Walthamstow boys SisteRay are a band on the up. With stellar reviews from the music press and a video directed by BFI-award-winning producer William De Ritter under their belt, the band will be headlining the Wild Card Brewery on Saturday night at Stow Festival.
We spoke to Dan, vocalist and lead guitarist for the band, to find out what to expect from their performance.
Hi Dan. Tell us a bit about SisteRay.
We are four extremely good-looking lads from London that like to trash guitars and bump in to each other a lot… we’re very clumsy like that.
I tend to find that question very boring when put to other bands that are squeezed in to our ‘genre’. It’s always boring answers like Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines. In the end we just end up getting a re-hashed version of bands from the past, which isn’t original. Don’t get me wrong, those hundred odd years of Rock ‘n’ Roll music, originating from the days of the African/American ‘blues’ music, is there to be drawn upon and played around with but they’re not our only influences. Growing up in a place like Walthamstow, which has changed drastically in the last few years, you get a first-hand experience of ‘austerity’, violence, love and everything else that goes with it.
I’m a massive lover of poetry and especially some of the best punk poets that speak to my generation, like John Cooper Clarke and Patti Smith. Sound-wise, I guess an accurate description would be somewhere between The Buzzcocks and The Smiths.
Tell us what it’s like being a musician in Walthamstow – the good, the bad and the ugly.
To be honest I’ve never played in Walthamstow. I picked up a guitar for the first time around 2005 and at the time, there was nothing locally to do. Music has always taken me to places like Brick Lane and Camden. In school, I was a bit of an outcast, as everyone was listening to Eminem and P Diddy. Saying that, lately I’ve met a few people from Walthamstow that have come to our gigs and are in to our type of music. One thing the place doesn’t lack is culture, which is essential to a good music scene. It will be great to finally play here and cast aside the embarrassing East-17 association that Stow has.
What can people expect from your Stow Festival performance?
Interaction. A lot of noise. A lot of love. A lot of sweat. And some new songs we’ve just recorded.
What three acts from the festival line-up are you hoping to see?
If Walthamstow was a classic album, what would it be?
‘Dot it Yourself’ by Ian Dury and The Blockheads. Mainly for the obvious Walthamstow association Ian Dury has, and it’s a bit mad and erratic at time, like Stow I guess.
What’s next for the band after Stow Festival?
Last week we recorded a handful of songs on a boat in the Thames (as you do) with Palma Violets/The Vaccines producer Rory Attwell. We will shortly be releasing them to the lovely public and there will be a tour to coincide.