Swedish metallers Sister has built and earned a strong reputation for their raw and voraciously energetic sounds as well as live performances which leave a swarm of other bands in the shade. Creating a mix of punk and sleaze rock with horror punk and metal bred tendencies, it is a contagious and at times anthemic brew which is increasing in potency all the time, as proven by the band’s brand new album Disguised Vultures. The release is an encounter which increases infectiously and addictively the more time you allow its persuasion, proving the Stockholm quartet a band very hard to ignore or not find a sweet spot for. To learn more about the band we had the pleasure of talking with bassist Rikki, at the same time finding out about the new album, the band and horror punk, touring and much more…
Hi Rikki, welcome to the site and thanks for agreeing to talk with us.
What was the spark which brought Sister to life and did you have an immediate direction you wanted to explore?
Sister came to life in early 2006 and I joined one year later. There were a few years with all intentions of being a band reaching high but at the same time making all the mistakes and being all about having a good time all the time. Maybe one year before the debut album Hated, that was released 2011, we felt that we were something to be reckoned with without putting much effort into it and started thinking of what we could do if we make something real out of it. I think it pretty much was at that time all the things fell into the right places.
We called your sound and album in our review of your brand new release Disguised Vultures, ‘Raw and contagious, seducing like Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 meets Crashdiet in a glam cast pit of degenerate rioting’. How would you describe the Sister incitement to newcomers?
You got the raw and contagious there and I like that he he. I would add a high energetic live act. We are a band that love being on stage and that’s our place in this world.
What are your most potent inspirations as a band and as an individual?
We are all about all kinds of music. From bands like Misfits and Guns n Roses to bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Roky Erickson. We get inspirations from everything around us. I find inspiration in everything I like and respect.
We mentioned new album Disguised Vultures earlier, your recently released second album; how were the feelings on the eve of its release and since?
Last album was a big chaotic process since we signed with Metal Blade and had to write songs, record and release an album in a pretty short time period. This time we had a lot of time getting everything done and deciding how to go through with it. Like the first time, we finished in the last second this time as well though. It has to be done that way I have learned by now. The songs were written one year ago so it feels great to finally get them out.
There seemed to be a rather strong anticipation and now a hungry appetite for the album, was this something even with your confidence in its potency you expected?
It’s the way it should be. Would be pretty boring the other way wouldn’t it. We just go for all the stuff we want to achieve with an album or whatever we are doing at the moment. I knew this album would be the perfect follow up to Hated and the new album really feels like a step in the right direction.
How do you see you music and style has evolved between Disguised Vultures and its predecessor?
I loved the fact that we recorded the drums, bass and rhythm guitar live this time. It was a thought that appeared very early, maybe shortly after the last album was released. That next time we’ll do it live in the studio. I think we achieved a more organic sound and it’s a much rawer and heavier sound than the last time. I think also it’s a more diverse album as well. On the debut it was all about fast punk songs. We are exploring more grounds this time.
Did you approach the new album differently to Hated, were there lessons learned first time around you could utilise and build on?
Yeah make sure you have time haha. Actually it could be a good thing to do an album without having the time to think about everything. It becomes very honest. But if problems turn up you are pretty fucked. We’ve learned a few things about being a band and to record the last couple of years as well. Not much but a few hehe.
You may disagreed but it seems like earlier releases, Hated and before that the Deadboys Making Noise EP, certainly lyrically and in sound may be too, embraced expectations with a typical horror punk provocation. Disguised Vultures feels like in both aspects Sister has moved on to try to evolve and sculpt its own identity. Has this been something you have given a focused attention to look at or it has been just an organic progression in your writing?
I actually have no idea when the horror label people put on us even took place. We have never written songs about horror movies or stuff like that. We write music about real life not after life haha. I guess when you look in a certain way people try to put you in the genre that they think is the closest one. We have always considered ourselves being a band that like a lot of different music genres and we have since the EP just decided not to think about genres and just play what we want. It is always different depending who you talk to. Some say we are sleaze, some say horror, some say just pure punk music. I consider us being a bit more confusing genre wise than just being just one of those.
Tell us about the recording of the new album. Did you have a deliberate intent with it and its sound?
Our friend Martin Sweet produced it and Linus Nirbrant did the mix together with him. The mix process took the longest to get right since we really knew from the start what we wanted. We were very much, like always, involved in all parts of the process. We knew what we wanted to do and how to do it and since we have worked with Martin earlier we know each other very well. He got us from the start.
Do you write songs and have them worked out fully before the recording process or a band which likes to create predominantly in the studio environment?
Everything was written half a year before we entered the studio. You always make a few changes in the studio but the main stuff was already written this time. On the first album we changed more while recording than this time.
How does the writing process within Sister play out generally?
Someone has a song which is taken to the rehearsal. Usually there is a melody or a half-finished song and then we pretty much finish the song in there. It can be very different from song to song but usually it’s like that.
Are you more often than not a put the lyrics to music band or vice versa?
It can be either way.
There is a definite anthemic and stand up against the wrongs of society etc. provocation to your songs lyrically which transfers to the music on the album, but how much do personal issues, reflections, or experiences also inspire your songs?
Cari and Jamie have written the lyrics on this album. Some songs are pure angst about things and some more complex. The song Disguised Vultures for example is about the clash between the world on tour and the world back home. On tour playing in front of big crowds and then being back home without any money and all that. It can be two very different worlds.
Disguised Vultures like its predecessor has been unleashed on Metal Blade Records; they seem like a rewarding home for Sister?
Yeah it’s been good. Their reputation and arms reach out over most parts of the world and that can be very good for us of course.
The band has toured and played around Europe extensively over the years, as well as playing at some prestigious festivals; the biggest highlights for you so far?
Playing the big stage right before Mastodon on Sonisphere Madrid 2012 was a highlight of course. I can get used to doing that stuff haha. The tours with Hardcore Superstar, Crashdiet and Wednesday 13 have been really good as well. We have played in northern Europe a lot since the EP (Germany has been like a second home country hehe) so it has been great playing in Italy, Spain and France the last couple of years. Our first two tours in the UK were done last year and were awesome as well. Hope to be back there real soon!
Is there any particular country or nationality of fans which unite and ignite to Sister over all others?
It’s been real good all over Europe the last few years. Northern Italy has always been crazy. Manchester and London on the UK tours have been awesome. Paris was really great, Berlin as well. Hard to pick a favourite.
What does Sister have in store for 2014 now the album is out?
We are in the middle of discussions about some real cool stuff tour wise. We’ll see if it can be done. It would be big! The booked official stuff is a release party here in Stockholm in the middle of February and some shows in Sweden and Finland. We just want to hit the roads soon!
Big thanks for chatting with us; any parting thoughts you would like to leave the readers contemplating?
Likewise! If you haven’t been to a Sister show, make sure that you do when we’re around! And check out our album Disguised Vultures!
Read the Disguised Vultures review @ http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/sister-disguised-vultures/
The Ringmaster Review 14/02/2014
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