This past Friday Twin City power poppers Sick of Sarah announced the release of their upcoming EP, Anthem, due out June 30th. The EP is their first self-released effort, and while it was long in the works and displays a maturity and evolution in the band’s process, it maintains all of the appeal of the aesthetic they’ve been churning out for the past 10 years – playful punk, perfect for Warped Tour, coupled with the sincerity of the sassiest indie pop singer/songwriters. The EP’s first single, “Rooftops,” is currently streaming at Entertainment Weekly and the ladies of Sick of Sarah kick off a batch of dates this Sunday at The End in Nashville that will bring them to our very own North Star Bar on April 15th. Last week three-fourths of Sick of Sarah took some time to tell me about their latest sounds and their one decade anniversary.
Izzy Cihak: First off, I have to ask: What are your thoughts on Philly, or Philthy, as we call it? You’ve played here a number of times. Any particular favorite memories?
Jessie Farmer: We love Philly! Unfortunately, we tour so much that we haven’t been able to spend more than a night at a time here.
Jessica Forsythe: Last December I was in New York visiting some friends and they took me to the Magic Gardens – I loved it! There was everything from eating utensils, toilets, bottles – anything you can think of basically. Very cool art garden!
Izzy: And this year marks the 10th anniversary of the band. Not to ask a huge question but, off the top of your head, what are your own, personal highlights of Sick of Sarah’s first decade?
Jessie: Since we have been a band for 10 years now, we have experienced a lot, emotionally, mentally, and also physically. We get to do what we love, which is music, all over the world. See and touch the people who we have helped/changed. For the greater good. Our highlights are hearing stories from our fans on how our music has helped them. We’ve also toured in Europe – which was amazing! We hope to go back soon.
Izzy: What are the most significant differences between the band and your approach to making music in 2005, compared to now… if there are any significant differences?
Jessie: Since our conception we have grown and matured into a more seasoned entity. We’ve refined our musical skills and pushed boundaries – challenging ourselves to try new things when writing. We’ve also had a few line-up changes, which helps bring in a different element. We all have our own unique writing styles.
Izzy: I just heard your new EP, Anthem, which I really dig. Do you have a particular favorite album track, whether one you’re most proud of or one that is just especially fun to play? I really love “Everything is Beautiful.” It really reminds me of the gritty power pop of theSTART at their best, who were one of my favorite bands in my late teens.
Jessica: Thank you! I’m so glad you dig the new record. I would say my favorite song to play is “Everything’s Beautiful.” When we nail that song live – and everyone’s living right together in the “pocket” – it feels good.
Izzy: What would you currently consider to be your most significant influences?
Jessica: We each have our own list of personal influences. For me, I started playing music again after meeting my old guitar player Ben Lehl back in 2007. He inspired me to start playing, to pick up my sticks and also taught me how to play guitar and I’ve been writing songs ever since.
Izzy: Not to ask a super specific/personal question but, so many years later, what are your thoughts on your self-titled LP? That album holds a special place in my heart because it came out when I first got into music journalism and I believe it was one of the first CDs I got free from a publicist.
Abisha Uhl: That’s fun to hear that record was one of your firsts! I can absolutely recognize my own growth and the band’s overall growth with each release. With our new EP, Anthem, we took a lot of time, I mean years – to write a bunch of material and make sure we weren’t rushed. I think before we were just so excited to get something out and release a record that we didn’t take the time necessary to make the songs the best they could be. Someday I think it would be fun to re-record some of these songs – or have some remixes!
Izzy: You’re going to be playing here at the North Star in a few weeks. What can be expected of the live experience this time around?
Jessica: We have a lot of fun onstage and are constantly trying to add different elements. Last tour we incorporated a couple ego boxes, which are really fun for Abisha and our guitarists to play with. This will also be our first tour with our new bassist, Alexa Wolfe. She’s such a sweetheart and a solid player. We’re excited to introduce her!
Izzy: And what do you have planned for the second half of 2015, after your new EP drops?
Jessica: We plan on staying very active – another Fall tour to support the record possibly – so keep your eyes peeled on our website and all social media sites!