Work in Progress | Eisley Takes It One Step at a Time

We’ve got a lot to learn, but it’s important that we do this on our own terms.

 

 

Eisley’s major-label debut Room Noises arrived in the fall of 2005 to relatively little fanfare.

For the quintet of Lone Star State–reared DuPrees—guitarist/vocalist Sherri, keyboardist Stacy, guitarist Chauntelle, drummer Weston, and bassist Garron—the relative lack of hype wasn’t troubling but rather the way they’ve always handled their peculiar, intoxicating blend of heavenly harmonies fluttering through gritty, emotionally charged pop songs.

“[Room Noises] sort of developed how we wanted it to,” said Chauntelle recently from the DuPree compound in Tyler, Texas. “When we got signed to Warner Bros., we told them we wanted to develop as an indie band would. We wanted to build a fan base that was solid… We were pretty happy with the way that they did it.

“Warner Bros. has been really good to us from the beginning; it’s kind of a rare thing for a band to say about their label, because [bands] usually hate them, but we don’t.”

Content to take the music business as it comes, rather than jump in with both feet (the DuPrees are still managed by their father, Boyd), one could make the argument that the DuPrees are but mere babes in the woods. Chauntelle even readily admits that while Eisley has landed the major label contract, they have by no means figured out all the angles.

“We’re still learning,” Chauntelle said. “We have a lot to learn but it’s important that we do this on our own terms.”

Still learning, perhaps, but spin Room Noises and realize that beneath the seeming naïveté and wide-eyed wonder are intensely gifted writers who can spin out slick, alt-country–flavored songs such as “Golly Sandra” or “Telescope Eyes” without breaking a sweat.

But far be it for Eisley (nee Moss Eisley, their pre-fame name, changed to avoid entanglements with a certain keeper of the Star Wars kingdom) to slap a pat label upon their wares.

“It’s just a mixture of stuff,” said Chauntelle. “If you’re going to say one thing, I would say eclectic light-rock; it’s real ethereal but it’s also got this pop sense about it—I guess pop in that it’s really catchy, a sticks-in-your-head kind of thing.”

Aside from treading carefully amid the complexities of being in the big-leagues—the quintet is still shopping for a producer for its sophomore record and hopes to have it recorded by year’s end—Eisley is also a group very much cognizant of its passionate fan base; Google Eisley fans (a not-too-shabby 345,000 hits, give or take) and you’ll understand why the DuPrees don’t take any publicity lightly.

“It’s really unbelievable how people are just so supportive of us and it always surprises us,” Chauntelle said. “We’re all really into making sure people understand that we’re not big rock stars and [that we] treat people with respect and see fans after shows. I think because of that, we have a closer relationship with our fans.

“We wouldn’t be anywhere without ’em.”

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