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The Sami Sisters

The Sami Sisters

Wednesday 27th July, 2011 11:04AM

The Sami Sisters head out on a nationwide tour in support of their brand new full length album, Happy Heartbreak! UTR caught up with the trio to talk about the album, how their musical skills came to be and what working with your family is like.

Tell me about the development of the musical relationship between you three sisters.

Madeleine: We were all singing and songwriting...and decided to pool our talents. We always sang together growing up.
Anji: It's an ongoing one. We're only just beginning so musical relationships are new to us. We've known each other forever but we've not worked with each other for very long.
Priya: When we began recording I was hesitant to put my thoughts in to the mix, being the youngest is a bit difficult because basically I value their opinions over mine, so over the two years of recording I've tried to really express what I want.

Tell me about writing and recording the latest album, Happy Heartbreak!

Priya: WHOA! We each wrote songs individually so the basic form was there, we'd play our new ones to each other until they'd stick in our heads, the hard part was the addition and subtraction and addition and multiplying and subtracting of all the instruments, riffs, harmonies when it came down to recording. Playing live was so EASY! we only had three voices, 2 guitars and one melodica to work with.
Madeleine: Man. It was full on. Took us two years to finish. We begged and borrowed for this album. The songs are from over the last five years or so.
Anji: So yeah it's turned out to be this massive culmination of songs and everything we've gone through over that time.

What do you find inspiring musically?

Priya: I love watching live music, it makes me jealous and I want to go home and write a song immediately. Who said jealousy was UNhealthy? Silly guys!
Madeleine: The Beatles? Fleetwood mac? Good music inspires me I think.
Anji: Anything musical is inspiring to me. Whether you like something or don't particularly like something -trying to understand it better is the fun part for me. I am a school teacher so when anyone tells me something is "lame" or that they hate something I try and get them to tell me WHAT it is that is so lame and if they can, then I go yeah -that is lame -I can see how you think that. Lame! Or great! Or whatever!

Were there any themes you were exploring while writing this album?

Madeleine: The theme just happened by accident really. We were all going through break ups when most of these songs were written. So Heart Break seemed an apt theme!
Priya: Heartbreak. Not Happy Heartbreak like our album title. We all had relationship break-ups, I lost my iPod, it was tough and inspiring times. The happy is from us turning out sad sack songs into something you can kind of dance to or at the very least tap your feet to.
Anji: A Happy Heart break? A Pity Party? Whenever I feel crap I create playlists to help me to wallow or get angry or sad. My "dumped" playlist included a lot of Elliot Smith, Patsy Cline and Of Montreal. I thought that the songs we had lying about could be one day added to someone elses. Both Madeleine's and Priya's songs were also on my playlist so it seemed fitting to just go there with it all.

You all have a bunch of strings to your bows, tell me a little bit about the other things you have got going on at the moment.

Priya: I'm just trying to find my second calling.
Anji: I don't know what I'm doing! I teach sometimes and I play in a really cool band called She's So Rad.
Madeleine: I do acting as my day job. I have just finished Sione's wedding 2 and am doing a bit of writing and stuff as well.

When you're doing creative things together do you squabble like sisters do or do you get along really well?

Priya: Depends on what mood we're in. We don't try to work when we're hangry. We're very good at realising this and going to get Japanese - it's very satisfying and gets our creative juices flowing.
Madeleine: Oh boy do we squabble. We also have a really fun time as well. I think having to deal with the business side of things makes the atmosphere a bit more stressful. Anyone wanna be our manager?
Anji: Yes, anyone? I think I would be less "grumpy spice" if we could find one...

Do you find as sisters you have a more intrinsic creative relationship? Tell me a little bit about the creative relationship you have?

Priya: I always say we're eachothers Number One fans and we are all sensitive so if we don't like something about anothers song we do try and say it nicely, the REALLY AWESOME thing is that we do have similar awesome tastes so we hardly need to say "Nah, hate it."
Anji: I find that we do naturally gravitate to particular harmonies -whether that is because we've had to develop that overtime without really realising -I don't know. I'm a big fan of not thinking too much about the technical side of music. It's so much more appealing when you're doing something because it sounds awesome rather than analysing it to death to create the desired effect. Sometimes it can take the magic out of what you're doing. Though those technical skills do have their place when you're a a bit lost! Or trying to create something on a large scale! Definitely do have their place...

You are taking the album on the road this week. What can we expect from your life show?

Priya: Glitter glitz, AWESOME at its purest..? We're a band now, drums, bass, guitars, synths, expect to be pleasantly surprised if you've seen us before.
Madeleine: We will probably talk too much. You might laugh at some silly things we say. And then you will totally rock out. I have distortion pedals and everything!
Anji: Yeah a big muff even!

- Courtney Sanders

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