Rock newbies Eisley pack it up, hit the road

Hailing from Tyler, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, the folk-pop rock band Eisley has been gaining a lot of fans in high places. How high? Coldplay high. Eisley, which had never previously toured, hit the road with Coldplay after the Brit-pop act heard Eisley's debut EP, "Laughing City." It was Eisley's first tour ever. However, the most remarkable thing about Eisley is not its quick rise to the spotlight but rather its age and composition. The band is made up of three sisters, a brother and a next-door neighbor. The youngest in the band, lead singer, writer and keyboardist Stacy Dupree is 15, and the oldest, guitarist Chauntelle Dupree, is 21. The band appeared last Thursday with Brand New and Hot Rod Circuit at the 9:30 club on the first day of its second-ever tour.

THE EAGLE: What are your influences, musically or otherwise?

EISLEY: Well, a lot of different bands. Our main influences are Radiohead, the Beatles and Bjork. There's Michael Jackson. We listen to all kinds of stuff ... the Beatles to Pink Floyd to the Shins to Billie Holiday.

EAGLE: Do you have any guilty pleasures?

EISLEY: Justin Timberlake!

EAGLE: How did you all become a band?

EISLEY: It was kind of an accident. We didn't plan to start a band. We came together because we started learning and playing instruments at the same time. And we were like 'lets play together' and we started writing songs in our rooms just the three of us [sisters]. Our parents had instruments laying around. My dad is a drummer and my mom always sang and there was a guitar around the house.

EAGLE: Did your parents ever play professionally?

EISLEY: Our dad played in bands growing up and played drums in some of our early recordings. And our mom just sang a lot growing up. We were definitely around music a lot when we were younger.

EAGLE: You used to be called Moss Eisley. Is that a Star Wars reference? Are you big Star Wars fans?

EISLEY: Yeah, not really. We liked it but we were not like 'Let's name our band after that movie cause we love it!' We needed a name and we thought it sounded cool. We didn't want to get sued so we just thought Eisley was cool ... so we just dropped the Moss.

EAGLE: How were you received on the Coldplay tour?

EISLEY: Very well. Though crowds that were very skeptical at first. [It] took them awhile to warm up but by the time we got done it was really encouraging to see people's reactions. Seemed like everyone received us well. The whole Coldplay crew was really nice and the band was really cool and welcoming.

EAGLE: How did you find out that Coldplay singer Chris Martin liked you? Did he contact you before he asked you to go on tour?

EISLEY: Their management. We got signed to the same management as them. Our manager manages them personally so they heard about us through him. They heard our EP and they all liked it, so that's how it happened.

EAGLE: How much touring did you do before the Coldplay tour?

EISLEY: That was our first tour. We played around Texas a lot before that. We would play in Dallas nearly every weekend for about a year and played the clubs down there. But we hadn't ever toured like, anywhere before. Before that we played churches or wherever else we could.

EAGLE: As a band being called the next big thing, who do you think is the next big thing?

EISLEY: We have some friends in a band called Midlake that are definitely the next big thing. No one knows about them yet really, but they just got on a bunch of the big festivals in Europe and they are going to explode soon. I don't really know if we are being called the next big thing. It kind of seems like a bunch of hype and we don't really care. We just like to play music and we just want to live normal lives and grow up like normal kids. Whatever happens, happens. I'm not going to be grumped if we make it big, but we'll see.

EAGLE: Since you are going on tour do you regret missing school?

EISLEY: We were all home schooled so we just bring it on the road.

EAGLE: When you are on tour to you have to go to bed early?

EISLEY: (laughs) No. We do get more sleep than we get at home though.

EAGLE: Do you watch the bands that play after you?

EISLEY: On the Coldplay tour we wanted to stay and watch Coldplay but our tour manager was kind of anal about getting us to the next venue. [The other bands] are in buses and sleep while their drivers get them to the next venue. We have to drive in a van and stay in hotels, so it was a pretty tough schedule. But we got to see Coldplay like four times on the tour. Coldplay watched ours the whole time.

EAGLE: Did Coldplay singer Chris Martin's girlfriend Gywenth Paltrow ever watch you?

EISLEY: Yeah.

EAGLE: Was that weird?

EISLEY: She's so nice. She's like the most down-to-earth person. In a European tabloid they had a picture of her wearing an Eisley shirt.

EAGLE: What's been your favorite place to play on tour?

EISLEY: Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. It was kind of raining and really cold. And the audience was in the rain and we were in the rain. And we were all getting wet. It was like an adventure.

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