I fell in love with lo-fi indie shoegazers SNEAKPEEK last year after hearing demos on their bandcamp. I interviewed frontwoman Dora Hiller, chatting about Gunne Sax, Gibson Girls, French New Wave and more. Since last we spoke, SNEAKPEEK have released their debut album, 9-tracks of dreamy noise pop and made a film clip.
A recent feature on the L.A. Times’ site commented on your debut self-titled album saying it “offers up heavy, druggy guitar riffs that’d make Kurt Vile (or Lou Reed) proud.” What are your thoughts/feelings on this statement?
SNEAKPEEK: It is flattering to be compared to Kurt and Lou. It would be cool to make those guys proud.
How do you feel about the new record?
S: We feel it represents us well. People that know us personally say it sounds like us.
What’s your favourite thing about it?
S: We produced, recorded and released it ourselves.
Tell us about the recording process/experience of making the album.
S: The album was recorded in more than three different places but with all the same mics, pre-amps and compressors. We had really good pre-amps and compressors so we just turned the nobs til it sounded good.
What helps SNEAKPEEK get through a long day in the studio?
S: Good California craft beer.
What are the ingredients that you feel are key to the Sneakpeek sound?
S: Good lyrics, melodies, our collective personalities and the effects we add to the mix.
The new album’s art is by Ariana Papademetropolous; how did you guys come to work together? Was there a brief for the cover or did you just let Ariana go for it?
DORA HILLER (vocalist/bassist): Besides the fact that Ariana is an incredible visual artist, she and I have been best friends since high school. Our song Through the Looking Glass is inspired by some of our crazy times together. It felt appropriate to have Ariana’s art involved so we brainstormed and chose a huge pencil drawing she made of a séance with added elements of space and other weird things. We feel like it captures the vibe of the record as a whole. Aric loves pencils.
SNEAKPEEK have made their first music video! Tell us about it. Who filmed it? Where was it made? etc. How did you decide what song to make the clip for?
S: We filmed it at our house and surrounding Echo Park. We allowed the director Sur Realismo to choose the song.
Growing up did you guys get into MTV at all? What are some of your favourite music videos?
S: Aric used to tape MTV videos to VHS in the 90s. A couple highlights were Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden and Waterfalls by TLC.
I found a SNEAKPEEK x Tashaki Miyaki jam online a few months back and I know you guys play house party shows together (Dora appeared with them at SXSW this year too); would you say that you guys are kindred spirits?
DH: Yes, we are friends and I play bass and sing in Tashaki Miyaki. We recently went on tour and opened for Florence and the Machine.
Since last we spoke (other than recording your record) what else has SNEAKPEEK been up to?
S: Playing shows and writing songs. We hope to start recording our next record soon.
In your experience, what’s some of the biggest challenges that face independent bands right now?
S: There’s more bands than fans.
What’s next for SNEAKPEEK?
S: Let me check my horoscope.
SNEAKPEEK and Sister Ruby Band play the Echo in Los Angeles on Wednesday 5th Sepetember.
*Photo credit: 1 – John Michael Ferrer / 2 – Jean-Claude Photo