Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles said they are “hilarious and wild” with a charisma and chemistry she found to be “utterly charming,” and Nancy Wilson of the legendary rock band Heart called them “the real deal”: they are Sick of Sarah from Minneapolis and they’re coming to headline Ferndale Pride June 4. “It’s the most amazing feeling,” said SOS’s Abisha Uhl, who plays guitar and sings lead vocals, of the praise from Hoffs and Wilson. “We look up to these women so much and to have them support us is just an amazing feeling. It’s really hard to describe.”
Jessica Forsythe, who plays drums and sings backing vocals, concurred.
“These are ladies who have paved the way for female musicians to do what we do and we definitely respect them for that,” she said.
Founded in 2005 by Uhl, the band has gone through several personnel changes since then. Most noticeably, they recently switched from an all-female band and added a couple of guys to round out their sound.
“It’s evolved quite a bit,” said Uhl. “In the beginning we just didn’t know what the hell we were doing. We had a little something going, but from when we first started we’re a lot, lot better. Musically, we’ve evolved quite a bit. You want to keep up with the times. You don’t want to stay the same.”
Forsythe joined the band in 2010.
“I came from more of a business background,” she said. “I think we’ve all kind of learned through the years that loving and embracing our talents with music is super important. But just as much with the industry and how it has changed, having some idea of what’s going on with the business changes is equally important.”
After recording with Adamant Records for several years, Sick of Sarah released an EP last year, called “Anthem,” on their own.
“We decided two or three years ago to part ways with our label and management head that we’ve worked with a long time,” said Forsythe. “We just wanted to try it and go in a different direction. I think, for us, we wanted to have control of the songs and the production on the songs and we never had that before.”
The goal, said Uhl, is “to be financially stable and continue doing what we’re doing. We’re not out seeking riches but, hell, that would be nice. We really just want to continue playing music and traveling and reaching out to everybody in every spot in the world who wants to hear us play live. We’d love to have our music distributed more on television. But I think the goal is just to continue playing music and be financially stable.”
For now, both Uhl and Forsythe play jack of all trades and juggle many interesting jobs when they’re not in the studio or on the road. “We have normal jobs,” Forsythe said. “We pick up work wherever we can. But this is what we love to do, so we make it happen.
“It’s been a hard few years embracing all the changes we’ve gone through,” Forsythe continued. “It just hasn’t been an easy change for us, so that’s been the number one question on our minds. What does the future hold? We know we want to continue on and continue to write music for our fans and for us. But it all just kind of depends. What’s meant to be is going to be. But right now we’re still just struggling, straggling musicians.”
Fans will be pleased to know that despite the struggle, the band is in the studio working on new music. Perhaps the group will preview a few selections when they hit the stage at Ferndale Pride.
“We tend to get a lot of new fans that way,” Uhl said of playing Prides and outdoor summer festivals. “It’s just great to meet new people.”
Forsythe said the band has a lot of love for their gay fans.
“We’re very big supporters of the LGBT community, and it’s great to be a part of it and bring something to the festival,” she said. “It’s our first time at Ferndale Pride so we’re interested to see what it’s all about.”