Patient Little Sister launch their self-titled debut EP this Saturday, September 7, at PICA Bar with support from Atlas Mountains and Jacob Diamond. BOB GORDON reports.
James and Eliza Rogers, as siblings, grew up in a musical family, but it was not until the end of 2010, when they began to make a more formal arrangement.
“My former band, The Old Croak, had a gig booked for the unplugged night at the Ellington,” James recalls. “As the name of the night suggests it was all about acoustic guitars and doing away with distortion pedals, so for some reason I just thought to ask Eliza to come down and join in. The response from the crowd that night was really promising and with that Eliza and I decided to make a something of it.
“Before all of this, it was family jams at Christmas and other family gatherings with our dad, who is a music teacher.”
While performing at home is one thing – familiar and familial – taking music to stages across Perth and now on a debut EP release, is another thing. One wonders if this is how they both imagined it -musically and otherwise – or is it something beyond?
“In some ways yes and in some ways no,” James responds. “After that first show, our next move was into the studio, Eliza had been given some recording time with Corey Marriott of The Novocaines and so we decided to capitalise on that. The two songs we did on those sessions (Priority Tree and Nothing Left to Prove) are on this EP and we really had nothing in mind whilst recording was taking place. Not having that, was in a way a good thing, but we did know then that our harmonies were important to our overall sound.
“From those recording sessions to then playing as a duo live with just guitars, violins and vocals our sound became quite intimate and stripped back, a bit of thought had gone into how we would sound from the recordings to the stage but Eliza and I like to do things that come naturally and not force something that just isn’t going to work. To be playing in a band with my sister and not be playing an electric guitar was totally beyond me when I was 19.”
James explains that the EP is a reflection of a band in two different stages. A second recording session Soundbaker Studio with Rob Agostini found the pair in a different frame of mind.
“We now had a live sound which we wanted to build on just a little bit more with drums and bass but we did also want some continuation from our time with Corey.
“It had been a year between recording with Corey and recording with Rob, both Eliza and I had been busy with commitments to our other bands at the time (Ruby Boots and Harlequin League, respectively) and we were working on honing our live sound. The difference definitely does show but for me its a good thing as it displays how we as a musical act have evolved over two and a bit years.”
While they still write as a duo, the siblings have now added a rhythm section with drummer Alex Megaw and bass player Matt Mullin. Another EP, set for 2014 release, shall reveal more.
“They’ve definitely given us some drive when performing live whilst not being over bearing,” James says. “With Matt and Alex we now have a bit of shuffle to our sound and we’ve gone from being intimate to being a band to dance to after a few beverages.”