Sherri DuPree-Bemis of Eisley talked to After The Show about the band’s new album I’m Only Dreaming, her favorite lyrics, and touring with Coldplay.
Catch Eisley play at the Troubadour in Los Angeles (with Civilian and Backwards Dancer) on 3/27.
After The Show: I love “When You Fall” and “A Song For The Birds.” What songs from the new album are you most connecting with right now?
Sherri: ‘When you fall’ is a big one for me because it’s a love song to my daughters. It’s the first song I’ve ever written about them both, and referenced things about them specifically, so it’s pretty personal and close to my heart!
Did you call the album I’m Only Dreaming to poke fun at your long-term sleep troubles, or did you choose the title for a different reason?
Haha, no but that is actually funny and I should just tell people that! It’s actually a nod to the Beatles song ‘I’m only sleeping’. We’ve always been massive Beatles fans and when that idea was thrown out we just loved it and felt it was the perfect fit!
It’s interesting to listen to the progression from early Eisley songs like “Becoming You” and “Laughing City” (when you were a kid) to a song like “When You Fall,” which you wrote about your own kids. Lyrically, the songs on this album are still whimsical but they seem more rooted in reality and less fanciful. Was that a conscious decision or just a natural byproduct of being older and having your own family now?
I always felt that, if I weren’t a songwriter I would write books and I was heavily influenced by authors like CS Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle and Neil Gaiman as a kid and ever since I fell in love with that style of writing (fanciful is a good word), I have made a conscious effort to put that feel into my lyrics. It’s more fun to sing and I love the feel. But as I’ve gotten older and gained life experience, there’s more meaning behind the words.
After performing with your sisters and brother for so many years, how does it feel to take on more vocal responsibilities and rely on newer band members on this tour?
It’s been a learning experience – but a great experience! Everyone in the band is just so talented and kind and loves touring with us, and you can’t beat that positive energy on the road. Singing everything is exhausting but I love singing so much so it’s been really fun for me to push myself as a vocalist!
What’s one of your favorite lyrics that you’ve ever written?
Well since we’re speaking of ‘When You Fall’ already, one of my favorite lines on the record is in that song is says “Bless the day you came here, One came fast and the other brought snow”. I had both of my daughters at home and my first daughter was born very quickly and easily and the second one, it snowed in Texas as she was being born!
Anything you want to share about how you assembled the order of songs on the album?
I honestly let our producer Will Yip and my cousin/co-writer/bassist Garron come up with the sequence! I’m not skilled in that area.
As a teenager, you accomplished major (perhaps surreal) things, such as opening for Coldplay at The Hollywood Bowl. How do those earlier experiences in Eisley inform your attitude today towards making music, touring, and your long-term goals?
I just feel truly thankful! I got to do tours that other bands would dream of and had such rich and beautiful experiences. Through the years I’ve seen so many friends’ bands struggle and fall apart due to the industry and personal struggles and it’s taught me to continually be thankful for the fact that I’m still getting to play music that I love, every day, with people that I love!
Thanks Sherri! Eisley play next week at the Troubadour in LA.