Spit Shake Sisters – Interview – 2015

When Spit Shake Sisters first began making music their sound was quite aggressive and punky, which then became more of a floaty psych sound with rhythmic jamming. Now they have combined the two in a refined sound, and having heard their new single I can assure you they are an act to keep an eye on. I recently spoke to Harrison and Zal from Spit Shake Sisters.

Where did you grow up?


[ZAL] I grew up in Suffolk, in the middle of rolling hills. I came here to play music.

[Harrison] I’ve done most of my growing up here in the past few years, but I’m originally from Tunbridge Wells.

What music were you raised on?
[ZAL] A lot of blues, Rolling Stones, T Rex. Also some BB King also which my dad almost force feed me as he plays guitar. My mum loves Motown and Etta James.

[Harrison] I was bought up on The Beatles, as my Dad was in a Beatles cover band called The Boutles. My mum loves Mariah Carey, and that’s why I have a love for pop music.

What was the first instrument you learnt to play?
[ZAL] It was the drums. I played one of my friends drum kit, and then I was round his nearly every day.

[Harrison] My parents bought me a drum kit when I was small, and I absolutely smashed the shit out of it. I was about four years old, and all I would do is put holes in the thing.

How did you both meet?
[ZAL] I had heard Spit Shake Sisters music online. Then I saw them at Under The Bridge playing this really fuzzy heavy stuff that I hadn’t really heard before. From then I really wanted to be in the band. I messaged Harrison and then he got back to me about four months later, but I was still interested. [Harrison] Our old drummer went to London, and then a mate said we should try out Zal. I ask what he was like and if he could keep it in the pocket, and he said “no, he’s really quirky and disjointed”.

How was that first jam?
[ZAL] I was really good. I had been playing in this poppy band for ages that was really ridged. We played through a couple of songs and it immediately locked in, and we were ready for our first gig together.

Is there a story to the name?
[HARRISON] I came up with it before I came to Brighton. It’s just a silly name really that means nothing.

Do you have any releases planed?
[HARRISON] The new single, ‘Neutralises’, will be released on Brighton’s KLDSCP – we will be first the band of our type on their imprint. You can still tell it’s us but it is totally different, there is even flute in it. It’s being mastered at the moment by Benny Ray Mathews.

What are your main musical influences?
[ZAL] Recently Hip-Hop has been a big inspiration. The sampling of old records that have been done really roughly so there are little skips, odd movements, or bass jumps which gives the songs this wobble sound. Drummers from the 60s and 70s to, where their performance draws me in.

[HARRISON] I’m still in love with the 70s, but there are so many new amazing bands around at the moment to. We keep sending each other solo tracks from a studio of great bands that are on YouTube that are really interesting to hear.

What inspires your lyrics?
[HARRISON] There is usually a theme. Its normally revisiting a point in my life that I haven’t dealt with yet, laced in fun imagery. Religion, conspiracy theories and UFOs has come up a lot recently as that’s something that is interesting to us.

How do you attack the writing process?
[ZAL] Harrison usually will bring in a riff – as he is thinking of them on every second of every day. Then Harrison will beat box a beat and we jam the idea into a full song. We put together a song in about half an hour, so it’s a pretty quick process.

What has been a musical eye-opener?
[ZAL] Watching the Red Hot Chili Peppers was incredible, and to see their energy onstage. I had quite a shallow appreciation of music before that concert.

[HARRISON] I was lucky in the sense that my dad was massively into the 60s. But then Nu Metal happened, which combined loads of genres that people really liked. I saw The Stooges at Hop Farm Festival which probably wasn’t their best gig, but Iggy Pop is an Idol of mine and he was incredible.

What have you been listening to recently?
[HARRISON] A lot of a band called Natural Child. Also Credence Clearwater Revival, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, Thee Oh Sees, and a lot of Hip Hop.

Which three acts would you have for a concert you are putting on and where?
Black Sabbath, Michael Jackson and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, at Red Rocks in Colorado which is where Incubus did that immense show.

If you could work with anyone, who would it be?
[ZAL] Rick Ruben for the Hip-Hop and Rock crossover that he does so well.

[HARRISON] Beck is one of my favourite artists ever.

What are your future plans?
[HARRISON] There is an EP that we are planning to put out for free. Hopefully release ‘Satans Sippy Cup’ as a single before the end of the year. There will be more of a professionalism about how we go about our business – as much as we love this garage punk ethos – but we will still put on a really high energy performance though.

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