Monday, July 11, 2016

Eisley embark on long awaited tour

10-9-10 Originally published on by Tracy Heck

Eisley kicked off their Over the River and Through The Wood tour tonight in Lake Charles, Louisiana with opening acts Christie Dupree and San Diego's own Ives the Band.

The tour runs through November 27 and will be making a stop in East Lansing Michigan at the Union Ballroom at Michigan State University on October 29 and will be in Detroit at the Magic Stick on Halloween.

Eisley is a rock band from Tyler, Texas consisting of four siblings:  vocalist Stacy Dupree, guitarists Sherri and Chauntelle Dupree and drummer Weston Dupree.  In addition to the siblings the band also features their cousin Garron Dupree on bass.

Yesterday, I got a chance to catch up with Stacy as she and the rest of the band were packing for the tour and taking advantage of their last chance to spend time with their family.

Stacy explained the idea behind the tour, "We sort of decided that we needed to tour.  It's been so long,  We've been off for a long time and things have been going slow for us in the past year due to trying to get off our label and get our record in our own hands and it's just been crazy.  We decided we aren't gonna let that stop us and our fans just have been asking.  You have to tour for survival.  We were just like screw it, let's just get out on the road and hopefully this will be the last tour that we do before the new record comes out.  It's kind of just building up to next year.  We're looking forward to this tour;  should be fun and easy."

The band left Warner Brothers Records back in February and have been looking at new labels ever since.  The band is currently in talks with a label and hope to get their new record out sometime next year, possibly in the Spring.

The album itself is pretty much done except for some studio mixing or "all cooked" according to the band.

Eisley will be performing some new songs on this tour, "It's tempting to want to play the whole new record.  To be honest, we're kind of worn out from playing the old songs for so many years but our fans are still really dedicated and passionate.  They find meaning and sentiment in those old songs so it's just about giving them an array of old and new." explained Stacy.

Stacy says that the album is a new approach with a new direction for them, "It's really honest.  I think we've been through a lot individually as a band and as a family in the past two years with personal things, relational things.  We've seen some tough times and I feel like ultimately it's been great for our creativity and musical direction.  I think it's helped us take a more brave approach to writing.  We're not as timid as we were.  I'm singing from a different place.  It comes from deep within and I think it comes from growing up and getting older;  I turned 22 yesterday.  It's more bold;  a definite progression."

When asked about songs on the album, Stacy shared her feelings on the song "Ambulance", "I wrote it after a difficult time that I went through with my family.  It was kind of about, to be really blunt, watching my sister go through a painful divorce.  I think in a family when you're so close you take on each others pain and infirmities.  I sort of wrote a song from her perspective and it is on our last EP Fire Kite and will be on the new record.  It's really cool because it's actually getting played in this indie film Hidden that's about raising awareness of teenage homelessness in Canada.  That song for me is really close to me and it's the most honest thing that I've written."

Stacy and Sherri do most of the band's writing but everyone has input on the finished product.

Eisley formed in 1997 when Chauntelle and Sherri began playing the guitar and writing music together.

Stacy says that the Dupree household was always full of music with her dad a guitarist and her mother a singer and she remembers growing up listening to Beatles records and wanting to join in her sister's fun, "I wanted to be a part of it so bad and I was so young and I wasn't invited into their hangs.  I would sit at their door and beg to come in but they would say no.  I learned a couple of chords and went to this dark room and got really dramatic and wrote this song about my parent's friend who had tried to commit suicide.  As a little girl that was really devastating to me.  As a kid you take a likeness to certain people and I remember that I really liked this guy and I just didn't understand.  I was 8 at the time and just wrote this song and showed it to my sisters and they were like you're in!"

The band began to play regularly at a coffee shop that their parent's owned and eventually they found their way out on the Dallas music scene building up their name.

After gaining some attention, the band found a manager who wound up being Coldplay's manager as well and ended up getting them out on tour with them as a opener, "It was as natural as you could go for being so young.  I mean we were driven but there was no one pushing or prodding us.  Our parents were supportive but they really let us do our own thing." shared Stacy.

Since that tour, the band has released two albums and seven EPs and toured with a number of other bands including Brand New, Snow Patrol, New Found Glory, Hot Hot Heat, Switchfoot, Taking Back Sunday and the Fray.

When asked about a wish list for future tours, Stacy said she felt weird even thinking about it because it was so amazing just getting to tour with Coldplay, who they were a huge fan of.  However, she did mention Bjork and Radiohead as two bands who she would love to tour with and would allow her to "die happy".

Stacy also spoke about this tour's openers:  Christie and Ives the Band, "Ives the Band sound really great from what I've heard.  One of the guys in their band contacted me on Facebook and said hey I think we'd be like two peas in a pod and should tour together.  It was great timing.  I'm excited to get to know them and hear their music.  As for Christie, we are so proud of her and so excited for our fans to get to hear her music.  It's really great and I think that she's got something special.  It's really awesome to see her grow up and spread her wings and become her own individual because she kind of just came into it later and out of nowhere for us.  It was like wow you can write!  It was almost like she kept it hidden from us.  It's a really awesome thing to help her out and support her.  It's a great joy for me."

Stacy credits the band's success to their aggressive touring schedule and their amazing fans who kept up with the band despite their recent extended break and that the band is excited to get back out on tour and meet up with those fans.

When asked to describe their music she spoke about it's melodic qualities, "Our music has a vintage feel to it.  We draw a lot from the Sixties and a lot from the Beatles.  It's definitely pop;  this new record has a dark pop feel to it.  It has a touch of whimsicalness I guess.  We try to be very creative with our lyrics and we are really inspired by fantasy.  Our music is fantasy-driven in a way but I think we are moving away from that a bit on this album but that's always been the base for us.  I'm not really sure why."

Finally, Stacy talked about the fact that Eisley is "nowhere near ready to give up  touring or music".  She feels that "next year will be our year!".