SISTERS Talk Drink Champagne, Influence, and Robert Downey Jr.

Meredith Schneider

photo by Josie Simonet

The origin story of indie project SISTERS is like a fairytale, and we’re completely on board with it. Since 2014, the duo – expertly comprised of Emily Westman and Andrew Vait – has been honing their craft into endlessly catchy and inviting songs. Their new album – Drink Champagne – will be out in February, and we’re incredibly excited. So, of course, we took a few minutes to speak with the two about basically everything. Check it out!

What’s your official origin story?
 
We met at University of Miami, where we planted the sisterly seed, unbeknownst to either of us. Years later, after separately moving to Seattle and working in concentric circles around each other, we eventually moved into the same neighborhood and started jamming in Andrew’s basement. It’s like, we were always sisters, but that’s where SISTERS was born. 
 
What was the earliest record you can remember leaving an impact on you?
 
Andrew: For me, it was Huey Lewis and the News’ Sports. My mom would pop on the vinyl and that backbeat would drop after the long heartbeat intro of Heart of Rock And Roll, and I remember a smile creeping on my face every time that I just couldn’t control.
 
Emily: Dookie was the first CD I ever bought with my own money, and CDs were kinda pricey circa 1994 at Best Buy! There was just something too compelling about Green Day’s energy and I had to figure out what it was. I remember thinking it was cool how sparse some of the arrangements were too.
 
How supportive are your friends and family in your pursuit of music?
 
Andrew: Never-erring. I was kind of a stubborn kid and young adult, so my parents and friends just kinda shrugged and said, “Well, I guess that’s what he’s going to do.”
 
Emily: Their support is the only reason I’ve been able to pursue music in this way at this level at all.
 
How do you stay inspired to continually create new music?
 
We inspire that creativity in each other. It’s really amazing; we’ll set aside a few days at a time to write at our friend’s home on Whidbey Island, and we’ll just write non-stop for 3 days. That’s how we wrote about half of Drink Champagne
 
Do you feel more chemistry between you while in the studio, playing a live show, or just being on the road?
 
Being on the road is the best; we’ll sometimes do an 8-hour drive where we don’t even consider putting music on because we’ll get so deep in conversation. Like, we’ll be missing our exits and have to turn around 5 times because we’re gabbing so hard. 
 
Drink Champagne comes out soon- what was the creative process like, recording it?
 
We recorded at Bear Creek Studio with Ryan Hadlock producing. He recorded the first Lumineers record and works with Cayucas and Ra Ra Riot, so we thought it would be an interesting fit. As it were, it was really a perfect fit. We holed up for a few weeks and just got super nerdy together; pulling hammered dulcimers and vintage analog synths off the shelves. At one point, Emily plays a marimba that is at least the size of a small whale. It was really fun. 
 
What’s your dream collaboration?
 
We went to school with Paul Bender, the bass player for Hiatus Kaiyote, so it would be super fun to write something with them. It would be really killer to get in the studio with anyone from Fleetwood Mac; even Mick Fleetwood and the two of us just banging on some drums together, you know? Annie Clark is our #1 honey, so that’s always been a dream of ours. 
 
Any particularly interesting anecdotes from your last few months of work?
 
Let’s talk again after the record is out 😉
 
Justice League, or Avengers?
 
Andrew: Well, Robert Downey, Jr. is pretty hot….
 
Emily: What’s that?
 
Anything else you’d like to let our readers know?
 
Drink Champagne will be out Valentine’s Day and we’ll be touring out to Austin for SXSW in March. Come say hi at a show or find us at www.sisterstheband.com to keep in touch! xoxo

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