Sound On Sound Fest is the latest festival to hit the live music circuit in Austin. It’s a festival that managed to book a variety of different bands in the middle of Sherwood Forest in McDade, Texas, maintaining a medieval vibe that caters to your inner nerd while booking popular indie, punk, and pop bands such as Into It Over It, Descendents, and Thursday. While at the festival, Austin.com caught up with Sailor Poon, Austin’s all-girl punk rock band to talk about what it was like to perform at the festival, releasing new music, and what it’s like to perform in an all-female act in a music scene saturated with male dominated groups.

With all the members taking on multiple roles within the band – members Billie Buck (saxophone, drums, and vocals), Mariah Stevens Ross (bass), Cheraya Esters (drums), Sarah Cuk (keyboards), and Shea Selby (vocals and tambourine), remain dedicated to their message and unique style. Named after a Wi-Fi password from an old house the group shared together, Sailor Poon has released two albums – the first, 2015’s Pooney Tunes, followed by Yeast Pigeon in July of this year. While both releases have a punk rock core, each member insists that their individual tastes are diverse and all play a role in the groups sound.

Content continues below...


Beginning the conversation with how the band got started, member Billie Buck started off by saying that “we all got together in the garage of the house that our [old] guitarist was staying in and we started banging on pots and pans, we played drums with spatulas, and then we decided that we should become a band – a real one.”

While all the members have experience playing in various bands and musical outfits, we wanted to get their take on what it was like playing Sound On Sound Fest, not only for the fact that it is a new festival, but also because Sailor Poon is still new to the music scene in Austin.

All of the members said that it was “scary and exciting,” and “we felt very loved.” Drummer Esters recalled: “we played right before the rain hit. We’re playing in the crazy forest and it doesn’t feel like Austin. The sound was really good; the snare was nice.”

Due to the band being relatively unknown outside of Austin, we wanted to see where fans could listen to Sailor Poon online, naturally wondering whether they were on any of the major streaming services, like so many Austin groups. During our search, we found that Sailor Poon was not on Spotify, with Bandcamp being the only website where you can listen to both of their LPs.

Stevens-Ross told Austin.com that “it’s hard to get on Spotify if you aren’t signed to a label.” We asked if the band aspires to be signed by anyone, to which Stevens-Ross replied that it would “be nice to have a band with working doors.”

Buck jumped in and said that “we don’t want to be wearing the same outfits, we don’t want to get to commercialized.”

“I’m not ready to sell out” Stevens-Ross offers. When asked if there was a label that the band would like to be signed to, Cuk says that “we were vaguely talking to someone with a connection to In The Red, so that would be cool, but we need to get our demos done first. That’s the first step towards that.”

Of course, the question of new music came up. Stevens-Ross told Austin.com that “we want to get our demos done and have a label put something out so we can have vinyl, so that will be next year.”

Due to their unique sound, we wanted to know about their songwriting process and how everything comes together with Cuk saying “usually someone’s mad about something and then Billie will write a riff, or we’ll just be messing around and then something comes out, or we have a certain vision in mind, it just depends.”

Heading back to their varied lists of diverse influences, wanting to know who the band would love to tour with, the group said either Madonna or Paul McCartney, adding to their eclectic tastes as individual musicians.

Being an all-female group, we were most curious to know exactly what it is like playing in a group with members all the same gender, rather than being in a band that is mostly comprised of men. Esters says that “it’s no different than playing with anyone else. We’ve never played in a band with all males, so we don’t really know what that would be like.

Buck chimes in saying “when we would do cover sets, we would be playing with dudes and that was the first time that I would be playing with them.”

“If you’re playing in a band with a guy, everyone will just automatically assume the guys in charge,” Cuk said. “I think playing with women, it provides a more welcoming environment, where you can try things out and stuff. We are less likely to overpower someone else, since we are more conscientious.”

If fans feel like traveling to see the band perform live, Sailor Poon will be performing at Walters Downtown in Houston on December 1 with NoBunny as support.

Take a listen to the track “Misogynist” below.

——

Featured photo: Sailor Poon

listenhere

If you would like to read more of Lauren Gribble’s interviews, you can check out her website Listen Here Reviews.

 



Comments

comments