marco came in. He had one rehearsal with us and then we played a festival in Kent. 

Niall: Your English was terrible when you first came in! [laughing] 

Marco: It’s still shit. 

How do you think you evolved as a band since then? 

Niall: Tenfold. A lot of that is also down to Marco, drums wise.

Dan: Marco has a lot more musical background than any of us, in terms of pure technique for example. We've all got different tastes, influences and likes which prevents us from being stuck and not evolving.

Marco: I listen to different types of music as well, and that helped expand the sound of the band and give it more depth. More hip hop and reggae bits for example. 

Today, what roles do each of you guys play in the band? Who’s the leader (if there is one?) and so on?

Mike: I'd say the band is 25% each on a good day. 

Dan: So two days a year basically? 

What makes you different from all these other indie bands around? Why should it be you making it and not another band?

Dan: Most of the other bands are lazy fuckers and that’s absolutely true. A lot of them are middle class and they think everything is going to get handed to them on a plate while they're fucking studying to get a degree in case the “music stuff” doesn't work out.

Niall: To me, it’s not just a matter of class – it's simpler than that actually. Most of the bands who start don’t do what we do: flyering, networking, getting the band's name out there. Like Dan said, they’re just expecting it to happen. 

Dan: You could say our ethic is more working class. We’re talking to people, face to face, telling them our story. Our fans are our friends. We’re real. We live what we say we live -it’s not just pretend.

Niall: It’s also lyrically different from any other band that's around at the moment. Our lyrics are more political for example. I read an interview recently in which Circa Waves were saying they didn't have any political or social aspect to their lyrics and their songs because they just wanted to write some rock n roll tunes to play before you go out, that sort of thing. That's fine and we have those kind of songs as well, but we also have something to say about the world and what we witness happening.

Fair enough. We asked that question because in a way, you ARE the cliché indie rock band from London – we’ve got ginger spice wearing skinny black jeans and striped t shirts, Dan “blue steel” Connolly and his denim jacket with a million pins on it not to mention the whole accessory aisle from Topman around his neck (WE LOVE YOU DAN),
Michael the lovechild of Bruce Springsteen and Joe Strummer, all that.
We've got nothing bad to say about Marco Marco is amazing we love Marco.
And not just style wise obviously, we're mostly joking here, but also in terms of sound
and songwriting as well. Hence the question. 

Dan: Fuck this interview I’m walking out. [gives us the two fingers] People don’t know what indie rock is anymore. 

So what was for you guys the turning point of the band? When did you look at Sisteray
and thought: “yeah, this band is good enough to make it.”

[unanimously] When Marco joined. 

We are also wondering what your limits are. What would you be willing to do to make it, reach your goal, and what would be completely out of the question. In other words, what aspects would you be okay with changing, removing or adding to help you achieve

Dan: We’ve never succumbed to the industry and we don't plan on doing so. We decided that we would release our punkiest single yet which has got a swearword in it and it’s getting played on the radio and getting really good feedback. We stayed true to ourselves and our music and it's working. 

Niall: We would never give creative rights to anyone, that's for sure. And yeah, like Dan said, we’re starting to spark interest so we could have made a more commercial tune but we decided to stick to our guns. 

How do you see yourselves in 5 years? 

Dan: On holiday, no, being able to afford a holiday.

Mike: Doing a major festival, and headlining it!

Marco: Forever touring, going around the world in a bus, living the life, free drinks – but fuck five years! I wanna do that as soon as possible!

Niall: In your living rooms! 

What’s the dream venue for you guys to play? Realistically or not, what venue would you dream of playing? 

Niall: Brixton Academy 

Marco: Wembley Stadium 

Mike: A small venue

Dan: In a warehouse on M25

As a band, what movie would you have liked to have soundtracked?

[Animated talking and arguing, finally agreeing on] Trainspotting. 

If a brand were to ask you for one of your songs to be in an ad, what brand would you like to promote and which brand would you say fuck off to? 

Dan: Fuck off Mc Donald’s, and I'd like to do Jeremy Corbyn’s political campaign advert. 

Niall: Fred Perry.

Mike: Stop the war coalition maybe.

Dan: Actually I’d like to do the ad for Fat White Family’s new album. Why? Because it makes no sense. 

Where should we go have a beer in London if we wanted to see you guys? 

You subscribe to the Sisteraymob [ndlr mob for MOBILE *07752 391 885*] and you could do that anytime! 

And finally, where should we spend the hangover? 

There is no hangover the party doesn’t end. 

Thanks to: 
for the pictures 

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1 commentaires

  1. Haha, I love that they would tell Mc Donald’s to fuck off and do Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign ad !