A few days before leaving to tour for the next 10 days, and Sherri Anne is at ease. She has been touring solo for weeks at a time under the alias Sister Speak. When she can be, she’s joined by her fellow Sister Speak band mates Tolan Shaw, Jacob ‘Cubby’ Miranda, Kimo Shim and Lonnie Sumrall and although SoCal is her home, the road seems to be where her heart is most comfortable.
DiscoverSD recently sat down with the soulful, yet enthusiastic and focused Sherri-Anne at James Coffee Co. in Little Italy to sip some vanilla-jasmine tea and discuss the band’s new EP, upcoming shows and how San Diego has shaped Sister Speak.
Q: What’s the new EP like in comparison to your 2015 album “Rise Up For Love?”
A: I am super excited about it. It’s going to be a bit of a folk-electronic mix, so “Rise Up For Love” had that timeless sort of sound, which I’m really glad that’s what we went for. That’s what my vision was for the first Sister Speak album. For the EP, I did want to branch out a bit. When we opened for Air Supply I met the keyboard player Avli, who is also a brilliant producer and we hit it off. We did our first song together and the demo itself just came out great, so we’re working on that.
Q: Is the electronic-infused music scene something you’re into?
A: Absolutely, it is. I do love the combination of soulful folk music with a really great beat behind it. I love the delayed sound. Tolan introduced that into Sister Speak. Artists like Ben Howard were a big inspiration for us he added a lot of that to his album.
Q: Has the San Diego music scene been good to your band so far?
A: Oh, yeah! It’s been amazing and so supportive; This is where Sister Speak has really bloomed. I’m originally from Vancouver. I came out here in 2009 with a good friend of mine and we started Sister Speak together.
Q: When and where is your next show?
A: World Beat Center on April 30. It will be with Trevor Green, he’s amazing. Tolen Shaw will open solo and then Sister Speak after. It’s like a reunion party and an EP kick start for the next one, because we played their a year ago for our (“Rise Up For Love”) release party.
Q: Why do you choose to create music in San Diego versus another city?
A: It’s a really good place to develop a band in part because it has really cool venues. It has a very strong, supportive music community. Everywhere from down here to Fallbrook and Temecula, the whole corridor is incredible. I think L.A. has really, really amazing talent coming through all the time. I’ve basically been out there every week for concerts or working on the EP. I think between the two cities, it’s just amazing.
Q: Are there any local bands you love to listen to or draw inspiration from?
A: Yes! They’re not San Diego-based, but Groove Session. They come through San Diego a lot and their guitarist, Sarven, has played with Sister Speak off and on. When Tolen was in Asia traveling for three to four months, Sarven came and played in Sister Speak with us. One of the coolest things was, Greg Douglas of the Steve Miller Band was at the Belly Up one night, and Sarven and him teamed up for this epic jam session. The band was doing great and everything was just magic.
Q: Who’s your number one musical hero?
A: Kurt Cobain. We actually recently covered Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Ben Howard has been a big inspiration for me.
Q: Where’s your tour heading, and what’s the rest of the year look like for Sister Speak?
A: We’re focusing on California right now. We’ve been all over. The population of California is bigger than the population in Canada, alone. The vision for this year is to settle down in California and get the EP done. Get the band on track. We’ll be playing Winston’s next with The Routine, who are another one of my favorite local bands. We will be heading to Canadian Music Week in May. Then some East Coast stuff, but then back to San Diego and L.A. to finish recording this summer.
Sister Speak covering Nirvana
Q: Best part about what you do?
A: I love recording and performing equally. I love that feeling when you’re completely in the moment, you can let go, it’s about the music, it’s this vortex. You’re completely present, and it’s amazing.