Sister Shotgun are a female fronted up and coming 5 piece rock band from West Midlands, UK. Sister Shotgun have appeared in Kerrang! Magazine and are always on the go performing gigs locally and around the country.
I had the opportunity to interview Chloe Ozwell, lead vocalist of Sister Shotgun. Chloe introduces us to all the members of the band as well as giving us an insight to what Sister Shotgun are all about and what’s to come. Sister Shotgun are on the verge of releasing their new EP, Devour and have recently completed a video shoot for the music video to their first single from the EP.
I was super excited when I had this interview confirmed in the schedule. Sister Shotgun are an amazing band from my local area and deserve all the support. Don’t forget to check them out; you’ll find the relevant links at the end of the interview. Take a look at my interview with Chloe here.
Can you introduce us to all your members, and what their role in the band is?
Hey! My name is Chloe Ozwell and I am the lead vocalist, Niall Wills is our rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist, Rob Hayes is our lead guitarist, Tim Chambers is our bassist and Adam Yeardley is our drummer.
How did you all meet?
Oh man, this is such a long story because we’ve gone through quite a few lineup changes haha.
I met Niall at college before the band started and when I heard he had started the band with some friends of mine and they were looking for a vocalist, I had to get involved, so we’ve both been there from the beginning of this band.
A couple of drummers later, we auditioned Adam and he was just the perfect fit both as a performer and as a person. We just clicked instantly and now it’s like he’s always been there.
Rob and Niall actually have a lot of history together because they have been friends since they were kids so Rob has been around as long as Niall can remember and he actually started Niall playing the guitar! So when we were looking for a guitarist and he introduced us to Rob it was a perfect fit because they are so in sync with each other as guitarists.
Tim and I met when we were in university together. I remember him being the first friend I made. He actually was a guitarist in uni but I knew he played bass in a band he was in while we were studying. So when we were looking for a new bassist he was the first person I thought of and he just fit straight into the band dynamic.
Are you all musically trained or are you self-taught?
I actually am a classically trained singer. My parents started me with singing lessons when I was 7 years old and I am trained up to grade 6. As far as I know the other guys are all self-taught. Although me, Rob and Tim all studied music performance in university and have degrees in the subject.
How did Sister Shotgun get started?
Sister Shotgun actually started as a cover band and Niall had gotten together with a couple of my friends that he met at a college party. They formed with the hopes of gigging and making a bit of money from it but they were having trouble finding a singer. I had actually just found myself without a band and was dying to get back to it, so after lots of bothering the guys, they finally let me audition. Needless to say, it went well and the next practice we actually found ourselves writing original material and that carried on in every practice until we’d just about written the first EP. It kind of all grew from there.
You got the idea for the name Sister Shotgun after listening to Billy Idol’s White Wedding. Why did you choose Sister Shotgun?
I did! It’s funny because not a lot of people get the reference. The phrase just really jumped out at me and I thought it would make and awesome band name! I’d actually been sitting on it for a while and wasn’t too sure whether I was going to use it as a stage name but I pitched it to the band and they really liked it as a band name.
You’re from the West Midlands. What is the support like from your hometown?
It’s awesome! We feel really fortunate to have been so embraced by our local rock scene and when we play hometown shows there is always a great turn out.
Who are your major musical influences? How have they shaped the band you are today?
We have so many but I think my biggest influence is probably My Chemical Romance. I remember being 14 and listening to Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge for the first time and I just fell in love with the music and the songwriting. They really made me think about just how far you can push a song and an album conceptually and how you can tie that in with an aesthetic and create this musical and theatrical experience. It really pushed and still pushes me to try to find ways to do that with our band.
Vocally though, I always aspired to be like Freddie Mercury. His voice and the way he used it was unlike anything I’ve ever heard but he always made it look so effortless.
When did you realise that being in the music industry was what you wanted to do?
When I was 7 years old, I entered a talent show at school singing Once Upon A December from the film Anastasia and I just loved every moment of being on stage and singing. I decided then and there I wanted to do it for the rest of my life and I had to make it happen!
Can you tell us a random fact about each band member?
I am a black belt in Shukokai Karate and studied it for about 10 years, Tim plays the trombone, Niall and Rob are both left-handed but both ended up playing guitar right-handed and Adam is a total computer genius.
How would you describe your music style?
I’m not sure I can haha! We never really sat down and decided how we wanted to sound. We just started playing and this is the sound that came out. I think it’s a nice fusion between heavy and poppy but we’re kinda doing our own thing here and hoping other people are going to be able to answer that question for us and make that decision.
Which member(s) of the band are the creative behind songwriting?
I like to think we all are. Usually, it will start with Niall or Rob writing a guitar riff or part and then they will start to lay down a basic structure. Once we have that, Adam will start demoing drums until we’re all happy and then Tim will go in and add a bass line. I usually wait till last to come up with any vocals. Creatively, I like to think I come up with the song concepts but there will be times when the guys have pitched a concept idea and we’ve just run with it.
Which of your songs did you write first?
The very first song we wrote was Dirty Mind.
You are releasing your new EP, Devour, very soon. Can you tell us anything about it?
Yeah, it’s all complete and we have the tracks and the artwork back. We worked with Romesh Dodangoda at Longwave Studios again and we are so happy with how it sounds! It’s going to be released in August and we’re planning music videos and all that cool stuff right now. So Just keep an eye out on our social media and all will become clear very soon.
You’re signed up to perform at Macmillan Fest in September 2016. Such a great cause to support and I commend you on that. How did you get involved with this?
We actually booked that gig through our agent but we are so excited to be involved! Over the years they’ve had some amazing bands playing so it’s really cool to be part of the line-up and it’s for a wonderful cause. A few of us have had our lives affected by cancer and Macmillan nurses have made such a difference. It’s really important that we keep funding Macmillan and the work they do because it really can change the lives of those living with cancer and that of their families and friends.
What other gigs do you have coming up?
Right now we’re playing Trillians in Newcastle on 28th July, The Asylum 2 in Birmingham on 21st August, Fort Fest in Bedfordshire on 2nd September and Macmillan Fest in Nottingham on 3rd September.
What has been your favourite gig so far?
There have been a few but the one that really sticks out for me is when we supported Kobra And The Lotus at the O2 Academy 3 in Birmingham in 2014. Everything about that show was awesome! The place was packed and the crowd were really into it. Kobra And The Lotus are one of the nicest and most welcoming bands we’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with! We’re still in touch with them and they are still so supportive of us. We’d love to play with them again in the future.
Is there anything you are currently working on?
Just lots to do with the new EP. We’re currently planning the music video for our lead single off the EP and we’re so excited to put it out there. Other than that we’re just working on enhancing our stage show and we’re planning on pulling some pretty cool stuff out of the bag for Fort Fest and Macmillan Fest.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I don’t really know, we’ve had a lot of little victories like being featured in Kerrang! Magazine and being featured on Bryan Stars YouTube channel but I think the big achievements are still yet to come. We’ve still got a long way to go so we’ll see what happens.
I really like your song No Hope. How did the idea for this come about?
Thank you so much! That really means a lot. It was actually inspired by a very well-known horror film and written from the villain’s perspective. I loved being able to tap into that really psychotic mindset and writing based on what I think it would be like for them to be in the situation that we portrayed in the song.
What were your expectations when releasing your first single, For The Love Of Hate?
I don’t think we really knew. Of course, we wanted it to do well, as every artist does when they release anything, but it exceeded even our expectations. We really wanted to put out something that looked professional and get it out to an audience that may not have heard it had we just released it on our own YouTube channel. To this day, it’s still getting Thousands of views which is crazy because we released it just over 2 years ago.
How did you come up with the idea of updating For The Love Of Hate?
We loved the song and really wanted to release a video for it but it just felt like there was something missing. So we recruited a violinist and got some strings added, we added more guitar layers and vocal layers and we really wanted to give it that epic feel.
Are any of your songs written from personal experiences or subjects close to your heart?
Honestly, I try to steer clear of writing about anything personal. I’m a big fan of conceptual writing and creating little fictional stories within our songs. For me, I always was more of a fan of listening to those kind of songs and albums as they would really let my imagination run free. I don’t really feel at this point that I have anything to write about that hasn’t been written a million times by a million different people as far as personal experience. Having said that, though, there is one song on the new EP that is pretty personal but for me, that was a bit of a one-off. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll write more personal songs but right now I’m enjoying being creative with lyrics and stories.
What do you enjoy doing outside of music?
Reading comic books! I’m a huge fan of the New 52 Harley Quinn series, Deadpool, Spiderman and SpiderGwen!
If you could collaborate with any band or artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
David Bowie! The man was a genius! I would love to hear what our minds would come up with. I think we both have highly creative minds and wild imaginations. As far as modern artists go though, I’d love to work with Corey Taylor. His voice is incredible and has so many different shades to it. I think our voices would blend beautifully plus I have a feeling that his crazy matches my crazy.
Sister Shotgun started out as a cover band. What song would be your dream song to cover?
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me by Elton John. Sounds weird but the song holds a lot of meaning for me, so it would be a very special and probably emotional experience to be able to perform it. I just hope we could do it justice.
Like Iron Maiden have Eddie and Disturbed have The Guy, what would be your ideal band mascot?
A Phoenix! This will make much more sense when we release the EP but I feel that personally and as a band, we’ve been knocked down so many times but we’ve picked ourselves back up and become stronger because of those experiences.
If you had unlimited amounts of all resources available, what would be your ideal music video?
I guess it depends on the song but I’d like something very cinematic. I love the look and feel that Thirty Seconds to Mars’ music videos have. So maybe something like their video for Hurricane where it’s dark and creepy but it has this big, epic feel! Failing that, I’d love to see how we’d look in cartoon form.
Is there anyone you would love to make cameo appearances in your videos?
Sarah Michelle Gellar! I’m a huge Buffy Fan so it would be so cool to do a video where we slay vampires together.
If there became a film in production about Sister Shotgun, who would you like to portray you?
Johnny Depp. The man is a chameleon, I’m sure he’d do a stellar job.
What’s in the pipeline next for Sister Shotgun?
Lots of gigs, an EP release and music videos to release. Other than that, who knows, I guess we’ll see what happens.
Where do you see Sister Shotgun in the future?
The ultimate dream is to be the first female-fronted band to headline Download Festival. Which is kinda crazy because you’d have thought there would have been a female fronted headliner by now.
But in the short-term, I see us working hard to master our skills in songwriting and performing and really pushing ourselves to be the best we can. I see us working and developing our own unique stage show and hopefully becoming a full-time successful touring band in the next few years. We are so passionate about our craft. We live and breathe it so to be able to do it full-time would be a dream.
I want to thank Chloe and Sister Shotgun for taking time out of their busy schedule to answer these questions for me. It has been a real pleasure. The interview went beyond my expectations, and Chloe’s answers are so in-depth and informative.
You can check out Sister Shotgun at their social media:
I wish all of Sister Shotgun well for their future. I’m sure that they will go far in the music industry.