As a general rule, we would suggest you not listen to instrumental “post” metal. It certainly has its occasional charms and does an admirable job drawing the aurally cautious into the integrity-crushing arms of extreme metal. Beyond the realm of intellectual curiosity and compositional hedonism, however, this gravity well of musical talent too often grows maudlin, blindly self-stimulating, or quite simply stagnant when it fails to rise to the task of spinning bales of recording tech straw into heart-plunging gold. But we’re not really here to talk about instrumental post metal. We’re introducing you (unless you’ve heard them before) to Sisters Of, a Missouri project that springs from the mind of Aaron Coker. It’s mostly instrumental, definitely metal, and undeniably individual. Currently working out material for a full-length album, the band released an EP called Follow Me as a Ghost back in March 2013, and that shit rules. We were so unexpectedly blown back by these five tracks that we demanded an audience with the astral presence behind such a creation… then promptly ignored all email contact for an inappropriate amount of time and let you languish unknowing in your Sisters Of ignorance for further weeks on end.
Finally, we bring you this extraordinary music to end your week and your narrow musical biases in one triumphant stroke. While journeying through startlingly light-filled abyss, put your eyes on Coker’s responses to our probing questions. Then pine with us and our inconceivably high expectations as we beg the arrival of the next Sisters Of recording.
How do the musical ideas in Sisters Of relate (or not) to your past work in other bands/projects?
I would say the ideas that do relate are minimal, but there are definitely certain moods that carried over from my time in Appleseed Cast. Just under a much more aggressive light. The idea of this band is that there are elements that can appeal to many different people, whereas most the bands I've played with before were more genre defined.
How long did it take to write the songs on the EP? How long have they been around?
The framework for all the songs on the EP were written in around a month and a half or so. All completely from scratch. I really wanted to not try and use any older riffs or ideas I had before. It was such an organic and fun process to sort of just get the ideas down and take them into the studio and just have them come to life in a way I didn't hear them turning out at all initially.
There are a lot of layers on these songs. Are they mostly worked out before recording starts, or are some of the fundamental ideas worked out during the recording sessions?
Nope. Honestly going into recording we just, for the most part, had the rhythm guitars. A few leads and layer ideas were there but I really wanted to keep things wide open because later on after tracking those skeletal parts you start to hear brand new ideas and are totally inspired in a different way than when you wrote the songs to begin with.
I'm always amazed at musicians who can surprise me with such high quality atmospheric-yet-aggressive instrumental music. There seems to be a lot out there that is pretty flaccid, and then something like Sisters Of just knocks it out of the park. Are there certain motivating desires you have for the way the music progresses from moment to moment, or is there any music you've heard that you're specifically trying not to emulate?
Oh thank you very much! And unfortunately I agree with you that some stuff out there is flaccid. I think a lot what it is for us, is that our songs are truly moment to moment feelings. And there are so many different types of music that inspire us, so why not piece them together and embrace all the things about music we love? As far as specifically NOT emulating something? I try my hardest to not let that creep in during writing. We will do what we do and will not worry about it.
What's with the band name? I know this might be an obvious and over-asked question, but the abrupt unfinishedness of it makes me ask...
Haha yeah I know, it just sorta stops.. But really all it is, is the title from an old bands record here in Kansas City. A band called Molly McGuire. I just really always loved that title. So simple and also so vague.
Is there any music very unlike Sisters Of that you're really enjoying right now?
Oh always. Lately it is the latest record by The National, and also I was told to listen to this guy who goes under the name Perfume Genius. His last record is probably the furthest thing from our band. But it is, like hauntingly beautiful. One of the best voices I've heard in a long, long time.
How is progress on the full-length album?
Right now it is almost to that stage where we take it in and start the framework, and then let the real fun start, where we add and/or change a ton of things, talk about how awesome it's going to be, and the next day ask ourselves what the hell are we doing. We also getting all the guests lined up who want to play on the record. All I can say, we are really, really so excited to take some new chances.
Any non-musical interests you'd like to share with us?
Being from the KC area, I love the Chiefs way too much. But I'm way more into NBA. I've had the league pass for like the past ten years. Also, I love to eat Mexican food so much that I am to the point where I consider it a hobby.
Are you playing live shows?
At this very moment, 100% is going into writing and recording a great record. I would love so much to do shows and tour but it is going to be a challenge because the band isn't a band in the traditional sense. So, after the record is done it will for sure be talked about and hopefully we can get some guys together who wanna play these songs live.