If you’re not obsessed with The Command Sisters yet, then you’re missing out! This musical sister-duo is breaking into the Canadian music industry by storm; with their signature bold red fashion and ambitious personalities, The Command Sisters will have you swaying with their latest single “I Like It.”
From learning about their origins in country music to wondering if there’s ever the typical quarrels between sisters in the studio, we got a chance to catch up with them and ask a few questions that you might be curious about.
So tell us a little bit about your background; how did you first start out in the industry and how did your journey create what the Command Sisters are today?
Sarah: My sister and I started out in country music actually. We grew up in a pretty small town in rural Alberta, which led us to working in Nashville at a young age. For years, we cultivated our sound which is now more alternative! We wanted to keep our story-telling roots we learned from country music, as well as the instrumentation and the guitar solos.
We know your theme consists of lots of red, black, and white; nothing screams bold, sexy, and confident more than this. Can you describe your current music and style personally? What has influenced your current aesthetic?
Sarah: It was a complete accident. In high school I was bullied pretty bad. I ended up dropping out of high school for my own mental health and well-being. During that time I needed a distraction, and focusing on my music career was the best way to get over the trauma I went through in high school. It honestly sounds like a marketing scheme, but music was truthfully the thing that kept me going and motivated to get out of bed. I was pretty shy and quiet in school, so creating an image that was bold (like the colour red) felt like I was breaking out of my shell. It was equally a self-love movement that it was a creation of an image.
What is the creative process of making new music like for you?
Sarah: My sister writes songs non-stop. We’re very yin and yang in that sense. I’ll be working on our social media while she’s in the other room writing songs. With our new single “I Like It” – the creation was like almost any of our other songs. I heard her singing from the other room in our small apartment, and I ran over to her (already in love with the song) and joined in with her. I add my guitar solos and harmonies, and she writes the lyrics. It is always very spontaneous. I joke that she writes songs about my love life.
Charlotte: For me, I write in a lot of different ways. I like to take a couple of weeks to create a note on my phone of lyric ideas, often inspired by poetry, and then try to sit down with a guitar or piano and use those words as inspiration. A lot of the time though, melodies with lyrics spontaneously come to me while I’m vacuuming, or showering, or late at night so I just go with it. Lately, I really love using the GarageBand app on my phone to produce a track to write too! It’s super fun and different as a process. Inspiration comes from a lot of different places for me, like my own life experiences, something from a book or a movie, a current world event, etc. Oh, and my sister’s dating life.
As sisters who are also working together as partners, you’re obviously a tight and close duo. However, are there ever times where both of you have clashed or had different opinions on your work?
Sarah: We get this question all the time! Surprisingly, we are very opposite. This works in our favour as we both handle separate parts of our business. I love that about us. We rarely clash. We only fight if we steal each other’s clothes…
Charlotte: Shockingly, we get along very well! Haha. The only disagreements are sometimes over arrangement, like, I want the song to be shorter and she wants to add an extra bar or something and we just…argue it out.
No career is without bumps along the way. Looking back, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in the past? What advice would you give to your younger selves?
Sarah: Stay true to your vision. I was told no a thousand times every three years. I’m thankful I kept going and kept learning. Oh, and don’t doubt yourself based on your age, gender, sexuality, or skin colour. You have value and if you keep pushing forward you can create the life you want.
Charlotte: I’ve certainly faced feeling like I had to conform to be appreciated or liked in the industry. Now, Sarah and I have an awesome team who don’t want to change us, and want us to keep doing exactly what we do. I feel like I would tell my younger self to forget about people’s opinions and just focus on my own journey.
When you’re not working on new music, what other hobbies do you do in your spare time?
Sarah: My sister is very artsy. She spends all her time songwriting, drawing, creating, etc. I’ve always been the tomboy in the family. I love working out, watching hockey, playing soccer, and long boarding.
Your latest single “I Like It” just came out; can you talk a bit about it? What was the creative process like? What inspired it?
Charlotte: The creative process for “I Like It” was super spontaneous. I was listening to a lot of old rock and grunge music at the time, and I think that was seeping into the way I wrote songs. I started playing these slow, sexy guitar chords and immediately began singing this melody. Sarah freaked out and was like, “YO, that’s SO cool, you gotta finish that.” I was inspired by a crazy relationship my sis had been in and some feelings I had experienced myself…where you’re falling for someone you know might not be right for you, but you keep going anyways because the emotions are so intense. I really wanted to convey that experience in this song.
Obviously with the COVID-19 pandemic happening, it has affected everyone in one way or another. How are you coping with it?
Sarah: Initially, like everyone else, it was devastating. We were originally supposed to be in NYC releasing our debut single to radio and all of that got put on pause. But we’ve been trying to make the most out of it. We ended up recording our first debut music video on our iPhone which to-date has reached 145,000 views on our VEVO account, which is INSANE to us. If anything, this time has taught artists to think outside of the box and to be creative at home.
Charlotte: I’m a homebody and kinda anti-social by nature (haha) so I’m coping okay with that side of it; just kinda bummed about there not being any live music any time soon. Watching videos of concerts, writing, being outside a lot has helped me stay sane.
There’s a bit of a gap between the American music industry compared to the Canadian music industry. As Canadian artists, what kind of change would you like to see in the future?
Sarah: I’d love to see more Canadian artists be recognized. Specifically more artists of colour, Indiginous musicians, and women in rock/country. There is so much beautiful and talented diversity in Canada that deserves to be recognized. 2020 is the time.
What are your aspiring goals for the upcoming future?
Sarah: Because of my experience in high school, my personal goal is to use my connections to help lower the suicide rate of kids being bullied in Canada (while creating the music that I love).
Charlotte: Obviously with touring taking a huge backseat due to the pandemic right now, we may not be performing for a bit. On the other side of things, I just want to keep writing, recording and releasing music!! I also align with my sister in her beautiful passion for mental health awareness and anti-bullying, etc.
Are there any artists that you dream of collaborating with one day?
Sarah: Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Hall and Oates, or The 1975.
Charlotte: SIA. I would LOVE to write with her!!! Also Billie and her brother Finneas would be insane. Oh, and Lana Del Rey of course.
Any more singles, albums or shows coming out in the near future that fans can expect?
We have a debut EP which was created with Tim Pagnotta (Weezer, Blink 182, Walk The Moon) that we are so excited to share. With this album will come visuals that we’ve had a lot of fun creating. We can’t wait to share!
A motto or some words of advice you can give us?
Hey, if two girls from Spruce Grove, Alberta (one home-schooled and the other a high school dropout) can get a major record deal and release music to radio, you can do anything. Forget the haters, focus on your craft, and keep going. If you believe in yourself and work hard, I truly believe you can do almost anything you set your mind to.