I just want to thank Sherri for taking time to answer these questions for me!
At a show, Sherri said a few of the older songs were inspired My Little Pony and things like that, so where did the inspiration for some of the newer songs on the album come from?
Actually that's incorrect. I said that a critic once described our music as "My Little Pony Rock"... (Whatever that may be, it was obviously meant rudely - in jest). I've only ever owned one "My Little Pony" and it was when I was three years old. It was yellow, had a picture of a beach ball on it's rump, came with a toothbrush and never inspired a song. Yes, I still have it.
When people talk about the differences between Sherri's and Stacy's songwriting, everyone seems to agree that Sherri's is more literal and Stacy's is more abstract. Would Sherri and Stacy agree with those stances on their own writing?
Definitely. Not only lyrically, but musically as well. We always joke that she's Lennon, and I'm McCartney (only without the obvious insane talent difference) because that's how they were as a team. We help balance each other out. Without me, I think fewer would understand our songs but without her, fewer would have to
THINK about what our songs mean; neither would be as fun.
Who is "Taking Control" about?
It is really about anyone in your life (boyfriend, work, family, dog) who you're letting control your life to the point of it being a negative thing for you, personally and the people around you
Why didn't "Like the Actors" make the album?
We wanted to keep the new album "short and sweet". Too many songs can bog down a potentially great album; it becomes monotonous. And when we went to the cutting board, it was between L.T.A.'s and "Ten Cent Blues". Everyone liked it a lot, but there just wasn't room; alas - it was voted off.
Some of your demos (The Baby) leaked before you guy went into the studio, did any of that effect what songs to keep or scrap?
No, it just had an effect on our criminal records since we went out and bloodied the kid that stole them... (We know who you are jerk, jk). But no it didn't affect the album....just our wrath.
You guys have a plethora of unreleased songs and B-Sides. Will we ever see an Eisley B-sides record?
I think that would be cool someday (even though most kids have the stuff now) but not unless we ever became a better-known band. Right now, putting out an album of half-good B-sides instead of more albums with new and better songs would only hurt us. "You have to go forwards to go back" - (Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka).
Which songs are you each most proud of, past or present?
Off Room Noises, probably "Memories". I didn't know anything about songwriting back then, and that one somehow feels nice and raw; it never gets old to me. As far as a newer song, I enjoy "Many Funerals" for the same reason. And, I'd like to write more like that one... I like our louder rockier songs. I think we can get away with the style (return to our roots) more these days. I hope. They're more fun to play live - that's for sure!
Any idea when Combinations is going to come out in vinyl?
Good question, I want one too. I should find out about that.
How long did it take for Garron to figure out the Marxophone in "Combinations?"
About 10 minutes. He's actually an extremely talented guitar player before bassists. So anything that you can make a melody out of by using your hands, he's quick to pick up on. He also is a candy-eater extraordinaire, a milk-guzzler and a wings connoisseur.
Who would you love to tour with that you’ve yet to tour with?
Paul McCartney, Kashmir, The Arcade Fire, Jeremy Enigk, The Decemberists, Death cab For Cutie, Say Anything, and The Shins.
For Sherri and Chauntelle: Which of your many guitars are your favorites to play live, and what gear does the band usually use to play live?
I think Chauntelle's favorite guitar is still her "BLOTUS". It's a Frankenguitar - in the sense that the body is a cheap "Lotus", but, otherwise, it's been gutted - even the neck is different now (Looney Custom). It has Vintage Dimarzio (super distortion) pick ups and all of that cool stuff. It was our first guitar and she still plays it onstage every night. She plays through a Fender DeVille amp and a custom amp made by Pappas (I think he was the Eagles guitar tech). We're most excited about a new Epiphone hook up. Also a very vintage approach. We're all starting to work the hollow bodies into our live show (Casino, ES-295). Pretty exciting - the Beatles were big on Epiphone. Thank you Epiphone!
My favorite guitar is my ole' Rickenbacker 360. It was the first guitar I picked out after we got signed; I didn't know anything about it except that RadioHead and The Beatles played them so I wanted one. I love it and it’s pretty much my main guitar. I play it through a VOX AC30.
Stacy has some hefty Yamaha keyboard, Garron plays a Fender P-bass and an Ernie Ball - Music Man bass and Weston is endorsed by C&C drums (Bill Cardwell, who just built Ringo Starr's new kit). Wups, I answered more than you asked for.
Are you guys ever going to perform some of your old works again, like "Blackened Crown" or "Queen of Leaves," which are big fan favorites?
Possibly, on a headline tour we would play "Blackened Crown". We've never played "Queen of Leaves", However, I would like to....I was always partial to that song even though the lyrics are obviously completely ridiculous and silly. It might be fun to play something like that live, even if only 4 kids knew it. The other 796 kids could have nap-time during that song since it would probably put them to sleep.
Sherri mentioned that one of her biggest fears on stage would be getting the hiccups, does the rest of the band have any?
I don't think the rest of my band has any real stage fears (they're all asleep right now on the bus, or I'd ask)...We probably all have mostly the same ones...hopefully your fly doesn't come undone, you don't trip and fall on your face, hopefully we get offstage before Weston and Garron turn into werewolves. Stuff like that.
Does Garron ever find taking school seriously is hard when he's on the road?
I think he has to or my Aunt would tear him a new one. She makes really good salsa....I want Garron to be able to stay in the band so she keeps making it for us.
What are some of your favorite venues to play in?
ALL the House of Blues is perfect. I love venues that used to be old theatres. We played "The Greek Theatre" in LA this year. It is absolutely gorgeous - outdoors, built in the 30's. Also "Red Rocks" in CO. It's completely breathtaking. But we only play those kinds of venues when we tour with the real money-makers - like Coldplay or the Fray... otherwise we don't see them.
How do you guys feel about Christie's (little sister) music career and will we ever hear her on any Eisley tracks?
Heck yeah, I'd love to hear Christie sing on an Eisley song... If she'd be into it of course. She's just getting into writing her own stuff, and my husband is always trying to help write her some songs so he can record her and get her signed. haha. She seriously, has the sickest voice I've heard in a long time. She will be able to smoke Fiest one day (and don't get me wrong, I'm a big Fiest fan). I'd love to have her sing on the next album.
How do you feel about being sort of "lumped in" with pop/punk and emo bands, even though you're nothing of the sort? What would you WANT people to perceive your band as?
I think it's cool... people can lump us in with whoever they want (as long as it's not My Little Pony). I think bands have more appeal when people don't know how "lump" them. No one has figured out which box to put us in -even WB, which might be good. We still get called "indie rock" and I think it's funny because "indie" is supposed to be a term you use when speaking about band who isn't signed to a major label, but I guess it's become a style more than a status; We've been signed to Warner/Reprise for over 4 years now. I want people to perceive us musically - not so much categorically. I also think the "human" side of all this is important. I hope people perceive us as very normal, down to earth people who don't take themselves too seriously. It's never been a goal to be rock stars. The goal has always been about being song-crafters.
How do you feel about album sales?
Nothing much. I mean, sure, everyone wants to sell records - especially labels. But numbers don't mean the same thing these days; CD sales are down. More people hear about you through the internet... free downloads and/or "stealing" your music and all of that. I think that as long as kids are hearing about us, loving the music and are coming to our shows... it pretty much rules.
"Sibling rivalry"......What does that mean really anyways?
Ding-ding-ding-ding! You asked it. The number one question.
What does it mean? - uhh, that we try to out-do each other onstage - "Oh Chauntelle, my guitar strumming was so much more rocking than yours tonight" or, "Sherri, stop picking on Chauntelle, besides I was totally wailing way louder than you tonight on 'Telescope Eyes'" (?) If that's what people mean, then definitely not. We argue occasionally, but hardly ever regarding the band... and usually for 5 seconds. I don't know why we get a long so well. I guess it's supposed to be weird in this day and age... that's sad. People should like their families. Family members are like built-in best friends - 24/7. I love it.
Is Sherri going to put an art site up soon or has there been way too much going on to even consider it right now?
I am....eventually. Pop's is supposed to do it, but he's so busy doing everything else that there really isn't time for it right now. Hopefully after Christmas I'll get it up. Hey, I guess I have a new year’s resolution.
If you had to choose one album that you had to listen to on repeat for the rest of your life, which album would you pick?
If it was something that I had to listen to even while I was sleeping, then I would have to pick something non-irritating that I love. Maybe the Edwards Scissorhands soundtrack or the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack.
20 years from now or whenever you're too old and gray to tour, what do they want to be remembered by or as?
People who loved life and wrote great songs about it.
Favorite books and authors?
The Harry Potter books, obviously. The Narnia books by C.S.Lewis (they were my first loves). "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury, "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" by Shirley Jackson....Honestly I read so many books on tour, it would be a hundred.
Favorite album released this year?
"Neon Bible" by The Arcade Fire
What are some bands you guys are currently listening to?
New Found Glory (always), Jeremy Enigk, Roy Orbison, Phil Collins, Sean Kingston (that "Beautiful Girl" song is SO good!), Kent, T-Rex.