The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Sister CitiesHailing from Tempe, Arizona, Sister Cities have just released their excellent debut single ‘White Dress’ on this side of the Atlantic with UK label 100% Music. Consisting of Brett (guitar and vocals), Courtney (drums and vocals), Spike (bass and vocals) and Ana (keys, guitar and vocals), they took some time out recently to tell Ken Fallon about how it all came together…

Tell us a little about how you got together as a band? Were you friends beforehand?
We all went to high school together and always had music as a common interest, we played as a two piece (drums/guitar/vocals) before adding bass and keys. We met Ana while on vacation in Mexico and somehow convinced her to move to Arizona and join the band! 
How has your music evolved since you first got together as a band?
The evolution of our sound has been sort of a natural progression. We started out in Courtney's garage just trying to play anything that sounded good together, and over time we fell into a niche of our own. Now when we write songs we know what we want to hear. We are always trying to push the limits of our sound.
Could you reveal a little about the creative process? Is there one specific songwriter or do you collaborate on the songs?
Our songwriting process starts with one idea…it could be anything. It could be any instrument, or even just a word. Once we all agree on something, we develop it further as a group. This is our favorite part of being in a band - just taking a simple idea and creating something we can be proud of.
What are your influences? How would you describe your music?
There are so many great bands coming out nowadays (that) being a part of this time in music is inspiring in itself. Bands are doing whatever they want, no boundaries. But as far as bands that inspired us to start playing together… The Strokes, Delta Spirit, Cold War Kids, The Raveonettes, Zoe, etc…If we were to classify ourselves in a made - up genre, it would have to be "Noise/Garage-Pop". But don't quote us on that - (even though it’s in quotations!).
Could you tell us a little about the music you have released to date? I read that your debut album is a combination of your first two EPs?
We've released two EPs ourselves, one of which will be included in our upcoming full length. The first EP is a representation of the early stages of our band, we feel the newer songs are a better representation of where we're going with our sound.
What’s the music scene like in your hometown of Tempe, Arizona? Are you tempted to move to LA or New York to develop as a band?
We are friends with some great local bands. There's also some awesome venue owners and promoters who really care about the music community and want to see it grow. There are some bands that are too cool for school…but for the most part - good people, good music. We'd love to move anywhere, just for a change of location. We're in no big hurry.
You recently signed to UK label 100% music. Do you have plans to create a stronger presence in the UK and Ireland and beyond? Any plans for a tour over here?
Absolutely! We feel so honored for the opportunity of people in Europe to hear our music! We would love to tour out there but first we want to put the final touches on this album.
Your manager Keith was in a successful Irish band in the 90s (Power of Dreams). His experience in the music industry must be a huge help to you as a young  band starting out?
We've become close friends with Keith - he's a great person and a huge help to us. Thanks, Keith!
Sister Cities were interviewed by Ken Fallon

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Nuggets from our archive

1999 - 'The eMusic Market', written by Gordon McConnell it focuses on how the internet could change the music industry. Boy was he on the money, years before any of us had heard of an iPod or of Napster.