|Sisters of Attitude|
27 February 2009
Cloaked in mystery rather than stereotype Sisters of Transistors break down musical barriers in their refusal to conform
Sisters of Transistors (SOT) are less of a girls and more of a ladies band. Dark, mature and obscure. SOT is made up of Sister Wigby Elka Whippany, Sister Naomi Dorric Pencrest, Sister Ragna Tiesco Dottier and Sister Henrietta Vox Humana all of which rock electric organs and keyboards in a manner more ominous than sultry like Alicia Keys. Like Jim Corr, aka the brother in The Corrs, Graham Massey is the honorary hairy male and drummer.
Yet, while many new bands challenge their energy into obtaining gigs at the renowned Brixton Academy or Shepards Bush, SOT don monk cloaks, perform at churches and hold weekly afternoon workshops at a local museum.
Just as I start to label them as religious fanatics, Massey is quick to intervene. “We are not churchgoers at all, it’s just that a church is the natural home of the organ,” he bemoans. “Its tones accompany many rituals in European culture from baptisms to funerals weddings and horror films and we quite often perform at churches as many have opened up to multiple uses in the community – concerts, Yoga and film clubs. We believe music is a spiritual dialogue.”
Shrouded in cloth rather than stereotypes, SOT aren’t “put together” like ordinary girl outfits who are usually auditioned according to aesthetics rather than talent. Massey states their eerie choice of simple and unpretentious attire is deliberate. “We want to turn the focus onto the music,” he says. “We don’t want to put out the message that because we are a band of females that we’re presenting a glamour image. By being cloaked, mystery is enhanced and this is the correct mental state to approach our music.”
Citing music as their passion and not a monetary solution, the group protest they’re not interested in the fame game. “We’re not attracted to the music industry,” confirms Massey. “You have to be so patient in the business these days, everything seems to be planned two or three years in advance. I miss the spontaneity.”
Despite their insistence that they are not religious their choir-esque vocals seem to prove otherwise. “There are many harmonies and we multi track them to sound like there are 20 of us,” explains Massey about their distinctive tones, before brooding. “The words are never too direct and explore the unconscious mind from a universal perspective.”
“So far we’ve had a very warm reaction,” explains Massey. “Mancunians respect originality. It’s a city of original music above all. Mancunian audiences treat their bands a bit like football teams, there is some civic pride about it.”
There is no mediocrity for this group who find it essential to put all their energy into every inch, in fact every millimetre, of their projects. Massey concludes: “Music should be like good food, it should uplift the spirit. Everyday home cooking can do that or fancy restaurant food can do that – but food made by people who don’t care never does that.”
Sisters of Transistors’ debut single 'Columbi' out now and their debut album 'Excelcis' is out this May.
Text: Alexandria Gouveia