Hollywood & Whimsy

Los Angeles sextet He’s My Brother She’s My Sister is no stranger to the stage. Indeed, two of the band’s performers own a successful theatre company in Los Angeles, while two others are Hollywood actors (in fact, you might recognize cellist Satya Bhabba from his role as villain Matthew Patel in 2010’ “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”). Upon experiencing the band’s live show, this dramatic background should come as no surprise, as He’s My Brother She’s My Sister attempts to make each performance a theatrical experience that transcends the boundaries of an ordinary concert.

Lead singer and songwriter Rober Kolar took the time this week to speak with the Guardian over email about the band’s upcoming show, its aesthetic influences and the unrelenting theatrical quality of its live performances.

“I think it helps us appreciate showmanship and putting on a performance that can engage and hopefully sweep the audience away,” Kolar said. “Most audiences gravitate towards our live energy and instrumentation.  Plus we experiment live and throw in a spontaneous flair.” 

The band generally performs in whimsical costume, and the lineup includes a tap dancer who uses her shoes to emulate hi-hat and snare drums. 

“We are always exploring new ground with attire and various patterns, hats, make up, dress, stripes, glitter and beyond,” Kolar said. 

Indeed, the band feels that “most bands who dress in t-shirts and jeans [are] living in a rigidly defined aesthetic space,” a sort of creative stagnation that He’s My Brother She’s My Sister avoids through rigorous aesthetic reinterpretation.

On the musical side, the band draws from a compelling list of influences. Referencing diverse artists such as T. Rex, The Everly Brothers, Howlin’ Wolf and early David Bowie, Kolar acknowledges that such musicians have “really shaped my end of the musical stylings of the band.”

Kolar also feels influenced by Los Angeles, the band’s home. 

“Any environment can have its influence,” Kolar said. “And certainly California makes its mark on us artistically. Traveling through the south, east, deserts, mountains and swamps have had a significant impact on us as well.”

The band is particularly excited about its upcoming debut LP (set for release on Pledge Music this spring), produced by Thom Monahan, who has worked with Vetiver and Devendra Banhart in the past. 

“The music out at the moment doesn’t quite capture the energy and instrumentation of the current lineup,” Kolar said. “This new record definitely feels like a proper introduction to our sound.”

He’s My Brother She’s My Sister will bring its brand of flamboyant vaudeville folk to the Loft’s stage this Thursday, Feb. 3. The show begins at 9 p.m. and costs $8 for UCSD students.