Interview: Sibling

Written by Daniel Rourke

While Hindsights calling it a day sent the UK emo community into despair and confusion, the return of Benio Baumgart and his new band Sibling somewhat eased the blow. Following Sibling's successful debut 'Miserable Love,' the band have announced their follow-up 'Dream You Away.' We caught up with Baumgart to discuss his new band and their upcoming EP.

Burn After Writing: You recently announced your second EP 'Dream You Away' as well as debuting the EP’s lead single Love/Sick, what can you tell us about that?

Benio Baumgart: It’s really just what we thought was the most appropriate song to release for this EP. In three and a half minutes it gives the whole spectrum of what the EP is about and where we are trying to go musically with it. It might be a bit more on the pop side, but we all like that.

BAW: The EP is said to be about breaking out of an abusive relationship, would you mind telling us a little about that?

BB: Without getting too personal, it’s about when you get stuck in a cycle with somebody who isn’t necessarily treating you right and you get to the point where you’re going to blow. The EP is about that process and the ending of that relationship, it's about the realisation that it’s not good for yourself.

BAW: As you mentioned Love/Sick is extremely pop-centric, whereas the lyrical content sounds like it’s the complete opposite…

BB:  They don’t really go hand-in-hand, do they? [laughs]

BAW: Exactly!

Does that theme carry on throughout the EP or will there be a mixture of sounds?

BB: I think we definitely show our influences, they’re a lot more obvious with this EP. We don’t try to dumb anything down, we just go for it. The next single we’ll be releasing is quite a quiet one compared to the rest of the EP, it’ll show the listeners that we can do other things rather than just loud pop-rock music.

BAW: You’ve also announced you’ve signed to Close To Home Records who have worked with the likes of Walleater, Leatherneck and so on. Are you looking forward to working with them?

BB: I’ve been in contact with Joe who runs Close To Home since my old band started, so since I was about eighteen. He asked my old band to be on compilations and it just felt right; when you know something is right you feel it. We had an email exchange going and we thought it was the most appropriate thing for both parties, he’s our mate and it was going to be mutually beneficial, that’s it really.

BAW: During your time in Hindsights you were the guitarist and vocalist, then you simply took on the role of lead vocals. What’s the setup with Sibling?

BB: Currently we’re a three-piece, but live we play as a five-piece with three guitars, drums as well as the singing. We are working on getting two more full-time members to come and write with us, I think that would make things more interesting as we’d be putting more people and more influences into a group of people that already have so many influences. I think it’d be amazing and trying to find a sound that is specific to Sibling is going to be really interesting.

BAW: Mentioning Hindsights, as far as we are aware, one of the reasons the band broke up was because you were having some issues with your throat. How’s things with that?
BB: That’s the first I’ve heard of it! [laughs]

I was really struggling with tonsillitis on the final tour we did, I come down with it about two or three times a year. It just peaked during that tour, it was a real struggle, but in terms of my vocals now, I think they’re stronger than ever. I had rest from singing live and I feel even more comfortable with it than ever, I’m able to flex my vocal range with Sibling.

BAW: When Hindsights called it a day it was rather out of the blue and somewhat of a surprise given you’d built yourself a decent following. How has it been starting over from scratch again?

BB: I’d been working on a project anyway, so it kind of overlapped seamlessly. Me and the Hindsights boys put a lot of work into what we did and it was sad to call it a day, but it just spurred me on to do Sibling rather than putting me down.

It’s difficult starting again, but it’s the same with everything, you’re gonna try and find your feet. We’re still trying to find our sound and make our mark.

BAW: Finally, what comes after the EP?

BB: We want to tour, we want to tour our two EP’s and we’ve got a few plans in the works to do so. We want to tour the country and Europe, but we’ll see what happens, that’s probably the best way to deal with it.

*The interview was conducted before the release of 'Dream You Away' and the announcement of Sibling becoming a five-piece.