11. SISTER CHAIN | Sister Chain & Brother John

photo – Vika Reznik

How did the questionnaire come about?
Saw them live at Lombardo bar in 2015 – an amazing and truly idiosyncratic evening. That VOICE.

Sister Chain, Berlin

Is this your first interview ?

Current bands and projects?
Sister Chain & Brother John, The Hunters, Spinster Sister

 In which bands have you played before?
Skin Blues, Bloody Cartoon, The Unnecessary Revolution

When did you start playing music? How did it happen?
When I was 20. I wanted to be a jazz singer but got accepted to a hard-core fusion band instead.

What instruments do you play? Trained or self-taught?
 Vocals only, privately trained

 Your favourite piece in the rehearsal room?
A communist flag on the wall

Do you think you found your style?

What would you tell your 16-year old you?
To concentrate on my talents instead of chasing guys around


Job / profession?

How much time do you have to do music? Is this enough?
I have 5 hours a day, but a lot of it goes towards „musician’s office work“ (PR , emails etc.)

Would you prefer to be a full time musician?
I would prefer not to have to do the office  stuff, yes, agents apply here.

Are you in a relationship or do you have a family? How does this affect your music making?
Sister Chain is married to Brother John, We´ve had less time since the baby, but we use it better.

How long does it take you to get to your rehearsal room?
15 steps from bedroom to studio

How much is the rent of your rehearsal room?
Half the rent of our flat

How many times a week do you play music?
 Live or practice? Or both? Most days we do something

Do you make money with the band? Is this important?
Yes and yes.

photo – Lars Dideriksen

Why do you play in a band?
Because I like the company and because I cannot play an instrument

Why do you play gigs?
Because performance is the main aspect of my art

How many gigs do you play per year? Is this enough?
I don’t know. More than 50 less than 100. 365 would be better

Do you tour?

Have you recorded? Under which circumstances? What formats?
Yes, many times, digital and analog, self produced and through labels...

Why do you record?
To sum up a creative phase and to have something to sell at gigs

What parts of the old structures are still important today (label / booking / management)?
All three can still help if they know how to engage with the new systems.

Do you use any of those or DIY?
We have a small label and cooperate with agencies sporadically, but booking is mainly DIY

How are tasks like booking, songwriting, finances etc. split between the band members?
I do the office, John does the household. We both write.

Do you spend time together outside of rehearsals and shows? Is this important?
These days our shows qualify as date nights but I guess we should go to the movies sometimes too...

What do you expect from your bandmates?
Reliability, reliability and reliability

Are you satisfied with the output of your band?
Artistically yes, but boy, are we slow.

Do you have »fans«? How is the contact to your audience? Is this important?
Yes, we have fans and it is very important to know that someone out there cares.

What´s your opinion on copyright etc.?
I want to extend it from 70 years to 700.

Would you do a different kind of music, if you had other possibilities (like more time, more money, different city or country etc.?)
Yes, I would get classical training too.

What do you wish for you and your band?
To meet the man with the fat cigar.

What did you learn from being in a band?
That people are difficult and wonderful and difficult.

What inspires you?
Dreams (as in the dreams at night – I work in my sleep)

Tipps or pearls of wisdom?
Sing from your fxxxing heart.

B & W rehearsal room drink?
Best: Yorkshire tea, worst: cold coffee with a cigarette bud someone left behind

B & W gig?
Too many to remember or relate

B & W own songs?
Best: „the gambler“ Worst: „as long as we got each other“

B & W food before a gig?
Best is not to eat before a gig!

B & W audience?
B: attentive. Good English is a plus for the lyrics. W: pool playing, butt pinching, mid-gig texters

B & W rehearsal room?
B: places with cats. W: places that look like a giant cupboard with bands in little boxes.

Do you see yourself as part of a community? How do you define that? Is it important to you?
Yes, in a musicians’ community we overcome jealousy and help each other out

How would you describe the current situation for a band from your city / your country / your community?
It sucks, everyone knows that

Good bands from your circuit / community?
In Laudanum, The Wildfires.

Good venues from your circuit / community?
Lombardo, Curious fox, 12 Bar (RIP)

Good labels from your circuit / community?
Sound of Perpetual Astonishment

How important are fanzines, blogs, local venues for you?
We have a fanzine. It is called The Gambler. Please tell your blog about it.

What do you think about the influence of internet and social media like Facebook and Bandcamp on the music world?
Music is like love. We currently live in a world in which people let an algorithm calculate their matching success instead of just looking up from their devices and chatting someone up. What does it tell us about the state of music?!

How active are you on the internet?
Too active for my taste

What on the internet helps bands and audiences for what?
It helps bands get fat and lazy while deluding themselves that someone „likes“ them. It helps audiences get too much information of too little value, ah, and watch cats.  

What media do you use to listen to music?
Vinyl records and CDs

Rescent discoveries?
Tommy Dorsey

Stuff you need on tour?
A nanny

Dos & Donts in bands?
Don’t get so drunk that you can’t sing and play.

Sexiest experience as a musician?
Very recent actually – I got a cat suit that makes me feel like Lux Interior

Other passions besides music?

Any questions to me?
Do you like my music?
e a: Darling, You know I do.

A video and links of your band(s)