When it comes to Oklahoma. Those of us not from there know well that the state capital is one we always get right on a quiz, and it’s the home of musicians like Garth Brooks and for those who were Tiger Beat readers in the ‘90s, Hanson. You didn’t realize that much music came from the Sooner State, did you? Well, you’re about to be introduced to another, Sisteria.
With an invigorating take on psychedelic rock, Sisteria is aimed at being the next thing we all think of when Oklahoma is mentioned in casual conversations. Speaking of, we chatted with Sisteria about rebellion, how much live shows play into making music, and the new album, ‘Dark Matter,’ which drops on August 19th on Horton Records.
Kendra: Katie, you started in a genre that feels like a world away from where you are now in Sisteria. As people, and especially as creative people, we’re always looking to evolve. For you, what brought about this musical evolution?
Sisteria: This evolution for me came rather uncomfortably. I went through a good old existential crisis and really wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I was bored with the music I was making and didn’t have a desire to improve my skills on the guitar. I was limiting my writing to what my technical abilities were on that particular instrument. So, I “quit” music, moved out to New Mexico, and didn’t take my guitar with me. It wasn’t until I was immersed in the Albuquerque music scene, which was mostly metal, that I started to find my inspiration again. I felt like I had finally found a frequency to match the feelings that had been inside of me for a very long time.
Kendra: Sisteria dives down the psychedelic rabbit hole with ‘Dark Matter’ and definitely delivers for those who like to immerse themselves in that style. It’s a style that gives way to nostalgia for the ‘70s. Is that an era of music you always found yourselves drawn to growing up?
Sisteria: I’m drawn to all styles and decades of music, but I am certainly partial to the ‘60s and ‘70s. I have my parents to thank for that. My childhood was filled with the sounds of Pink Floyd, Neil Young, and Tom Petty. When I was thirteen I discovered my dad’s records and took a pretty deep dive into Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. When we started making the record, we never tried to imitate any particular kind of music. The songs we wrote are a byproduct of our own personal views combined with a lifetime of being exposed to the classics. It’s in our DNA at this point.
Kendra: ‘Dark Matter’ is made up of nine tracks, including “Hunger.” What I loved about this one was the high energy. It sounds tailor-made for the stage. How often do you think of the live show when writing and recording? Does that factor into the sound at all when songs are in their first stages of creation?
Sisteria: I’m glad you enjoyed it! That’s a killer song to play live. We can credit Steve Boaz, my sound engineer, and drummer, for the “live” energy on a lot of these tracks. It’s not necessarily in the forefront for me when I am writing a song, but it’s definitely a priority when it comes to capturing the right feel during recording. That’s why he recorded all of the songs live to tape. We wanted to capture the energy that you can only get in real-time, without a click track or the comfort of overdubs.
Kendra: Then there is this vibrant rebellion in “Star Child” with lines like “going my own way.” Katie, does that harken back to switching lanes in genre and heading down a new path with Sisteria?
Sisteria: It harkens back to the times in my life when I felt misunderstood or saddened by my inability to “fit in,” like so many of us have experienced at one point or another. It’s taken me thirty-four years to fully realize the things that used to make me seem “weird” or “ crazy” to other people are the very things that make me the most creative and beautiful. I want everyone to feel that they can be safe and loved in their authenticity. There are no mistakes in your cosmic design, only gifts.
Kendra: For those just meeting Sisteria, you hail from Norman, Oklahoma. What’s the music scene like there?
Sisteria: Ha, I know it’s probably not the first place people think of when it comes to psych rock, but Oklahoma does have a long history of creating incredibly talented artists. There’s just something in the soil here and I am so grateful to call it home. It’s been nice to give my fellow Okies a new sound to enjoy and to inspire young females to feel confident in positions of leadership. Oklahoma has an amazing music scene filled with lots of people who want to see you succeed. We can attribute Sisteria’s success to their love and support.
Kendra: Time for a side note – with it being summertime, I’d love to know your favorite memory from this season whether it was from your childhood or more recent…
Sisteria: Oh man, that’s a good question. It’s currently 102 degrees here, so I’m usually trying to find a body of water if I’m outside. Must be the Pisces in me. But, I’d have to say summer evenings with the cicadas humming is an all-time favorite memory of mine.
Kendra: Lastly, with ‘Dark Matter’ out on August 19th, what else can be on the lookout from you come the fall?
Sisteria: Sisteria is just getting started! There’s plenty more around the corner, so stay tuned for a cover song release and another music video before the year is through.