Interview with Sisteray guitarist Daniel Connolly

There’s a very Britpop post-punk sound to the band, similar to early Arctic Monkeys and The Libertines; what bands have influenced you growing up, and who are the big musical influences on the band?

I personally can’t stand Britpop. I think we have this nauseated, delusional memory of the past sometimes. Some of it was alright… I like a lot of Pulp’s stuff; the first Oasis album made a credible punk noise but there was an awful lot of average bands in that era.

I can see why people ‘might’ compare us to early Arctic Monkeys, with our, I don’t know, tend of observation but we’re far too cockney and growly to be seen as similar. Especially if you see us live, you’re much more likely to hear the bled of Sonic Youth than Arctic Monkeys. Similarly with The Libs… I’ve also been professed to be a fan of the boys and our live shows and spontaneity can be compared but we take a far too political stand-point to be that closely aligned.

 As you can tell, I love comparisons

Tell me about working with promoters This Feeling, and your Welcome To The Monkey House nights

Nowadays, there are very few people that deserve to be credited with the title of ‘promoter’, which you learn after a while of being on the circuit but Mikey Johns and his This Feeling family deserve knighthoods for what they do for new bands

Our Welcome to the Monkey House night came about due to the frustration of limitations of working with promoters. We’ve aimed to create a family of bands and DJs that work as hard for us as we do them. The night is centred around vibe. Great bands, great DJs… everyone gets paid! Most nights have sold out and we’re now on to night number 7.

What’s your dream festival/ venue to headline?

Somewhere random like a warehouse… we haven’t done a warehouse yet. Would be fun to destroy

dan sisteray.jpg
Dan live on stage (photo by Daniel Quesada)

As a band based in London where the music scene is so lively, what’s the local scene like for you?

 London’s odd because it’s so big, it’s not easy to be a local band, which is great in a way because it’s so diverse.  Each night is different. Some crowds are moshier than others… I guess you never know what to expect

Who are your favourite current bands?

Cabbage, BlackWaters, Moses, Wonk Unit

When and how did you get into rock music, and how old were you when you started to play guitar?

My old man bought me Paul Weller’s Stanley Road when I was wee. That got me hooked. Amazing sounds on that album. I taught myself guitar when I was 16 and the local pub started IDing and I had nothing better to do.

Tell me about Sisteray; how and when did you form, and where’s the name from?

We started jamming together maybe two years ago. We came together out of our mutual love for live music more than anything. The name is taken from a Velvet Underground tune; Sister Ray (slightly different spelling). The song’s a mad 25 minute jam!

I’ve seen your ‘FUCK AUSTERITY’ guitar (absolutely love that!)- is the current state of politics an influence over your music in any way/ is it something you’d write about?

It’s the main driving force for the band. We’re from working-class backgrounds and it austerity has a strong effect on us and the people close to us. We write about our circumstances so it’s a running theme

What’s the best gig you’ve played as a band, and what’s your personal best gig you’ve been to?

I struggle to remember them, they go like a flash. Our Welcome to the Monkey House show at The Black Heart ended up in a stage invasion (and £300 worth of gear). Camden Rocks was another crazy affair.

I saw Fat White Family for the first time at The Cornet this year… this was an all-out debauched affair.

If you could pick one album as a stand out influence on your life and music, what would it be?

Nirvana – Bleach. Proved you can do big things with a tiny budget

Who would be your dream artist to record with or perform with?

Bowie. Can’t happen sadly

What plans have the band got in terms of future gigs and music releases?

Keeping cards close to our chest on this question

Sisteray: (L to R) Niall Rowan, Michael Hanrahan, Daniel Connolly & Marco Biagini (photo by Alberto Pezzali)

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