Eisley: The Success Behind A Family Affair
Undoubtedly, my favorite thing about being the music director for USD Student Radio is being able to spend time with the bands played on station while doing interviews. It allows me to ask them questions sent in by listeners and questions by those on our staff. I’ve hung out with a wide variety of bands, yet an interview I did last week with Eisley, seemed to really blow everything else away.
Before the band’s set opening for Say Anything at the House of Blues San Diego, I had a chance to sit down with the group for an interview. I knew ahead of time that Eisley is not like most bands around today. The band is truly a family affair, with siblings Chauntelle, Sherri, Stacy, and Weston, and their cousin Garron completing the five-piece. The tour with Say Anything has been something that our station has jokingly called “The Honeymoon Tour” since Sherri from Eisley and Max from Say Anything got married earlier this year. As if the touring family connection wasn’t strong enough, oldest sister Chauntelle’s fiancé, Todd, is the band’s guitar-tech and head luthier at LaRose guitars. Youngest sister Stacy brought her boyfriend Darren King of MuteMath to the concert and he swung by during the interview. At the helm of everything is their manager Boyd, the father and uncle of the band members. Although by now it seems slightly on the gossip side of everything, I’m simply writing this to stress the importance that family has for the group. It’s rooted in their culture and has become a way of life. It provides something that the band explains as a “steady base”, and something that keeps them close. Above all, family has become part of an arrangement that the group can’t image seeing in any other way.
This close-knit circle of creative minds seems to transcend into the band’s latest release Fire Kite. If this four song EP is a hint at the future of the band, it holds fair to say that long time Eisley fans and first time listeners are in for a treat. For those unfamiliar with the band, my best comparison is to say they’re some type of more mainstream, female-fronted Radiohead. Although short and bittersweet, the four songs on this tease from Eisley are emotion packed and reminiscent of quests for salvation. After the widely reported relationship splits that members in the band had before this EP was made (Adam Lazzara from Taking Back Sunday and Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory), it is easy to imagine that solace was found in the unity of the band as a family. These experiences leak into lyrics and the raw plea within vocals fit seamlessly with experiences in our own lives. The instrumental arrangement on the EP is varied, yet the sound remains unmistakably Eisley and ever-so unique.
One would think that a band signed to a major label and one that had toured the United States opening for Coldplay, could have a few arrogant members. Nothing could be further from the case. After the interview, Boyd asked me to hang around and I spent the rest of the show talking about music, standing on stage with the band, and meeting their friends and family. In the cutthroat world of music today, it’s reassuring to see that down to earth personalities and general love for fans, coupled with honest music, is able to reach the masses. We’ll continue to play the band on our station as long as they continue to make amazing records. I’ll tell you right now, it’s a relationship that will exist as long as Eisley is making music.
AUDIO INTERVIEW (There’s A Little Cell Phone Crackle in The Beginning but I Swear It Goes Away): Eisley Audio Interview
Fire Kite on iTunes: