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Interview with Abisha Uhl of Sick of Sarah

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Sick of Sarah is an indie pop/punk band from Minnesota. In 2008 they released their self-titled debut to a small yet eager fan base. Due to good ol fashion crazy touring and the new fashion of social networking they’ve managed to grow that fan base significantly. They’ve shared the stage with Uh Huh Her, The Bangles and Joan Jett. They’ve toured with Killola and Girl In A Coma, all within the last 2 years. Now with the release of 2205 fans are excited to see what’s next.

What’s the meaning behind the name of your new record, 2205?

2205 is the address # of the band house. We’ve had so many experiences in that house that it has become a beacon of our band’s mission and purpose. We would collectively not be the same people if not for the experiences, both musical and personal, that we’ve had in that house. We thought it only fitting that 2205 be the name of the album, as this album really captures a moment that was birthed there.

When you guys are working on a song which comes first; music/instrumentation or lyrics?

Music and Instrumentation always seems to come first. I start hearing melodies in my head right away when I hear a musical idea that I really like or that I write. Then it can take a lot of stewing on the song before lyrics start to become concrete. It’s actually funny, some of the early jam sessions of new songs have me completely making up lyrics on the spot like I’m an MC. It’s actually kind of funny sometimes.
SoS has a new drummer now, was it hard to adjust to bringing in a new member?

It’s definitely hard bringing in a new member. Hard for us, and in this case, I’m sure hard for Juggs. We’re like a traveling family when we’re on the road, and we all know each other really well. So when a new person comes into that equation, it can be hard at first, but we’re definitely past that now. Juggs has become a very important part of what we do and a great companion on our long treks out.

Some songs on the new record, like “Giving Up” and “Cigarettes”, seem personal on a new, darker level. Were these particularly hard to write?

Giving Up and Cigarettes are both really personal songs to me. Giving Up came together super last minute in the studio from a riff we were working on but hadn’t quite fully developed by the time we got to TX to record 2205. There are a lot of things that are autobiographical in that song, but I’m also telling a story and taking some liberties. Cigarettes is super personal, and you only need to listen to the lyrics to know why. Writing about things that come from somewhere honest can be easier as I don’t have to stray too far with my imagination to get my ideas on paper. Those two songs are among my favorite on the album.

“Giving Up” – Sick of Sarah, 2205

Touring seems to be more competitive than ever. There are tons of bands on the road constantly. SoS tours consistently, what gives you guys an edge over the competition?

We’ve been lucky to have a great team behind us. A good management team, publicist, and agent have been key in getting us to become more of a national band. But the more we do this, the more we realize that that’s just the price of admission. It’s really on us to be willing to work as hard as possible and accept that we may not be making any real money for a while. But we feed off of that kind of challenge and we love being on the road and meeting our fans along the journey and making new ones where possible.

You’ve opened for The Bangles, Uh Huh Her, and Joan Jett. You’ve toured with Killola and just recently Girl In A Coma. Are there any bands in particular you guys want to tour with and haven’t yet?

We’d love to tour with Tegan and Sara, Metric, Band of Horses, Bloc Party, Arcade Fire, etc. There are so many great bands out there that have amazing fan bases!

Will you guys tour Canada or the UK this year?

We’re planning on both! All plans are still tentative, but we’re hoping to lock everything in by the first few months of the year, including a slot on a certain traveling tour that we can’t announce yet… Stay tuned.

There have been openly lesbian/queer members of Sick of Sarah since you guys formed. Did you, or do you ever have concerns about being pigeon-holed in the media as a “queer band”? Is it something you embrace? Or do you not give much thought to it at all?

We’ve given it a lot of thought. We really embrace our LGBT fans, but don’t think that they’re the only people that our music can speak to. Some of my crowds on the road have been marked by straight boys totally getting into what we’re doing and singing all of the lyrics. When we look at bands like Tegan and Sara, and Metric, it seems that they have a deep LGBT fanbase, but also mainstream fanbase. We aspire to that kind of success.

Last question. Completely hypothetical. Say you have a couple friends in Michigan whose place you stay at sometimes on tour. Let’s say one of those friends’ favorite song by you is “Just Can’t Sleep”. If the next time you’re in Michigan on tour and “Just Can’t Sleep” STILL isn’t on the freaking setlist, would you play it for your friend acoustically at some point. Perhaps in the living room? HYPOTHETICALLY?

HAHA! YES! Of course! We’ve got to practice those harmonies!


photo: Amber Mcdonald (


14 responses »

  1. great questions Janay! the last one made me lol!

    • Oh yay i can reply directly on here. Could not figure that out the entire two years i had blogger.

      Thank you Lee! Ha yeah I had to have at least one funny/fun moment in there 🙂

  2. Awesome interview! Abisha seems really cool….I hope they do tour Canada! And perhaps with T+S! that would be a pretty great show!

  3. hahaha… nice questions! and i’m sure everyone’s asked about the title but thanks for clearing that up for me!

    • haha yeah I knew that would become an extremely common question but she got around to this kind of late and I thought I’d be posting it a lot sooner, as in when people were just starting to wonder…

  4. p.s. tegan and sara and metric have not a whole lot in common other than both being from canada, why do they come up together all the time?!

    • Ha well its kind of a shared fanbase. Like most TnS fans are Metric fans. (Just like most SoS fans are TnS fans). Maybe that’s why?

      • true, but i guess i mean why the shared fan base?? i mean not like it’s unfathomable (obviously) but just i wouldn’t have put them together i guess?

      • Oh right well…I’m not sure but I’ve read about Metric having a huge gay following. I could be a nerd and see if they’ve played any pride festivals…and you know how lesbians generally feel about our front-women. Gay or not. Female lead singers are a favorite lol Lilith Fair I’m sure help build that gay/lesbian following as well.

        Just addressing why she may have mentioned them as having a strong LGBT following. Because I don’t think she was in any way comparing them to TnS.

      • yeah i didn’t think she was comparing them, just observing that i’ve seen them mentioned together before and i always wonder why!

      • OH…yeah…hmm guess it could be that LGBT thing. Like as a whole we have our faves. But again odd cause no one in Metric is LGBT lol

      • i know, right?! but you’re right, we DO love our frontwomen… 😉

  5. Pingback: Not Sick of Sick of Sarah « Infinite Vector

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