Latest release: Hated (Metal Blade)
Swedish rockers Sister are one of the rising stars of that country’s glam/sleaze rock scene. First coming together in 2006 and winning the ear of Metal Blade Records with their 2008 EP “Deadboys Making Noise”, that band is now established as a regular touring fixture and recently saw the release of their debut full length, Hated. Loud Online caught up to bassist Rikki recently and had a bit of a chat about the new Swedish sleaze phenomonon, Hated, and who he’d love to tour with the most.
Q: Your album has been getting some fairly good reviews.
A: We love the result that we got with the album. It’s nice to hear that people seem to think highly of it. We tried to have that punk ethic in there too. It just keeps it honest. And I think that keeps us apart from bands like Crashdïet and Europe and such bands.
Q: It seems to be a really good time for rock and roll in that part of the world right now.
A: Yeah. There seems to be a lot of bands from Scandinavia that are getting into a lot of countries around the world, and it’s nice to be a part of that. But it’s been like that for a few years. It seems to be in a lot of Swedish and Scandinavian music around the world pretty much.
Q: What do you think it is about Swedish music that people are really taking to?
A: I dunno. Like I said, it’s been there for quite a few years now. All the people I know in Sweden who play in bands and it’s kind of full of it at the moment, because there’s like a hundred bands that play in Stockholm every month, and it you can’t see one band you can just see another one the week after. It makes it more important for everyone to stand out from the rest, and I guess the combination and competition gets the bands involved.
Q: What do you think it is, then, that makes Sister stand out from the crowd?
A: I dunno, because we’ve been into the scene in Sweden — the glam, sleaze, whatever you want to call it — for a few years and there seems to be a lot of the bands doing the same stuff, pretty much, and trying to sound 80s is kind of a strange way to do music, to be completely retro. But I think the thing that makes us stand out is our willingness to mix the kind of genres that we like because we’re really into the Deadboys or Ramones or death metal or regular hard rock or glam or whatever, so we try to mix some other genres and make it our own sound.
Q: How much touring have you done with Sister over the last year or so?
A: Actually we haven’t played so much because there’s been so much focus on this LP and making a great record. A lot of times we went to Germany. That’s kinda like our second home at the moment. We have a tour coming up in September doing shows in Germany, France and then we’re going on tour with U.D.O. in December. It’s going to be a main focus on Germany on that tour. And after that, we just want to go all over the world. Australia would be a nice tour, after Europe.
Q: If you were able to tour with any other band, who would it be? Who would be your favour band to tour with?
A: If we are keeping it realisitic it would be great to tour with Crashdïet and Hardcore Superstar, because we come from the same background, and maybe do a package. But I really love what Michael Monroe is doing really cool stuff with his band nowadays. I’ve seen ’em a couple of times, and it’s amazing to see… I don’t wanna say old guys, but older than us… have more energy than most, like, 20-year olds in bands. And it’s cool to see it. They’ve been doing it so long and they never seem to get tired of it. They just go on and on, and do a great job of it everytime. It would be cool to play with Michael Monroe.
Q: Do you think there’d be plenty to learn from somebody like that?
A:Yeah of course! It would be cool to see how they work on stage and before they go on stage. That would be really cool of course… to see what kind of rituals Udo has in November.
Q: Here in Australia we have Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard and (for a while) Van Halen all coming out here very close together soon. What are your thoughts about the big bands like that coming back now?
A: I’ve been talking to a lot of people about stuff like that. At a lot of festivals in Europe a lot of the old, bigger bands are still on the festivals and the big arenas and everything. I don’t know why. I don’t know which bands is going to take over when all those bands quit. Maybe the record companies are a bit afraid to really push new bands. But I still like their music, so I’m one of those persons who sees them when they come.
Q: Do you think that limits the market for new bands like yourself though? Newish bands like Sister, doing similar stuff but mixing it with a punk edge, a metal edge, but not getting the same attention. Does that make things difficult?
A:I hadn’t really thought about that. It would be really fun to go on tour with one of the big bands like Mötley Crüe or whatever, but I haven’t really thought of it like that. You have to earn your spot up there, I guess
Q: That’s what it’s like for a band like you, earning your spot and having that rock n roll attitude. Do you still have something to prove to people when you get up on stage?
A: Maybe not prove anything to our audience, but when we get up there like to have fun and when we have fun, we do good stuff and we’re kind of lucky that we are a live band that is at the stage where we want to be… to be into the music and just to be on stage, and we’ll be going out on bigger stages soon too.
Q: When you get to those bigger stages and your live show develops, what do you think you might be adding to your stage show?
A: We have some wet dreams, of course (laughs). But when we get on stage we have to calm ourselves down a little or we end up with cords getting ripped out and broken strings and the like. B ut actually, just a really cool light show and a lot of smoke and keep it kinda simple but make a bigger impact on the audience. I hope we can take our own light technician with us.
Q: So a simple, energetic rock n roll show?
A: I don’t believe that we want to be a theatrical Alice Cooper… there’s nothing wrong with that, but we try to play pure rock n roll and just have fun on stage.
Q: What was the inspiration behind the name Sister? It forms an expectation in people that you are going to be a certain type of band.
A: The name was decided before I joined the band but what they’ve told me is they used the name Sister with a lot of different combinations of words put together with it. And they just felt that Sister by itself sounded better, and four guys calling themselves Sister sounded wrong in the right way [laughs]. And of course we knew that Blackie Lawless and Nikki Sixx and those guys had a band [called that] for a short time.
Q: None of them have ever come to you an told you that you can’t use the name?
A: No [laughs]. It’s funny because in an Argentinian interview, at a press release, they asked Mötley Crüe if they knew about the new Swedish up-and-coming bands like Crashdiet and Sister, but it didn’t seem to make an impression. Maybe they weren’t listening! [laughs]
Q: Well it sounds like you’re onto a good thing, Rikki. Nothing beats a good rock n roll band!
A: Of course! And we would love to come to Australia and show our kind of music on stage over there as well. And it would be cool to be part of the fanbase over there as well… the scene, or whatever you call it.