30 Mar


“Vapor-back Writers”

By Ryan Muldoon

There’s really no excuse for not hearing the debut album from Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapors – unless you simply don’t have access to an internet connection (so, how are you reading this?). Or maybe you’re simply deaf – if that’s the case, our most sincere apologies.

But perhaps it’s that you simply don’t care for loud, infectious, riff-driven psych rock, the kind that howls, feeds back, throws punches, and oozes from all corners of the full, self-titled album this Detroit-based trio have made available for download – for free download – at their website. Now if that’s the case … there’s really not a whole lot we can do for you, is there?

The entire trio (Sean – Vocals/Guitar, Eric – Bass/Backing Vocals and Rick- Drums) responded to the following questions in advance of their appearance at Austin Psych Fest 3.

Can you tell me a little bit about how the band got together? Did any of you have a history of playing together before coming together as Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor?


Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapors - photo by Charlie Naebeck


Sean: All three of us played together as a band under the name SikSik Nation for about three years. We released an EP in 2006 and full length in the spring of 2008. Currently we have taken on a new identity. We really feel that the direction of the project has drastically changed over the last three years and it was time for a name change and a new full length.

What was your thought process when deciding to make your self-titled album available for free download?

Sean: Nobody makes money selling records. You are lucky if you manage to break even. We are far more interested in having as many people hear our music as possible. We never want money to be a barrier between us and a potential fan or critic.

One of the most striking songs on the album is the lead-off number, “Lord Is My Gun.” It’s stunningly catchy, and prepares the listener nicely for the massive walls of hooks that crash-land throughout the album. What can you tell me about this track? Did the music come before the lyrics – and if so, is that common with your songs thus far? Is the declaration, “With God as my witness, the Lord is my gun” a threat, or an affirmation statement?

Sean: I think the guitar part came first and then shortly after came the lyrics, which can and cannot be typical of our song writing. Some songs have been written for a year or so and don’t get the final lyrics until a few days before we record the vocals. The line doesn’t necessarily refer to a threat or affirmation but alludes to the imminent urban decay.

Eric: Actually it was the bass line that came first. : )

Related, the album ends with “At the Gates,” a number that I have to imagine is a reference to A) the name of one of the defining bands in the realm of Swedish death metal, B) the time I posed for a picture at the gates of Graceland in Memphis, TN, or C) something else entirely. Can you shed any light on this?

Sean: We usually have someone following you at all times. You inspire us. All the songs on our next record will be related to you in some way. We will probably even include some video.

Eric: What does that even mean?

Sean: When in doubt, always go with death metal.

Do you have any sense of how being from the Detroit area has influenced the sound of Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, if it all? I suppose the most common sonic-geographic attribute of the area is The MC5 and The Stooges … but also of Carl Craig, Bob Seger and about a million others, right?

Sean: I think it has influenced us in the opposite of most of those bands- while we have much love for The Stooges and The MC5, our sound came from wanting to experiment more and more. Being sequestered in a garage and pop scene gives you two options: become and sound like those bands, maybe get some instant success, or try something a bit off the radar and hope you get noticed for being a bit different.

What album have you been listening to most lately?

Eric: A Place to Bury Strangers’ “Exploding Head” has been on heavy rotation.

Rick: I can’t speak for the rest of the band on this one, but I have been listening to just about anything by The Black Angels, “Beat the Devils Tattoo” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Derdang Derdang” by the Archie Bronson Outfit, “The Complete Works Vol. 1” by Spiritualized, and I have been trying to get my hands on the new record from The Black Ryder.

Sean: Spacemen 3- “Dreamweapon,” Brian Jonestown Massacre – “Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?” and Dead Meadow- “Feathers.”

What’s your favorite music-related book of all time?

Eric: “Our Band Could Be your Life” by Michael Azerrad.

Rick: I just read “Get in the Van” by Henry Rollins – that was pretty awesome. They slept on a lot of floors.

Sean: “Touching From a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division” by Deborah Curtis.

Have you had the chance to share a stage with any of the other bands at Austin Psych Fest 3? Are there any bands you are especially looking forward to seeing?

Sean: We’ve played a handful of shows with Screen Vinyl Image and The Vandelles. We dig both of those bands a lot and are looking forward to sharing the stage with both of them again.

Certainly, this is the most in-depth and illuminating interview ever conducted. Will you join me at the inevitable awarding of the Pulitzer Prize?

Sean: Will there be snacks?

Anything else to add? Thanks for your time!

Sean: We built a studio to record our s/t record that we just released. We have been expanding ever since, so we can record our friends’ bands and help establish a strong psych scene in Detroit and the Midwest. We love playing music and take on the attitude that no one cares as much about your band as you do. That’s why everything we do is done in house. Even the printing on our LP covers were hand screen printed by us.

The self-titled debut album from Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapors is available for free download at their website –

The vinyl version (with hand screen-printed cover) is available for purchase at the following location –




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