SISU Chats With the Amoeblog Prior to Show at Sayers Club Aug. 20

Posted by Billy Gil, August 19, 2014 12:05pm | Post a Comment
SISU aka Sandra Vu has been a favorite of ours since releasing her debut album, Blood Tears, last year. Whether singing and writing with her shoegaze-pop project or behind the drum kit for Dum Dum Girls, Vu doesn't seem to sit still for long. We caught up with her prior to her next show, along with Tanlines and Roses, Aug. 20 at the Sayers Club as part of Red Bull's Sound Select series. The show is curated by Amoeba Music and is only $3 with an RSVP.
Hi Sandra! I just have a few questions since we last spoke. I heard you're already writing and recording the follow-up to Blood Tears. How far along are you? What's the process been like for you?

It’s coming along but since I have to work in spurts, it’s been going slowly. I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing ‘second record’ jitters but I try my best not to think about it! I am playing around with some different gear (drum machine, synth, software), so there’s been that bit of learning curve, and seeing if these pieces stick. It can be like growing another limb. They’re not only just different sounds, they can change up your whole process. 

How do you see your sound evolving? What do you think you'd like to do differently on your second album?

We are going a bit away from the “rock band” aspect of the band. That part of the band didn’t feel so prominent until we started playing out live. This might mean less of a full-on band sound. I’ve always avoided big rock guitar chords or too much guitar in general but I think there will be even less this time around.

Are you still working with Dum Dum Girls as well?


What would you say is the biggest thing you've learned as a solo act vs. playing drums in a band?

I’ve probably underestimated how difficult it would be to switch gears back and forth. It might be less about “solo” vs. playing in a band and more about writing vs. being on the road. I can play drums in my sleep but the whole process of picking up and leaving home, staying in a hotel, performing in another city can be jarring when you’re trying to hone a comfortable space for writing. Dropping yourself in a different city, even just for two to three days, can be a sensory onslaught. It could be amazing and inspiring, or boring and uneventful, but always quite difficult to get back into the rhythm upon return. 

I saw that you played a My Bloody Valentine cover night for Part Time Punks, what was that like? Their songs are pretty insane to try to replicate.
It was like we had all graduated from MBV University and it was our grad party. It’s cool to see how different bands articulate MBV as an influence and in what ways that shows up in their own music. Arranging the covers was a bit nerve-racking but I tried not to be so precious about it. I only listened back for structure and tried to remember the parts without tracing it so literally. My bandmate Ryan froze up a little. That fear that you’re going to fuck it up or embarrass yourself is real but you just have to try to have fun with it. Since we weren’t recording it, I think I felt much more free about it. We didn’t try to replicate the sounds or production techniques or anything crazy like that.
You seem to keep pretty busy with music, what else do you like to do with your time when you're not making music?
On the road, we like to plan little adventures to see the city we play in, and that’s always a nice break. At home, I’m always busy, and I don’t often have weekends because I just keep going. I put aside time to watch TV shows though because I’m obsessed with all the ones everyone else is obsessed with! I balance that with reading Tape Op and hanging out and doing nothing with my boyfriend and dog. Doing nothing is my paradise these days.


Relevant Tags

Red Bull (27), Dum Dum Girls (15), Dream Pop (11), Shoegaze (36), Sisu (6), Sound Select (1), Interviews (31)