Eisley is an excellent indie rock band fronted by cousins Sherri DuPree-Bemis and Garron DuPree, and I was lucky enough to catch up with Sherri ahead of the Feb. 17 release of their new album ‘I’m Only Dreaming’. Here’s what’s in store for their current tour, plus the secret to keeping it fresh two decades in the game.
This interview with Sherri DuPree-Bemis of Eisley has been edited and condensed for clarity.
What are you most looking forward to on this tour?
Playing more songs from our new album! We’re also learning some old songs that we haven’t played on tour in years, so that is exciting for me. I love singing, and it could never get old for me.
When you’ve been a touring band as long as you have, how do you keep things new and interesting — for the fans, and for you?
I think it’s really important to sing every show like it could be your last. That sounds sort of dramatic! But if you do, the passion and love for what you’re doing is going to come through to the audience. This is also the first tour where we’ve offered a VIP ticket package. A lot of our friends in bands have done it and loved the experience. We get to meet fans who bought those tickets and do a little acoustic show, answer their questions, give hugs and thank them etc. Going to be fun!
How do you put together a setlist?
I make our bassist, Garron, do it. haha! He’s much better at it. If I have any “nays” I’ll suggest changes, but mostly he just nails it.
I heard your band name is based on Mos Eisley from the Star Wars saga. Obviously, we had some sad Star Wars news recently. Was the band affected by that?
Oh my gosh, as a mom, the news about Carrie Fisher and her mother hit me on a deep level. I know there’s no medical proof that her mother passed away from a broken heart, but I’d believe it in a second. We grew up watching Star Wars as a family and it’s been so fun to share it with my daughters.
What’s the weirdest or most unique venue you’ve played?
On an acoustic tour we did a few years back we got to play a silent movie theater in LA! That was a really unique and cool experience, though the whole venue was very stressed about having a band and hovered around making sure we didn’t touch anything the whole time. Haha!
Paul McCartney, obviously. I just feel like we would have a lot of fun writing catchy melodies. He’s my melody-hero! I’m always thinking “What would Paul do?” Also, I need Adele to teach me how to sing like her. That would be great.
Any splurges you made recently?
I mostly splurge on my kids. I just bought them a slide to put inside the house.
Any style phases you regret?
I guess we could throw WAY back to when I was between 8-12 and my whole family went though a country and western phase…but even then we got to wear cowboy hats and high-waisted purple jeans with boots. So…I still feel like I was winning.
If someone hasn’t heard you before, what song should they listen to first?
Maybe one of the new songs! They’re some of my favorite songs ever and I’m really proud of them. “Defeatist” is a good place to start.
My husband, Max, and I will be on tour with our family until the end of the summer, so it’s going to be a lot of touring this year, but I’m excited! We also have a project together called Perma, and we’re going to record a record on the road. Basically just non-stop music and creating in the foreseeable future!
You can catch Eisley on tour here, and I’m Only Dreaming is out Feb. 17.