Having just put out fourth album ‘Currents’, Texan indie-rock quartet Eisley are embracing finally having complete creative control over their music – writing, recording and producing the album themselves in frontwoman Sherri DuPree-Bemis’ home studio. We catch up with Sherri to discuss the new album, returning to touring after giving birth, and the forthcoming Star Wars sequels.
Hey there Sherri, how’s it going?
Hey! Going really well, how are you?
Not bad, thanks. So, Eisley have just put out your fourth album ‘Currents’ – you’ve said it’s the first album where you guys have had complete creative control, not to mention the fact that you recorded and produced it yourselves – what’s that process been like?
It’s honestly been the coolest thing I think we’ve done together as a band. We made that decision to do it ourselves and it was a big step for us because we’ve always worked with a producer and we’ve never tried doing it all ourselves. So it was kind of scary but also so exciting. Kind of like how I imagine bungee jumping would feel, you know? You’re standing up there and you’re like "this is gonna be the best thing ever, but right now it’s scary". I think it ended up working out pretty great for us.
Sure. It must have been pretty liberating having free reign like that. So, the band are just about to embark on a pretty enormous tour over there in the US with Say Anything, it’s been a while since you’ve been out on tour – are you excited to be back on the road?
Yes. I am so excited to get back on the road. We’ve had a lot of time off because my sisters and I all had babies, and so we’ve been honestly just sitting around. I mean, we did the record but y’know, touring is just a different thing and playing shows is a different thing. It’s nice to have a big break, but I’m definitely ready to go back out and play shows and meet fans and stuff. It’s just such a fun thing, and we’re really privileged to be able to do it. I definitely miss it whenever we have a long time off.
You mentioned that you and your sisters all just gave birth – congratulations. That’s a lot of members to have kids around the same sort of time. Has that changed at all the way you guys operate and think about touring?
I’m sure it will. I mean, I’ll be able to answer much better when we finish this tour cause it’s the first one back. But, you know, it’s so funny. Before we had the kids everyone was kind of like "How are we gonna do this? How are we gonna tour?" but after you have the kid it’s kind of like they’re just there, and they’re an extension of you and an extension of the family. And they’re more fun! They just become a part of your daily life and you get used to it. It’s not this big freakout thing anymore, it’s just like "I’m gonna do everything I used to do but now there’s this little baby there" and it’s just, yeah, super fun.
Okay, dream tour. You get to travel the world with any other band in tow – who do you pick?
I know it’s cliche to say, but The Beatles were my favourite band. So, Paul McCartney would be the ultimate tour for me. Or, you know, Radiohead are a huge band for us. One of those two, for sure.
Good picks. So, you guys just put out a 7" split with Say Anything where you contributed a song entitled "Lost and Found" which you had played live a lot before but not recorded properly. Was there a reason you picked that song in particular?
Yeah, it was one of those songs that somehow, even though we’d played it live it just kind of got lost. Anytime we would write a record it would just kind of got forgotten. To me, it was a song I’d always loved. With the split, everyone had just had their babies and they were saying "we need a song, can you guys write something?" and we were kind of like "God, I don’t think we have time" you know? So I sort of said, "hey wait, there’s a song I’ve always wanted to do" and so we ended up going with that.
You’re big fans of the sort of smaller, non-album releases – splits, EP’s and stuff. Is there a reason you guys tend to put out lots of these kind of releases?
I think it’s fun to keep a constant flow of music happening. I always kind of hate it when my favourite bands put out a record and then just get kind of sucked back into oblivion until they decide to put another record out a couple years later. And now I have the studio at home, where ‘Currents’ was recorded so it makes it super easy to just go in there and do work on stuff anytime.
Definitely. I guess you all have side projects and stuff like that too so there’s always a lot happening. So, the band’s name is obviously a Star Wars reference, you’ve said you all grew up watching Star Wars and all love it – how do you feel about Disney buying the rights and reviving the series?
[laughs] I don’t know exactly how I feel about that yet. I’m still kind of up in the air about the whole thing. But, it could be really good?
It could be really good.
Yeah, it could be! I’m not gonna be a naysayer about it yet. Plus, it’ll be cool for our kids to grow up and get to experience that next generation. For me, I grew up watching them and they were my favourite films.
Totally. Just lastly, you guys have said that you want to try and tour UK and Australia off the back off this new album – I think the last time you guys were out was in 2006. Is this still something you’re trying to do?
Absolutely. For us, I mean, I guess we’re a fairly well-known band but not so big that we’re on a major label that has the funds that they can pay for us to just hop on a plane and come over. But we just love it so much there, and we have so many people over there that have been asking us to come back and tour for years. It’s something we are definitely gonna try and do for this record. We have to. It’s been too long, you know?