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Catching Up With Sister Crayon


Talking with the band about coming out, writing songs, and whether it really gets better

Sacramento-based up-and-comers Sister Crayon are dark, sure, and maybe weren't always the most talkative kids in class. But it seems to make for some great music. Their 2010 album Bellow gave the quartet--fronted by out lesbians Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez--their first chance to really speak their minds through not just their music but also through the exposure afforded them by MTV's "It Gets Better" campaign and radio and music video airplay

The band is currently balancing a U.S. tour while recording second, more polished album. You can also catch them during their residency at New York City venue Pianos throughout the month of April.

Out recently got the chance to chat with Sister Crayon to find out what drives them create their haunting music, the joys and pains of being the somber type, and what life on the road has been like for the young band.

So, hello Sister Crayon! Can you tell us where your name came from?

Terra Lopez: The name actually came out of my need to create an alter ego of sorts, as a way to force myself to step outside of myself. I tend to be very introverted at times so I wanted to create an alter ego that would force myself to be a bit bolder and the name "Sister Crayon" came to me out of nowhere while I was writing a letter one night a few years back. I signed it under that name and it stuck.

Your sound has been aptly described as "haunting." Where does that melancholy come from?

I think that for me, the music and mood come from old pain that I am either still dealing with or with emotions that I have already processed. Our music always derives from mood, so I know that when we are writing and working on material, I tend to always automatically go into that place. Sometimes, it's a lot and it's exhausting--especially when playing the songs live. I sing as a means to cope and to understand different aspects of my life, whether it be past or present, and I know that my band mates feel the same way. We create this music in order to get through the day.

What do your fans take away--or, what do you want them to take away--from those somber themes?

I would hope that fans can connect with our music, with the lyrics and that it can help them. We have had people come up to us after shows crying and that is by far the best compliment. I know that people see and feel our passion when we play live and that to me is what I want people to take away from our music.

Does being gay factor into that at all?

Although I do believe that my sexuality is an important aspect of who I am and whom I associate with in my life, I don't think it solely defines me as an artist or human. The relationship I am in with my girlfriend has inspired much of my writing and work. I think love has always inspired me throughout my life as it does for a lot of people. Dani and I are both very proud to be out and are very happy that our fans can come to us and identify themselves a long with us.

Will that sound carry over to your next album?

I think the next album will be much darker, more serious. We have been working on it and writing and the process has been much more methodical than the last record. The last record, Bellow, was such an unexpected thing so we are coming together with a different mind state-spending a lot of time on the different aspects--the beats, vocal layers, keys, etc. I think the next record will be a true statement of the music that we want to make, the direction that we have always wanted to go.

You describe your performances as "cathartic." Would you say the same for the "It Gets Better" videos? What was that like and how did it come about?

We are very proud to be a part of the "It Gets Better" campaign because we not only fully support the project but Dani and myself had a very tough time growing up and being out. We were bullied constantly for our sexual orientation so we understand how bad it can be and how it can feel to be in that situation so when the project asked us to be a part of it and to create a video, we were thrilled. I think it's a brilliant project and I only hope it continues to get bigger and that more and more people film videos to get the message out that there is hope and that it will get better.

Get More: Sister Crayon, MTV Shows

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