Band Spotlight – Interview with Rob of He’s My Brother She’s My Sister

Many months ago, I had a few friends mention this band they were really into, Los Angeles-based, “He’s My Brother She’s My Sister“. Taking their advice, I listened to a couple songs and was instantly hooked. Their songs have a way of wrapping you up and taking you to a field of flowers where everyone is dancing around naked in the sunshine. I saw them live at The Troubadour a few months ago and was blown away. From their tap-dancing female drummer Lauren, to the upright bassist Oliver (aka “~Oliwa”), their performance was like nothing I’ve seen before and full of so much energy and love. I was captivated by the entire band and lost myself in their music, dancing the entire time. You can really tell they love and enjoy what they’re doing, and it totally rubbed off on their crowd.

A few months ago I had the chance to interview He’s My Brother She’s My Sister’s front-man, Rob. Rob “has been writing and performing for many years and has gained notoriety and a strong following with his band Lemon Sun. He recently won The John Lennon Songwriting Contest first prize for his song, the HMBSMS staple, Same Old Ground.

LA Inspiration: Who are the members of He’s My Brother She’s My Sister and how/when/where was the band formed?

He’s My Brother She’s My Sister: Hmbsms was once an egg hurtling through outer space. Spiraling and spinning in a furious plummet towards earth. As it crashed into the ocean it cracked like lightning bolt flashes and out from it’s frothy mucus emerged 5 odd and curious individuals. Each was given a talent or two and as a group they were ushered into a world of music and song. Entertaining many and often raising and eyebrow or two.

LAI: Biggest music influences & inspirations?

HMBSMS: Currently and for quite a while these come to mind: Arthur Alexander, The Kinks, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Smiths, Stanley Kubrick, Neil Young, Forman, Johnny Cash, early Bowie, T. Rex, Graham Hancocks ideas and writing, Monty Python, Syd Barrett, The Zombies, Spoon, Devendra Banhart, Coast to Coast radio, Dickens’ David Copperfield, Susannah Clarke’s Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norell, and The Beatles of course.

LAI: What is the process when writing a new song/creating an album? Are there any unique “rituals” HMBSMS has? Who does the writing?

HMBSMS: It’s always when I least expect that I am hit with a surge of ideas or inspiration. Everytime I am conciously trying to write a new hmbsms ‘staple’ it usually falls a bit flat. I generally am drawn to melodies and guitar riffs as the core of the creation. Occasionally lyrics come first but it usually works the other way round for me.

LAI: What has been your fave place to play thus far? Why?

HMBSMS: High Sierra Music Festival. It was a giant tent party with friendly people, great music, naked soap foam shower fights, and supportive audiences.

LAI: What makes HMBSMS stand out?

HMBSMS: Oh, I guess we have a few tricks up our sleeve.

LAI: What are some of the struggles you’ve had?

HMBSMS: Right now I have a broken ankle. Makes it a little tricky to play the kick drum while I sing and play the guitar.

LAI: What influence, if any, has the Internet & social media had on your success?

HMBSMS: Significant. Our following is based significantly on word of mouth. Our music videos on YouTube, etc., give us a great platform for expressing ourselves. And fans can take these tools and help spread the word by sharing them with friends. It allows audience to be less dependent on what media feeds them and gives them more power in expressing and honing their tastes. I see this as an excellent thing.

LAI: At a time where it seems like everyone and anyone is in a band, especially in LA, what advice do you have for bands just starting out?

HMBSMS: Hehe. True statement. Take chances. Push the envelope a bit and maybe have a little self deprecation and a sense of humor about the whole thing. Oh and maybe don’t take your audience for granted. Even if it’s two people and your dad on the floor.

LAI: Tell us one totally random fact about HMBSMS!

HMBSMS: Rach and my grandad was the boat captain Quint in Spielbergs first blockbuster film Jaws.

Stream the entire HMBSMS EP here!
Images via HMBSMS 

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