EMQ’s with SISTER SHOTGUN
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with West Midlands based Rock/Metal band Sister Shotgun. Huge thanks to them for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Niall Wills, I play guitar and scream for Sister Shotgun. The band started due to a house party I had in Kidderminster, England. I had been studying music technology in college and befriended people studying music tech/music performance, I filled a tiny one bedroom house with about 50 to 60 teenage musicians. Chloe (vocalist), being one of those people had invited some of her friends along and they had noticed my guitars all piled up in the corner of the room. They had played in various Blues Rock/Hair Metal style bands and wanted to get a new band together, therefore I joined them in the making of a band starting with a bunch of covers that would later become Sister Shotgun. During this time Chloe was singing for a Pop Punk band and a wedding band and solo projects, we had the core members but no vocalist. We found a male singer we were digging and he was prepared to join but ended up getting to the finals of the TV competition “The Voice” so that fell through. Chloe ended up leaving her Pop Punk project and convinced us she should join as she was the best vocalist in the area. We picked her up and it worked so she began our journey. It took us a while to grasp those vital members which brings us to the present day with the best line up yet. These guys have the best creative minds I know.
How did you come up with your band name?
Chloe came up with the band name. She had a working title of a project called Sister Shotgun as a sort of alter ego character she had created. I believe she took the phrase from Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’ however it wouldn’t influence the bands styling! We dug the simplicity of the name and the clash of words; the innocence of the word Sister and the aggressiveness of the word Shotgun, we tried to think of others but it was the easiest and catchiest name.
What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?
We are from England, United Kingdom There is so much Metal in this country it’s kind of just sewn into our genes, however the metal scene varies. a lot of bands have gravitated toward the American Rock sound with Country/Blues tones to their music so the Metal scene has shrunk a little however, the ones that have stuck around and grown are some of the most creative Metal bands I’ve heard in a while.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest single is ‘Sacred Heart’ and our album “Fragments” was released on April 19th.
Who have been your greatest influences?
This is where it gets harder, We are five different people with different tastes and influences so we gather them together and we influence each other! Some that are mutual are Killswitch Engage and Bullet For My Valentine, then personally it goes from My Chemical Romance and Mötley Crüe to Korn and Machine head for all our own reasons.
What first got you into music?
I grew up with a father who was very into his music, he had guitars and he had drums often in the living room so when I’d stay over I couldn’t help myself but to strum the strings on every guitar every time I walked past and the excitement around music from him was built inside me. I was very much into art as a kid so it was easily transferred into music.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
All in all someone like Rob Zombie or Johnny Rotten would be incredible and not a generic collab but I’d absolutely love to pick someone a bit off the wall, throw a spanner in the works and turn some heads so I think I’d shove someone like Morrissey on a Metal track and with his lyrical content that would be interesting.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
The obvious answer being Download Festival, Hellfest, Wacken! However, also Shiprocked!, a cruise and a massive beach party with metal! That beats a muddy festival easy plus they have some really cool bands play!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
We haven’t really been given anything weird as far as I know, We’ve had fans bake cakes and cupcakes for us.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
With all the obstacles that have been in our path over the past so many years as a band, you the fans are what kept us fighting and kept us writing and kept us on the road and this album is for you. The ones that listen, that scream back in our faces, those familiar faces we see at shows far from their own homes, you travel the distance for us and well go the distance for you, thank you!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
I’m gonna say Kurt Cobain or Dimebag Darrell so I could at least see Nirvana or Pantera as they’re some of my favourite bands that I never got to see.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Everything involving the creative side, just making music is an amazing experience starting from a small riff or progression then you build it, play it, perform it, record it and it becomes its own beast kind of like raising a child and then having fans sing it back to you and the sound and feeling I get of loud live guitars fills my soul with excitement and energy!
I hate the amount of rip off merchants and egotistical personalities that are flying around. Everyone wants to overcharge or take all your money for services and try not to pay you or pay you naff all for maximum effort like we did in the beginning. It took a lot of time, effort and money to play shows for free and watch a promoter walk away with all the money in their fancy cars. I dislike the egos from some musicians they think the world owes them something because they can sing or play guitar like everybody else and this happens with small time bands too.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
To turn back the clock back to 80’s/90’s when the industry actually signed bands and put money into them to progress them and truly scouted talent rather than how many likes do they have on Facebook? Or how much money do they have to buy onto this tour? Or how popular of a person is the lead singer, so in essence Social Media. I’d wipe that out of existence and let the live shows and the music do the talking… not the numbers!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“The Poison” by Bullet For My Valentine. Their riffs where unique and songs where so creative and the guitar playing was by far their best. It was aggressive, melodic, catchy as hell and something new out of Metal rather than the ‘let’s copy Metallica’ route!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl, especially the old ones, as it’s all analog and pure but it’s mainly because when you purchase it’s a real physical thing. That’s what I don’t like about downloads, you don’t get a nice big piece of artwork with a bunch of lyrics that you can read and with CD’s the lyrics are crammed in and you can barely read it. You can hang a vinyl on your wall you have the art and a physical thing for your money!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
There have been quite a few lately down to the hype the crowd have given us singing at the top of their lungs. I loved playing a festival called FortFest because we pulled out all the stops. We had roadies moving our stuff, we brought in some fire performers that breathed fire and used angle grinders on stage; that was our coolest gig. It wasn’t the liveliest crowd as it was a brand new festival and we were very fresh as a band back then but it was fun watching the lighting guy fear for his life as he was showered in metal shards!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’d more than likely have chosen a career being a tattoo artist. I’ve always loved art and I could draw a car and its engine parts before I could even write my own name properly and I had a huge interest in tattoo artistry in my school days but music just took over!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I’d have to have an outrageous dinner party full of characters so I’d probably pick Ozzy Osbourne, David lee Roth, Devin Townsend, Abbath and someone like Donald Trump. That would be one entertaining night, it would be chaos, exactly how a dinner party should be.
What’s next for the band?
We’re looking at a “Fragments” headline tour followed by some festival dates, some high profiles support slots and a bunch of other fun stuff we’ve got planned… the fun doesn’t stop at album release!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
The usual suspects Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and we have a Bandcamp site also. With Instagram we give a lot more insight into our goings on such as backstage stuff.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Fun fact; whilst recording the album there was an offer on for Jaffa cakes a triple pack for a pound I believe and Benji (guitarist) bought a pack a day (for 7 days) he’s dangerously addicted to jaffas, a bit of a ‘jaffajunky’, on that note it is a cake disguised as a biscuit it’s a clever ploy it appeals to both markets but were not fooled it’s a cake.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
For those who aren’t familiar with us and are new to Sister Shotgun give new album “Fragments” a blast. It’s an amalgamation of the edges of the Metal and Rock genres not treated like a ‘female fronted’ band. Every song on this album has something different to offer, you may not like one song but you’ll find another on this record!
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