interview: Eisley

words: Kassie Salas

Last month, Eisley released I'm Only Dreaming and are currently on tour in support of the amazing record. Sherri DuPree-Bemis of the band was kind enough to speak with us about the album, touring, meeting fans and more!

photo: Bliss Katherine

photo: Bliss Katherine

The Grey Estates: There have been some major line-up changes ever since the release of Currents, were there any struggles when it came to taking the leading act of song writing for I’m Only Dreaming?

Sherri DuPree-Bemis of Eisley: Not really because we had all written separately before this record anyways. The only thing that really changed was having to write more material! Something new and fun was realizing that my cousin/bassist Garron is a kickass songwriter and we make a really great writing team!

You got to work with Max Bemis (Say Anything, Two Tongues) and Anthony Green (Circa Survive) on two of the tracks within the album, what was it like incorporating them into the song writing process? Did they write their own lyrics for the song, or did they pick out which lyrics they wanted to sing?

My husband Max (Say Anything) has always a great help when it comes to bouncing lyrics around. He's super good at helping me if I get stuck on something. He's literally like having a human Thesaurus. And with Anthony, we just sent him the song and he wrote/tracked his part with Will Yip in Philly where they live! Couldn't be happier with what he added. Love that dude!

Speaking of Currents: I’ve been a huge fan of that album since it came out, and always imagined it having a sort of underwater/mermaid feeling to it. If you could describe a concept for I’m Only Dreaming, what concept would you consider it as?

I honestly can't say I think it has a concept. But to me, it definitely has a theme of vulnerability, fearlessness, joy and hope. This record is me learning to believe in myself and trusting my musical voice. I truly couldn't of done it without Garron and his input, his musical abilities and encouragement and faith in me/us as a band.

On I’m Only Dreaming, one of my favorite songs happens to be “Sparking” what was the inspiration when it came to writing the song?

Ah! One of my favorite songs and moments in a film is in Disney's 'Summer Magic' when Burl Ives sings 'On The Front Porch'. I think that song is PERFECT and it always reminded me of my family. We would sit around outside and sing together and pick out harmonies. That song/feel is literally what sparked 'Sparking'. It was also the first song I wrote after I had my daughter, Coraline.

When it comes to the music video for “Louder Than a Lion,” who was the person who came up with the idea for the video? How many takes did it take to perfect the underwater scenes?

Our long time friend Israel Anthem (who's also directed amazing MuteMath and Paper Route videos; among other things) came up with the idea and it was really his passion project! When he told me he wanted to do an underwater video, I was equally as down for it as I was terrified. I'm barely a swimmer! It was super hard, because I had this long gown on and couldn't tread water! So when it was time to come up for air, I'd have to have someone throw me a float so I didn't drown! Haha! But we shot it all in one day, and it was one of the coolest, most challenging things I'd ever done. I love it so much.

What do you consider tour essentials, and which songs do you consider a “must have” on a tour set list?

Tour essentials, as a Mom of two little girls, are much different than anyone else's! Haha! cannot go on tour without baby gates (one for the RV staircase and one for my bunk, that I slide in between the mattress and opening so my toddler doesn't roll out during the night!), Plenty of Kinetic sand for easy play time (because it doesn't stain the RV and you can just vacuum it up when it spills!), iPad loaded with cartoons, Our automatic espresso machine, my Converse and a good book (even though I probably won't even get through one with two kids on tour). 

Which city has been your favorite stop on the tour so far?

I'm a warm weather girl, so I'm looking forward to California! Haha but I love every city with a warm crowd ready to sing songs with us.

How has it been meeting fans who bought VIP tickets? Have you met anyone that’s left an impression on you so far?

Every night, I walk away from VIP feeling like, I can't believe someone wanted to spend extra time with us so much that they took extra time and money out of their lives to do that. It's so beautiful! And truly humbling and it just makes me want to strive to be a better performer and person every day.

Are there any albums, or artists that you’re currently obsessing over? 

I truly love the bands on tour with us now! Civilian and Backwards Dancer. Since I have the girls on tour I don't get to watch their sets very often so I listen to the records on the bus!

Being a big family of coffee lovers, which café is the perfect place to get a delicious latte, or any type of coffee?

We hunt down good coffee every day and if there's not a place with like super great reviews we just go to the closest Starbucks because honestly my kids love it and they have cake pops! You can't lose. 

Do you consider yourself an official Instagram Queen, or are your daughters the real queens of Instagram and the reason you’ve managed to collect so many followers?

It does help having beautiful kids who are fun and vibrant but part of reason they're so fun and vibrant is because I am! I don't mean that egotistically but I strive to bring my girls to be themselves and to enjoy life and find the fun and beauty in every day and in, yeah it's both that people are drawn to! The whole package. I love following moms who inspire me and I love that people see something in me and my family that inspires them! 

mp3: "Close My Eyes" - Tomemitsu & "Fear" - Alexei Shishkin

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