[RH Interview] Sandra Vu of SISU


Transitions aren’t easy. For some, change comes easy and they slide into the new routine, for others it’s a bit more difficult to adjust. Sandy Vu of the Los Angeles-based band Dum Dum Girls falls somewhere between the former and latter. Vu, who entered the scene as the drummer for Dee Dee Penny’s all-female project steps out from behind the drum set on a new venture of her own, SISU. Where she was a moving part in the Dum Dum Girls, Vu is free to creatively express herself with the new band, moving about from on instrument to another and crafting a sound that is wholly hers. The transition hasn’t been an easy one though. As anyone with a lot on their plate can attest to, starting a new band while in another is no easy task. I caught up with Sandy, who plays The Empty Bottle in Chicago tomorrow night, as she was just getting out on tour with Dirty Beaches in support of her upcoming album, Blood Tears, out on Mono Prism September 17th.

Jake: Tell me a bit about the tour and opening for Dirty Beaches.

Sandy: We have been super excited to play with Dirty Beaches, I met him about two years ago now when Dum Dum Girls did a tour with him and it’s just going to be special because we’re all family at this point. Their tout manager is our good friend and stuff so it’s kind of like a big reunion party.

Jake: What was the transition like coming from the Dum Dum Girls?

Sandy:  The Dum Dum Girls have been in town rehearsing and learning the new songs for the new record and we’re doing rehearsals for the tour for SISU, so if I didn’t have anything else to do and I just had to go to these rehearsals it wouldn’t be that bad but my days are just stacked with things I needed to do to get ready for the tour. Switching gears is not hard, it’s maybe a little bit stressful learning a lot of new material in a short amount of time. Going from Dum Dum Girls to SISU, in itself, isn’t that big of a deal to me.

Jake: Do you ever find yourself at a Dum Dum Girls rehearsal accidentally playing a SISU song?

Sandy: No (laughs), I think it occupies two totally different areas of my brain to just play drums compared to leading the band so it feels so different. In Dum Dum Girls it’s like I kind of turn off my brain a little bit. That band is set up so I just learn all of the songs and just play them (laughs).

Jake Krzeczowski

Jake Krzeczowski is a writer based in Chicago. Since graduating from the University of Iowa in 2012 he has written for the likes of The Chicago Sun Times, Complex Magazine, and Elevator Magazine.

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