by Katie Rankin
After several years of metamorphosis, Sister Jack is a butterfly. Like many local bands, the group’s core has undergone line-up and sound changes, not to mention a few names. Led by singer-songwriter Andrew Murray, it stemmed out of his solo music and then self-titled band. Now with a two and a half year-old solid line-up the band has recently released their first album and developed its sound.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on playing rock and roll, for lack of a better term,” says Murray. “But not being too worried if it sounded kind of messy, kind of punk-ish at times, and of course there’s this country tinge thing that slips in.” Murray is joined by drummer Phil Kromer and bass player John Greenan, as well as Murray’s fellow English Words-man Aaron Crane on keyboard and guitar (note: Crane was not in the province at the time of this interview, so his band members drew a picture of him on a piece of Bristol board).
Sister Jack isn’t the only music in these guys’ lives. Kromer just graduated from the music department at UPEI, Murray has a year left in his music degree and almost all of them are music teachers of some kind. “We like to be professional and serious, but we do it in the most relaxed manner possible,” says Greenan. This means they’re all on the same page. “It’s nice to sell CDs to six-year old students,” adds Murray.
That CD he’s referring to is the band’s newly-released full-length Wrong Note Music that includes 11 songs in just under 29 minutes. “There’s that punk element again,” Kromer says, explaining the short songs. The guys agree these under-the-two-minute-mark tunes set them apart from other bands, but unfortunately it did cause one drunk guy at the bar to scream “Was that it!?” after the last note. However, as Greenan points out, the album works for people with short attention spans and “you can go to the liquor store and back and listen to the whole album.”
Right now the guys are working on an under-the-wraps project with another Charlottetown band and hope to tour the Maritimes if all works out. Until then, catch Sister Jack at Hunter’s on September 16 with Raccoon Bandit.