Boiling energies and contagious storms: an interview with Rikki from Sister

Rikki

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.

1743529_10152244327941694_138724050_nWe 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.

sister 2Did 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 sister 4the 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.

sister 3What 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 @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/sister-disguised-vultures/

www.sisterofficial.com

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 14/02/2014

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Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Sister – Disguised Vultures

Sister1

    It is easy to declare that on Disguised Vultures, the new album from Swedish metallers Sister, there is very little new going on but you can just as comfortably announce that the album is a refreshing and imagination teasing slab of sleaze punk inspired metal which for the main thrills and ignites satisfying urges within feet and emotions. Raw and contagious, seducing like Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 meets Crashdiet in a glam cast pit of degenerate rioting, band and album create a provocative brawl where wantonness and salacious attitudes are encouraged and sonic bruising recommended.

    The ten track release follows debut album Hated which like its successor was unleashed on Metal Blade Records. Since forming in 2006, Sister’s sound has certainly evolved, if not dramatically, since first EP Deadboys Making Noise in 2009. Even more so their craft and adventure has spread from just horror punk type scenarios to maturer enterprises taking on greater conciseness and potency on the way as evidenced enjoyably by Disguised Vultures. Tours and shows with the likes of Hardcore Superstar, Wednesday 13, Crashdiet, Fozzy, and U.D.O. as well as festival appearances between albums has only strengthened the stature and awareness for the Stockholm based quartet’s sound whilst earning them a reputation as one impressive irrepressible live encounter but you feel that Disguised Vultures just might be the key to turn the lock of greater recognition even if it leaves expectations fed rather than starved predominantly.

    The band go straight for the jugular with opener My Enemy, its first breath a roaring blaze of punk infested scuzz which Coverthough immediately hitting full on between the eyes suddenly steps into what could have been its intro. A sudden chilled ambience littered with samples intercepts the imagination at this point whilst a ravenous heavy bass tone prowls inviting in rampant predatory rhythms which soon add their menace to the emprise. It is an intriguing and inspired start which arguably song and album never replicates again preferring to reinvent and twist existing flames of invention. As bass and rhythms enslave the ears and a sonic wind from the guitar shapes the landscape as the song hits full gear again, vocals and sounds slip into a more regular and predictable encounter. Nevertheless it is a rousing and compelling confrontation which uncages the same antagonistic belligerence and contagion found in Murderdolls and even more so the early and solo work of Wednesday 13.

    The impressive start makes way for the first single from the album Sick. With heavy metal melodic taunting and sinew driven rhythmic barracking leading to one of those anthemic choruses which you fight but always succumb, the song is an easily accessible and pleasing stomp offering nothing to be slack jawed over but providing a full and tasty meal for the appetite to eagerly embrace. Combined with its predecessor the album has already taken a tight grip which is sustained by both the title track and the next up Arise. The first of the two lacks the spark of the first two but romps with a juicy groove coring fiery riffs and melodic enticement whilst more restrained rhythms frame good group vocals and the rasping lead of Jamie. It is a decent enough track to settle down with but soon surpassed by its successor. Loaded with addictive barbed hooks which dig deeply and an infection soaked chorus driven home by again vocalised anthemic temptation, the song is three minutes of insatiable horror punk wrapped in sleaze rock, not ground breaking but quite irresistible.

     Another pinnacle of the album arrives with We Salute ‘Em, a heavy duty rapacious brute of a song which from its intensive weighty entrance steers the senses through a volcanic and quarrelsome tempest of scarring riffs and spiteful rhythms under a melodically cast sonic sky. Adding little twists and sparks of imagination to its absorbing body of sound, the track is another to seize and hold the imagination long past the departure of the album, something not all songs such as Naked and DMN can boast. Before them though Sister sets free Slay Yourself, a punk infused treat with a causticity which is as inciting and magnetic as the sonic storm around it. The next up Naked is a power ballad which though well-crafted just does not spark any hunger for itself unlike other songs. It is strong and skilfully presented though making a break from the rioting but soon has thoughts looking at what is next.

   From the again okay DMN, a predictable yet enthused growling fury, (Stop the) Revolution pulls the album back to its earlier heights. A rhythmic enticement opens up the persuasion and instantly has focus glued to its bait, a trap which never relents right through the whole of the song. A gnarly carnivorous bass predation is equally as seductive, combining with the drums for a dramatic canvas upon which sonic endeavour and melodic flames provide more potent adventure. The best track on the album it is punk metal at its best and the perfect lure into the band.

    The album closes with Please Kill Me, a song which feels like a filler more than anything. Certainly it does not live up to the strengths and exciting toxicity which marks the rest of the release but it cannot deter Disguised Vultures from being a fun album to play with. It is not going to provide you with anything startlingly new but for strong, pleasing, and enduring anthems of horror punk sleaze you could do a lot worse than Sister’s new tease.

Disguised Vultures is available now in North America and on the 24th of January in Europe.

www.sisterofficial.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 21/01/2014

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Sister – Hated

Since their beginnings in 2006 Stockholm glam metal punks Sister have gained much notoriety for their impressive live shows, and with the added release of demos have fuelled a growing anticipation for a full length album. The release of Hated on Metal Blade Records will satisfy those eager ears as well as gaining more attention from new comers to their sleaze punk sound.

Hated is bursting with dirty aggression, the tracks standing proud and loud in the faces of all who dip into their filthy punk sound. Their music is and gives nothing particularly new, frequenting the same cemeteries that Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 or Murderdolls call their home, but the irresistible riffs and hooks their songs are bursting with makes that nothing more than a welcome signpost for what to expect from the quartet.  

The album starts with a meaningless forgettable intro but with a length of just 20 seconds the release really starts with the impressive ‘Body Blow’.  It is grimy, dark, and very satisfying, the guitar of Lestat driving and joyful alongside the compelling rhythms from Rikki and Carl on bass and drums respectively. Vocalist Jamie brings his Wednesday 13 delivery, whether intentional or it is just his natural sound, there is a close similarity which many other bands also share, though admittedly Wednesday 13 is probably in most of them. Most of all, the track is great fun, undemanding and delivering exactly what it says ‘on the tin’.

The album contains a firm and strong consistency throughout, the tracks of the punk thrasher ‘Bullshit & Backstabbing’ and the Motley Crüe like ‘Hated’, fine examples of what the band does best, which is to entertain without bringing any pretensions.

Two tracks stand out head and shoulders over the strong line-up, the infectious ‘Mother Fuckers (Like You)’ and a dirty rock ‘n’ roll classic in ‘The Unlucky Minority’. Both ride upon stomping riffs and pulsing basslines, grabbing the listener giving no hope of escape until the last note has dropped. There is also a third track that grabs more attention than most, the piano led ballad ‘Would You Love A Creature’.  Vocally the whole band get involved and the song flows with an ease and confidence that shows the band can bring surprising ideas and directions to their sound if they so wish, mainly though they just want to entertain.

Hated is a simple satisfying chunk of extremely enjoyable sleaze punk rock ‘n’ roll. Sister do not try to or pretend to be anything more than what they are, a very agreeable and entertaining band that guarantees nothing more than great rock music and total fun.

http://www.sisteronline.net

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2011

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