Sick of Sarah is a five-piece power-pop band from Minneapolis. In this interview, singer Abisha Uhl and bassist Jamie Holm talk about their influences, their songwriting process and their CD release party at the Cabooze on Friday, August 8.
How Was The Show: Tell me about your musical background—when you started playing, early influences, etc.
Abisha Uhl: I started playing music at a very young age. My brother introduced me to the drums when I was 11 and then the guitar when I was 13. My brother was definitely my biggest influence. He would take me over to his friend’s house and let me use all their equipment. It was a ton of fun.
Jamie Holm: I picked up the guitar as a teenager when my Dad taught me a few basic chords. I would play until my fingers were raw. I would have to say he and my brother
were definitely my biggest influences.
HWTS: The two of you are not initially from the Twin Cities area—what brought you here?
AU: I grew up in Okinawa, Japan, and moved to the Twin Cities when I graduated high school. I wanted to move here because i had heard through my other brother that this place had an awesome music scene, and it really does.
JH: I am from northern Minnesota and have moved several times. I moved out to LA to start a band, but quickly realized Minneapolis was the place to be.
HWTS: How did the line-up for Sick of Sarah come about?
AU: Well, at first, it was just Katie [Murphy] and myself, and then along came Brooke [Svanes] and Jessie [Farmer], and not too long ago, Jamie jumped into the picture.
JH: I started stalking the girls and eventually they let me in.
AU: We all met through friends of friends. It happened rather quickly. Within two months, we had our band. Good times!
HWTS: Has the Minneapolis music community been welcoming to Sick of Sarah?
AU: Yes, Minneapolis has been so good to us. We couldn’t ask for a better support squad, except for maybe in France, We are huge in France!
JH: Minneapolis has a great music scene; I often go to live shows when I’m not at practice. Great things have come out of this city, and we’re working our asses off to keep it that way.
HWTS: Pleasing everyone in a band that has such a wide range of influences must be tough—describe how a song goes from its initial creation to the final result.
AU: You know, it’s not that tough, really. We all seem to agree on what sounds good and what doesn’t. I’m not saying that it’s the easiest thing either, but we make it happen and we all compromise. Our songs range from sweet and lovey, to pissed-off and loud, to just plain nonsense. So we don’t really stick to just one style, we like them all. So in turn, everyone is happy.
JH: The song writing process varies from song to song, which is nice. There’s no mold, therefore you never know what you are going to get.
HWTS: Let’s talk about your debut CD. How did the recording process go?
AU: We are very excited to release our first full length album! The recording process was a lot of fun and a lot of work, but we didn’t do it all at once. We would record two to four songs at a time. This allowed us some time to breath and we didn’t end up losing the same fresh drive we started with. It was a very exciting process, watching our songs come to life.
JH: The recording process is a very fast process for us, and as Abisha said, it was broken up into different sessions of a few days at a time, which works really well. There is nothing more satisfying than blaring the final mix, even when it is 3:00 a.m.
HWTS: Is there any one song on the CD that exemplifies what Sick of Sarah is all about?
AU: It would have to be “Bittersweet.” It took about 5 minutes to write, but damn it’s so good! This song put us on the map.
JH: I would say we are about a lot of different things that can’t be summed up into one song from the album. They all express different moods.
HWTS: Your CD release party will be Friday, August 8 at the Cabooze. What are we going to see there?
AU: Strippers and sword swallowers! Ha, I’m totally kidding! No strippers, don’t worry, but I can’t promise you that people won’t be taking off clothes. You never know at one of our shows! We are going to be selling our new CD and new t-shirts, as well as debuting a few new instruments and gadgets. I don’t want to give too much away, so I guess you will just have to come out to the show and see.
JH: You really can never tell. You’ll definitely see a rock show, and merch, which you will in turn want to buy. Is this working? I hear crowd surfing is the new thing…
HWTS: What touring plans do you have for the rest of the year?
AU: Mostly touring around the Midwest area—hitting up Chicago, Wisconsin and Iowa, Cleveland…the Caribbean. The plans keep changing and more dates are constantly being added, so be sure to check out our calendar for the latest.
HWTS: You have several events listed in conjunction with Olivia, the lesbian travel and lifestyle company. How did that relationship come about?
AU: Our manager, Carol Peters, booked Heart on the Olivia Cruise and she told them about us and they wanted us on board as well. Amazing opportunity, and plus we get to go on a cruise. High five!
HWTS: Thank you for all of your time. Do you have any final comments?
AU: We thank everyone for all the support. We couldn’t do it without you. Much love from Sick of Sarah to you! Look for us, we will be around for a loooooooooooong time!
JH: Thank YOU for YOUR time. When I’m rich, I’ll buy you dinner!