Image for Sister Jane – Psychedelic circus

Sister Jane – Psychedelic circus

Written by Jason Strange on August 18, 2010

Sister Jane hail from the cold climates of The Blue Mountains but play some of the warmest, fuzz-driven psychedelic rock you’ll hear. Playing MUM this coming Friday, Dan from the band took some time out from work to answer a few questions about the band.

MF: Give us the lowdown on what’s been happening lately?

DAN: We just finished mixing our first LP and we have a fixed date for mastering next month, so we’re quite excited by that.

MF: You recently played the Rock Against Racism show in support of ‘Stop The Intervention Coalition Sydney’. How was the show and what were the positive outcomes from it?

DAN: It was loads of fun. The organisers were raising funds to bring Indigenous community members down from the Territory to give their accounts of life under the federal government intervention. It’s about hearing stories from an Indigenous point of view, first hand, and that’s a positive thing in our book.

MF: The psychedelic circus was an unusual concept for a stage show. How did it come about and will the concept come back in any shape or form?

DAN: We organised the whole thing ourselves so it was lots of work, but it was well worth the effort because in the end it was quite an event. The concept was obviously a nod to the Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus but done with a home-grown, dirty-sweet Annandale Hotel kinda vibe. It was quite a trip having bands interspersed with circus performers. We’d definitely do it again but might get someone else to help with the organising next time round. Who knows, we might even break even with the costs.

MF: What are some of your musical influences that help blend the Sister Jane sound?

DAN: I suppose we could start with Howlin Wolf and work our way through to Mazzy Star and give you quite an extensive list, but I think a quick listen will give most people the general idea. Besides, I think musical influences are a way of discovering a sound or style, but song writing is a craft you have to learn all on your own. There are no shortcuts, and songs are where it’s at.

MF: The latest offering is the Outer Suburbs Of The Soul/Indigo Shire 7”, tell us a bit about the songs.

DAN: Well it’s our favourite release to date and being able to make it available on vinyl was a real bonus. Outer Suburbs of the Soul is a rollin & tumblin, d-tuned bluesy train ride that saw us going after an authentic Canned Heat kinda sound. Indigo Shire, on the other hand, is a bit more sparse and jangly. Actually, it was inspired by a tour to Melbourne that saw us travelling home in the middle of the Black Saturday bushfires. At one point we got lost on a country road with two separate fires not too far away and it was all a bit hairy, but we eventually found our way back onto the highway and hot-tailed it outta there. I remember seeing a sign to a place called ‘Indigo Shire’ as we travelled away from the smoke and chaos and it just got stuck in my head.

MF: How does a band from the chilly Blue Mountains write such dirty gritty psychedelic fuelled rock?

DAN: I’ve always thought of the songs as being a little more on the mystic side of the tracks than gritty, and dwelling along the misty cliff tops certainly lends itself to those kinds of ideas. But actually, we’re as much a city band as a mountain band nowadays, with all but myself living and working in Sydney.

MF: Reading Dan’s Diary on the website, it seems like an outlet for poetry; will any of the pieces end up as songs or performance pieces in the future?

DAN: It’s an outlet for pure laziness most of the time, but I’m thrilled that you’ve used the word poetry in the same sentence. I suppose some of those raw thoughts and feelings end up in songs somewhere along the line. It’s not conscious though. Really it’s just a way for me to regularly post something new on our website, and writing in prose is just too taxing, so I mostly whittle it down to a series of single-line recollections and ideas.

MF: You have some shows coming up at Kings Cross; care to give them a plug and tell us why we should check them out?

DAN: Yeah, folks should come along to MUM at World Bar on Friday night with their dancing shoes on, leave any cool aloofness at the door, and get it on together with a whole lotta love ‘n happiness. Make it a date!

MF: I always ask this, first song you’d put onto a mix tape?

Requiem Pour Un Con by Serge Gainsbourg. It’s timeless.

Sister Jane Play Mum @ Worldbar this Friday 20th August

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