By: Dennis M. Kelly
Tyler, TX band, Eisley are currently embarked on the “Over the River and Through the Wood” tour, which started 12 days ago in New Orleans. We managed to hook up with Chauntelle on their way to their New York show and here is what she had to say.
DK: While this tour is only a 37 date tour, how have you all managed on longer tours? What do you do to make the time on the road more bearable?
CD: 37 dates is actually lengthy for a tour or at least – very standard. Nearly 2 months is a long time to be out on the road. It’s tough being away from spouses and loved ones but we always make the best of it. We have a lot of things to distract us and keep us busy, like: drawing, reading, movies, working out, etc. We make each other laugh a lot, too!
DK: Sorry, I thought I read that this tour was more of a medium sized tour for you, sorry about that. Movies and books, great ways to pass the time, indeed. What foods do each of you eat while on the road? Do you go out of your way to try to eat healthier?
CD: We try to eat healthy. We go to grocery stores more often than eating at restaurants.
DK: Sometimes it is hard to find really healthy food even at grocery stores, too, but yes, it is great to hear you’re all eating properly during the tour, that’s so important. Supporting you on these dates are Ives the Band and your sister, Christie DuPree. How did you come to include Ives the Band on the bill?
CD: It’s amazing having our sister Christie with us on tour! The only sad thing is that we want to bring her on EVERY tour! We’re big fans of her music!
DK: How do you feel about Christie’s musical style?
CD: We love it her style, sound, voice… pretty much everything. She has a lower vocal range than Sherri and Stacy; a very angelic voice. Ives the Band is wonderful to have with us as well! They have a great, whimsical sound; it fits so nicely with ours! They’re just cool people also!
DK: Now with your independent status, do you foresee yourselves touring with more bands you want to see yourselves with? Who would you most want to tour with?
CD: We’d love to tour with the band – Kashmir (www.myspace.com/kashmiryeah). They’re from Denmark.
DK: What special things can fans can look forward to on this tour?
CD: A few new songs off the new (forthcoming) record; we’ve never toured these prior to now.
DK: How much emphasis is there on the production of each show verses just playing great music?
CD: We’re hoping to have more production on future tours but obviously we’re not all about smoke and flash. We really worked hard to make this set flow; to differentiate it from past tours especially since we aren’t able to do all new songs yet.
DK: At least fans will get to hear some of the great new music that you’ve been working on, right?
The Music Industry and the band
DK: With your experiences so far, what recommendations would you offer younger artists considering getting involved in the music business?
CD: My advice is to make sure you really love what you do and do it to your best ability.
DK: Sounds good! What are some things you have each learned over the years that could be helpful that could help guide a young artist to potentially greater success? (Could be anything, be-it a music tip, or anything that has proven useful to you in your career)
CD: Be yourself!
DK: Have there been any bumps in the road in becoming an independent band or has the transition been smooth?
CD: There are always bumps in every road!
DK: LOL, yeah, I guess, I could see that. LOL. Who is handling the booking of the shows for you now?
CD: The Paradigm Agency (www.paradigmagency.com). They book everyone from Coldplay to Ke$ha to smaller bands like ours. We’ve been with them since the beginning.
DK: Are you seeking another label or will you be like some of the artists who have created their own label? Do you have that kind of time? Ha ha ha.
CD: We’ve been seeking other labels have found one that we really like. It’s not official just yet, but it will be very soon! We’re all so excited!
DK: As Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part…” and you sure are making all of us wait, but we as fans know and trust that it will all be worth the wait. After all, “good things do come to those who wait”.
DK: Speaking of fans, what is the general age ranges of your fans?
CD: College? It’s hard to say, because we truly have fans of ALL ages.
DK: Well, I probably through off your estimates a bit being a 41 year old fan, but what can I say, each of you are truly gifted! What was the most meaningful letter from a fan you’ve ever received and how has it affected you individually and as a band?
CD: That’s a very difficult one to answer…. Definitely the ones that stand out the most are letters about how our music helped someone through a difficult time in their life. When we receive letters like that; it reminds us why we love doing what we do. It’s one of the main reasons why we’re a band!
DK: On what levels would you say your fans relate best to you? Musically? Personally?
CD: Hopefully it’s a mixture of the two.
DK: How do you feel your relationship with your fans will be now that you’re free from Warner Bros? Do you see it as a means to deepen that bond/relationship?
CD: We’ve always strived to stay connected with our fans. WB never got in the way of that…in fact, they encouraged it. So we’re just going to continue to keep that strong.
DK: Great! Has there ever been a conscious effort to design an image for Eisley (like say from WB)? If so, what was done and where do you think the image will evolve to in coming years?
CD: Yes, there has always been a conscious effort to have a brand-image that fits us as a band. Our dad (Garron’s Uncle), Boyd DuPree (also Manager for the band) is one of the most talented Graphic Designers we know; he knows what we’re all about so whenever we need artwork for anything band related: Website, Banners, Posters, Album cover-art, he’s the one we trust to deliver exactly what we want.
DK: Well, it definitely works, the imagery really sets the tone and the mood very well. Bravo to Boyd!
Social Media and Technology
DK: Each of you seem pretty into Twitter, Facebook and the like, how have social media sites influenced your personal and professional lives? What do you think these social sites say about us as a society?
CD: Facebook and Twitter have helped us to come even closer to our fans. Some of us are more avid about keeping up with it than others but we all feel it’s a useful outlet. There’s ups and downs to it, for sure!
DK: In your most recent email blast, it was mentioned that email is “direct, customizable and personal”. Would you say that it has proven to be the best form of media for the band to stay in touch with your fans?
CD: Yes, email is exactly that. Is it the best? – Possibly – hard to say which is the best; that’s why we use various methods.
DK: Never hurts, for sure. What about sharing the Facebook announcements and re-tweeting the tweets? Do you see much of that happening from Eisley fans?
CD: We seem to get good interaction. It’s all about providing information and connecting.
DK: I know you have a new album in the works and not much has been said so far that I have seen, but are there any details you can share at this point?
CD: This album is much more real… more personal to us than others. It may be slightly darker but there are also some true love songs to brighten it up. Also – perhaps – more rock here and there. We’re really excited and can’t wait for people to hear it; we’re so happy with it.
DK: I can’t wait to hear it either..! Do you have a release date yet?
CD: Not yet… emails confirm a rough schedule but we can’t announce yet. Late Winter/early Spring.
DK: Wow… I know it is around the corner, but it still seems a while yet. Do you think you’ll be releasing more digital releases in addition to (and possibly ahead) this new album?
CD: Not sure yet.
DK: With your amazing artwork on your albums, it would seem likely to assume that you all prefer physical releases over digital releases, would that be an accurate assumption?
DK: Do you think you’ll release live performances digitally or make them available at each performance in the future?
CD: Our sound engineer is starting to tape all of our live shows. So that’s a perhaps. We just released a video on-line from a show we played over the Summer.
DK: Yes! “Ambulance” from the Cornerstone festival, it is great to see some fresh video from Eisley and it sounds truly amazing! It has been mentioned that you’ve observed a lot of growth in your sound, is this due to anything specific? Or more the natural evolution of continual writing and playing?
CD: The things we’ve faced in our personal lives could definitely have had an affect: divorce, disengagements, heartache, etc. All of that had an affect on our writing… but I think it’s also just – growing up; our music matures with us. So perhaps it’s a combination of evolution and because we’ve been working together for so many years.
DK: Is there a difference in how you relate to each other when rehearsing or writing verses normal family?
CD: Not much of a difference. We’re best friends so rehearsing and writing together feels natural to us. We pretty much think along the same lines on any given subject.
DK: Have you had any ideas for future videos? Say, Eisley doing a western or Eisley in the Star Wars Cantina?
CD: We will definitely be making more videos in the future! Hopefully soon!
DK: With everyone getting married (congratulations to Stacy, by the way), how do you expect that will affect future projects for the band?
CD: Getting married has been such a blessing for all of us! We all have spouses that fully believe and support our musical career with the band. Honestly, this makes the prospect of longevity much greater.
DK: Thank God, that is so great to hear! I won’t keep you too much more now and have just a few random questions for you now. Do any of you want to take your artwork to higher levels?
CD: Right now we’re happy with where it’s at. If it’s starts to take off, then – sure, we’ll be happy for that too! But the main focus is the band.
DK: Mac or PC?
DK: LOL, iPhone or Android?
DK: I haven’t had too many experiences with Apple’s products, but I hear great things all the time. Last question now on your future, besides this great tour and new album, what else is on the horizon for Eisley?
CD: More music for years to come, more great tours featuring those new songs, more albums, a music video here and there… pretty much, more of what we’ve been doing!
DK: That is great to hear, I really look forward to watching your careers blossom even greater in the coming years, as I said before, you all share such a great talent and it is amazing to see a family that gets along so well. I wish you all, all the best!
CD: Thank You!
Chauntelle DuPree – Guitars
Garron DuPree – Bass
Sherri DuPree – Vocals/guitars
Weston DuPree – Drums
Stacy DuPree – Vocals/keyboards
Eisley: was formed in 1997 in their bedroom after youngest sibling, Stacy, wrote their first song at age 8. They performed first show in Spring ’98, grew in local coffee house/rock venue, played 100’s of shows as unsigned indie for 4 years (’98 – ’02) in Texas, found and audience in Dallas’s Deep Ellum crowd about the time Sunny Day Real Estate released their 4th record. With a hand full of inspiring songs, new management and great press from music critics in the burgeoning Dallas scene, the young indie-pop group released their debut ep on Record Collection (Mike Mogis produced), signed w/ Warners, jumped on Coldplay’s Rush of Blood tour and began carving out a National following.
3 ep’s + 2 lp’s, 15 US tours, 3 UK tours & 1 Australia tour later Sherri DuPree – vocals/guitars, Stacy DuPree – vocals/keys, Chauntelle DuPree – vocals/guitars, Weston DuPree (drums) and their cousin Garron DuPree – bass, are expanding/growing (median age – 22), hitting stride and persist in writing beautiful, lush, melody-charged pop songs, arguably have the best female vocals in the biz’ and continue to win hearts and minds from a broad, growing demographic.
The band’s undaunted commitment to their own unique, visually imaginative brand of song-crafting has both nurtured their base and shielded them from mass homogenization. Indifferent to industry boundaries/conventions, Eisley continues to expand – focused on who they are, writing what they feel/experience as they remain devoted to song-crafting, relational marketing, touring.
Eisley has just completed an exciting, brutally honest, catchy-as-hell 3rd LP to be released on a new soon-to-be-announced indie label early 2011, followed by a dauntless exhibition of touring.
Past tours include: Coldplay (Rush of BTH US/Canada tour), Brand New (Deja Entendu Tour), Snow Patrol (Final Straw Tour), Yahoo Sponsored Eisley headlining tour, New Found Glory (Catalyst Tour – 60 shows), Switchfoot (Nothing is Sound Tour), Taking Back Sunday (Louder Now Tour – Aus/UK), The Fray (How to Save a Life Tour), made their TV debut on Conan O’brien in August ’07, main support for Mute Math (Reset Tour), plus TONS of headlining tours from ’04 to ’09, festivals: Coachella, V-Fest (UK), Voo- Doo Fest, Reading and Leeds Festivals – UK… Spring ’08 “Combinations” headlining tour, main support for Say Anything (Say Anything record release tour) in Fall of ’09.
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