Girlie Vintage Style: An Interview with Sherri Dupree-Bemis of Eisley
When I met Sherri Dupree-Bemis, she was Sherri Dupree, and she was rocking a hoodie, jeans and a t-shirt. As of late, the new mom and singer/guitarist of the band Eisley has been known for her ever-changing hair color and girlie dresses. If you haven’t heard of Eisley, I’m sure you will soon. Touring since they were kids, the 3 sisters (Sherri, Chauntelle Dupree-D’agostino & Stacy Dupree-King, also of the band Sucre), 1 brother (Weston Dupree) and a cousin (Garron Dupree) have toured with everyone from MuteMath to Coldplay. They have a distinct style, which some would consider melodic whimsical rock. With the release of the indie band’s 4th full-length album, Currents, on Equal Vision Records, Sherri took the time to answer a few questions about how life has changed since becoming a wife and mother (she’s married to Max Bemis, lead singer of Say Anything, and just became mom to baby Lucy on February 11th), and to describe her style evolution.
How do you describe your style?
I definitely feel most comfortable when I can wear a cute dress! If it’s girlie and vintage (or has a vintage style feel), then all the better! I totally love fun patterns and quirky prints more than solids and florals and I am also totally useless when it comes to heels! So unless it’s for a photo shoot or video for the band, all I need on my feet are either a pair of Converse or Minnetonka’s Firebird Moccasins. If I do wear pants, it’s a pair of jeans and a good ol’ soft t-shirt. And I always have weird colored hair. I guess you could say my style is “No Fuss Girlie-Vintage with a Little Bit of Rock n’ Roll”.
When I met you, you were wearing a t-shirt, hoodie and jeans. Now, I see you wearing a lot of pink, girlie dresses and, oh, more pink. When did your style change and why?
Haha! Yep…sounds exactly how I just described myself! I think it just evolved naturally like all girls’ style do as they kind of start figuring out who they are and what items to wear that help portray that person to the world. I always loved thrifting clothes and my parents have always collected neat vintage things for our home, so I think that’s where my love for the vintage style started. And I’ve always been a girlie-girl at heart. I still collect dolls and my husband and I painted our 1930s house pink! (My idea, of course. It looks like a doll house!)
You color your hair, trying different things, including pink, purple and even blue. What do you use to color your hair and how often do you like to change it up?
I’m obsessed with changing my hair color. It’s sick. I have been since I was about 13 and I loved it so much and never had the money to get it done when I was younger so I just started coloring and cutting it myself and never looked back! My favorite hair stain I’ve found is a vegan brand called Special Effects…it just works really good and has a long staying power on my hair and they have a ton of great colors. The longest I stay with one color is if it’s pink…second would be blue. I’ve tried going back to natural hair colors, but they only last about 2 weeks before I’m getting the bleach back out.
There’s a common theme on HelloGiggles about getting your nails done. But I know that you are a frequent nail biter – and, hello, a guitarist! Have you ever had your nails done and is that even something you care about?
Someone paid to have them done for me once as a gift and it was really sweet, but because I’m a horrible nail biter, they put fake nail tips on and it felt so weird. I ended up tearing them off the next day because I could hardly function with them. But it’s probably for the best since I do play guitar (and am also a mom now) so I’d have to keep them short, anyways.
I’ve been a fan for almost 10 years now. I’ve seen the evolution of the band, both musically and lyrically. Describe the new album. How different or similar is it to The Valley, Eisley’s last full-length album?
I’m so excited about it! It’s the first record we’ve done all on our own. By that I mean we built a studio out of mine and my husband’s garage apartment and recorded it all right there this past summer. We didn’t hire a producer this time and I think it was very freeing for us as a band to get our foot hold in who we are again and really define what we wanted to sound like after years of being on major labels and using big-name producers (we’re now on Equal Vision Records after being dropped by Warner Bros. when they were chopping out a ton of their bands). I think you can hear our renewed passion in the songs. They are my favorite songs we’ve ever written. It’s very classic Eisley sounding but less poppy than our previous records (major labels like to push the pop-sound, but EVR is amazing and loves our band for who we want to be so they don’t push us in any direction musically). It’s still extremely melodic with catching melodies and hooks and the lyrics are more whimsical and less-straight forward on this record.
Congratulations on little Lucy Jean Bemis! Do you think touring is going to be difficult now that you have a baby?
I’m sure it’ll add a new element of craziness but I just see it as one great big fantastic adventure that I now get to share with my daughter. I’m so excited to show her the world and see it through her eyes! I think traveling a lot as a kid can really help you learn just to “roll with it” and not stress over all the small stuff…It definitely helped me learn that and it’s been super helpful as an adult.
Has motherhood changed your style at all?
The only thing it’s changed right now is the fact that I have to find things I can easily nurse in! So that means scouring the stores/web for dresses with buttons and zippers in the front. Easy access!! Since I almost have a uniform of dress, Chuck Taylors or moccasins It really hasn’t left me running out of the house in sweats yet…but she’s still only 5 weeks old. By the time she’s a toddler, I may find myself running out of the house before I even realize that I’m not wearing ANY pants… but we’ll just pray the world is spared ever seeing THAT sight.
Currents on Equal Vision Records will be released May 28th, 2013