Photo: Chris Phelps
It won’t be hard to spot indie-rock act Eisley’s tour bus out on the road this summer. It’ll be the one with the “Baby on Board” sign.
“It’s going to be funny, with my sisters both pregnant,” said singer and guitarist Sherri DuPree-Bemis of her siblings and bandmates Stacy King and Chauntelle DuPree D’Agostino. “We’ve never done a tour with two pregnant women onstage, so it should be interesting, but it’ll be fun … I think.”
Babies and marriages are something of an inevitability when your childhood dream grows into a full-time success. Joined by brother Weston DuPree and cousin Garron Dupree, Eisley has been churning out music for 15 years, playing professionally for more than half that.
“Our parents told us that we should do what we loved doing the most. That was the driving force behind all this,” DuPree-Bemis said. “When we started doing this at such a young age, we just fell in love with it. We wanted to do it as long as anyone wanted to hear our music.”
Eisley signed to Warner Bros. Records in 2003, releasing two albums and writing a third under the label’s watchful eye. The outfit moved to Equal Visions Records, which bought the rights to release 2011’s The Valley. The five-piece since has been given free rein.
“We were still getting pressure from the label to write songs that were radio-friendly, three minutes long and had that normal song structure. This record, we’ve had none of that,” DuPree-Bemis said. “They trust us and our artistic vision.”
It’s also the first album Eisley has done without a producer at the helm.
“It’s been a freeing experience. We are self-producing and recording in our own studio. If it doesn’t sound good, it’s all on us,” DuPree-Bemis said. “That’s put a lot of positive pressure on us.”
Most important, the record has let the band grow.
“We are not being stifled for the first time in years,” she said. “The songs are going to be more artistic, and you will hear the freedom, but it’s not like it’s that far out there. They sound like how we did before the music industry got hold of us. It’s more moody and weird, but still accessible.”
But old fans needn’t fret. “We try to maintain the Eisley sound and what it is that made our fans fall in love with our music in the first place, and just expand upon that and make it better,” DuPree-Bemis said. “If you lose what made you you, then you might as well start a new project, and I don’t see that happening with us anytime soon.”