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Sweden's Sister Sin draws selectively from '80s metal

Sister Sin.jpg

The drummer stool for Counting Crows has seen its share of players, while second guitarists have come and gone for The Black Crowes.

Sister Sin can relate to that kind of turnover: The Swedish hard-rock act just can’t seem to put its “bassist wanted” sign away for very long.

When bassist Chris Martensson left the group in 2008, Sister Sin singer Liv Jagrell‘s boyfriend, known simply as Ricky, filled in on an interim basis.
Martensson was officially replaced Benton Wiberg, but he has since left the band, too.

“It was a bit of a surprise,” Jagrell says of Wiberg’s departure. “He fit the band well. But he had a job and a [new] baby at home, and he couldn’t quit his job [to tour with us].”

With his regular band, Babylon Bombs, having a little bit of downtime, Ricky has temporarily returned to the Sister Sin fold – just in time for U.S. tour dates to support True Sound of the Underground, available now through Victory Records.

Not being able to lock down the bass slot has been draining for Jagrell, guitarist Jimmy Hiltula and drummer Dave Sundberg.

“You lose a little bit of hope each time,” Jagrell says. “But me, Jimmy and Dave are so close. We’ve been together for quite a long time, and we feel like we’re a family, so we know that we will keep on going until we find the right person who fits our family. We’re the core of the band – we just need to find the right bass player.”

Their search continues, but meanwhile, the core is committed to playing simple, straight-ahead hard rock/metal. And while Jagrell admits her band has drawn inspiration from what came out of the 1980s, what Sister Sin is doing is nothing like that of full-fledged revivalists Steel Panther.

“I like Steel Panther; I think they’re hilarious,” admits Jagrell. “They’re taking it over the top, so it’s not offensive to me. Our music is not like their kind of ’80s-style. I think it’s a little more timeless, and we don’t do the whole spandex-and-hairspray thing.”

Adds Sundberg, “I think it’s important to bring back that type of music, but do it with an up-to-date sound and attitude. I think kids need to hear that as an option to everything else that’s been going on for the last 10 years.”

— By Chris M. Junior

Sister Sin on tour (schedule subject to change):

* July 31: Fillmore at Irving Plaza — New York
* Aug. 1: The Crazy Donkey — Farmingdale, N.Y.
* Aug. 2: Eleanor Rigby’s — Jermyn, Pa.
* Aug. 3: House of Blues — Cleveland
* Aug. 4: Scatz Nightclub — Middleton, Wis.
* Aug. 6: Club Vegas — Salt Lake City
* Aug. 8: Tower Theater — Fresno, Calif.
* Aug. 11: Studio 7 — Seattle
* Aug. 12: Dante’s — Portland, Ore.
* Aug. 13: Last Day Saloon — Santa Rosa, Calif.
* Aug. 14: Pepperbellys — Fairfield, Calif.
* Aug. 15: The Avalon — Santa Clara, Calif.