Deer Park Avenue: Heritage, Hashtags and Hopeful Outlooks

Sister, Sister…Okay what you read will have nothing to do with the Mowry sisters that reigned supreme in the 90’s, but you will get an inside look into the minds of the Snyder sisters that make up Deer Park Avenue. They’re sound lays somewhere between rock and pop with the vocals being melodic and their sound being an intertwining of Sarah’s guitar and Stephanie’s drum set.

The California duo do freelance work to pay the bills but music is where their hearts lay and you’ll see that the green was never really why they got in the game. To find out why they’d choose music in this day and age, how they deal with hashtags and Goth culture, and more, you’ll just have to keep on reading.

Kendra: Did one sister kind of pull the other into music?

Sarah: We started playing music when we were little, little kids.  I mean we started playing piano when we were three or four. But Stephie was the first one to say she wanted to learn drums. She was like seven and so when she just announced to the family one day that she was going to learn drums and so at that point I was like, well I guess I’ll learn guitar. So she learned drums and I learned guitar.

I think that at this point with the band it’s pretty much we pull each other along. There’ll be times when you know one person does something, and the other person does something and we end up encouraging each other and pushing each other to go farther. And that’s what’s cool too when you have your sister in the band and you get along like we do, then it’s considered fun.

Kendra: With having Indian as part of your heritage, were there any hesitations from that side of the family when it came to music?

Sarah: That’s interesting actually. We both finished our education early. We went to the London School of Journalism to finish our journalism degrees. Which is something a lot of people don’t know, but we did finish our education and as far as our parents are concerned, our mom and that side, they’ve always been super, super supportive. There was never any kind of looking down on it or anything like that.

Stephanie:  My mom’s sisters and all our uncles have been really supportive of us, so we’re lucky to have them in our lives.

Kendra: With the music industry not doing too well, why choose this path?

Stephanie: I think just the love of it. The pure enjoyment and getting to go places and meet so many people that we wouldn’t have been able to if it weren’t for music.  It’s fun to create and perform.

Sarah: When we got into this, I don’t even think we thought about the money. That was never even a consideration. Maybe it should’ve been? But we love it so much and are just so passionate about it and it was kind of one of those things that you feel like you’re born to do, and I think a lot of people have that passion but not as many people will really follow up on it, or follow their dreams or make the sacrifices that you have to make for these kinds of things to happen. We never really worried about that end of things, so I guess it’s for the love of music is why we’re doing it.

Kendra: The vocals on the Stop & Go are very pretty, almost to the point that if you wanted, you guys could’ve went the pop route. What made you want to add the hint of rock and actually play instead of being just a face with a voice?

Sarah: I think that from the beginning we never really sat down and thought about, okay what kind of genre are we gonna be as a band? We love rock, we have always loved rock so that was the direction that happened when we started writing songs and started playing together. That’s kind of what came out of it and yeah we got a lot of comments about how the vocals are super clean and the sound can get pretty grungy at times, and we kind of like that balance of the light and the dark, sugar and grit. So it’s kind of what it was from the beginning. In the studio too, you get to recording and you sit down and start songs and it just kind of takes on a life of its own.

Kendra: “Darkness Hides Me” isn’t a song we’d ever find on a poppy record. It definitely has a well, darkness to it. That made me curious as to if either of you ever went through a Goth phase growing up?

Sarah: I wouldn’t call it a Goth phase like we loved Evanescence when they came out and stuff like that so I think we had, like musically we definitely had a different spectrum of background and influences. I think those things kind of make their way into your music. Even if you don’t realize it, we all have phases that we don’t realize we have, or influences that we don’t realize we have until someone kind of points it out to you and you’re going it could be this it could be that.

Kendra: So no Goth in your past, no all black, no shopping at Hot Topic?

Stephanie: Not really, but we do wear a lot of black. It goes with everything! It travels well and you don’t have to do that much laundry.

Kendra: Was the main appeal when you went to work with the Bissonettes was that they were brothers? Like well, you’re related, so you’ll get it better?

Sarah: it worked out really well in that way. How we got started, Gregg has been a huge influence on our musicianship. He gave Stephanie her first drum lesson and me my first guitar lesson. He was really encouraging us to play our music when we were first starting off. He was the first person to actually say, you guys should really play together, and it had never really crossed our minds.

But you pointed out about brothers and sisters and how they work with each other and how we work with each other, that is really a good point because there is a lot of stuff that siblings kind of know what the other person is thinking and kind of know where you are on different areas. And you know how to not push the other one too far.

Kendra: Everyone’s on Twitter and is aware of hashtags, so if what would be your number one tweet about touring that would go with the hashtag, #GirlProblems?

Sarah: Usually, well not usually but often times you stop at a gas station or something and you might get a little creeper now and then.

Stephanie: Negative attention, disrespect.

Sarah: When you’re two girls on the road it can be kind of shady sometimes so  you get weird pick-up lines and stuff like that.

Kendra: Couple more before we go, any musical resolutions for 2012?

Sarah: Yeah, we’ve been a band for a little over a year now and so we talked about the goals that we want to have and so I think that one of the major goals for us is to have some kind of tour. Just towards the end of the year we started gigging outside of Sacramento, so maybe you’ll see us in your town soon!

Stephanie: We’re looking to play at colleges, clubs and venues. And we’re hoping to get on college radio, national radio, internet radio.

Kendra: One more, it’s time for you to make me a mixtape, and we’re going to go with a “Sisterly Bond” mix. Your top five songs that would remind you of the other.

Sarah & Stephanie:

Phantom Planet “California

Mute Math “Clipping

The Oneders “That Thing You Do

The Beatles “8 Days a Week

Wir Sind Helden “Nur Ein Wort

Bonus Track: John Barry “Somewhere in Time

Originally published on Dec 29, 2011

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