SIG SALI Interview

by the partae

Photo Credit: Charles Dean

Where are you currently based?

SIG SALI – Bristol, UK.

Natassa Zoë – Sydney, Australia.

What’s been happening recently?

Danny: It’s been a really productive year. I built a studio and haven’t stopped making music since. Imogen and I brought our friend Tommy on board to write with us and it’s going really well. We’re planning some gigs and have plenty more music on its way!

How did SIG SALI form and why did you start?

Danny: SIG SALI originally formed as a sibling project between myself and Natassa Zoë and friend Imogen Chapman. We started the project sending each other files between England and Australia during covid and took our name from Sigsaly, a communication system used in the second world war. When we were able to travel again Natassa came back home to Bristol and that’s when the writing process really started to take off. We had our own bands at the time and SIG SALI was a side project that we both wanted to play around with and now it’s become my main focus.

Your latest single ‘Pillow Thoughts’ is out now on September 22, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

Danny: The songwriting was definitely influenced by a situation Natassa was going through with someone at that time, so we are thanking them for the gift right now. I pretty much had a blank mind when I started to put the track together, but once the bass synth and drums were down I remember knowing exactly how I wanted the rest of the song to sound, so I guess that was the main influence behind the sound. 

How did you go about writing Pillow Thoughts?

Natassa: We wrote Pillow Thoughts in August 2022. I had a couple of very big shows coming up and I was going through a tough time with a person I was seeing, so Dan decided to jump on a plane and come and support me here in Sydney. While he was here we wrote Pillow Thoughts together. We didn’t really have an intention of sitting down and writing it, I can remember coming home after a run and just hearing these really deep, bassy, drum beats from outside the front door and as soon as I walked in I just started writing. I guess I didn’t really ask for permission, which is one of the awesome things about working with my brother. 

I went off into my room and wrote the lyrics and melody and came back with a couple of ideas for the guitar and we quickly popped it all down. I guess the lyrics came easy for me as it was reflective of the situation I was going through with someone.

The track then just sat on Dan’s laptop for a bit while I was on tour and then when I went back home to the UK in June this year we put the vocals down with Imogen in his studio. 

Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?

Natassa: We recorded the song in Sydney, Australia and Bristol, UK. Danny produced the track and Klaus Hill mixed and mastered it for us. 

How did you approach the recording process?

Danny: It was different. Usually after getting the basics down I’d find myself thinking “this sounds like X” or “this bit sounds like Y” then kind of vibe off that and make it our own. Pillow Thoughts was just its own thing from the start. The song came together quickly, but the recording took a while to get everything sounding exactly how we wanted it. 

How did you come to work with Natassa Zoe for this single and how was the experience?

Danny: We had previously worked together on a song called ‘Reasons’ and as Natassa mentioned, ‘Pillow Thoughts’ came together while I was visiting her in Sydney. The experience was like no other. I mean, studios in the British countryside with lush surroundings and amazing facilities are great, but you can’t just run downstairs and jump in the ocean during a ten minute break. It was literally that. 

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Danny: I’m listening to a lot of dance stuff at the moment. Kavinsky, Jon Hopkins, Bicep. Also on my playlist right now is Bleachers, Maggie Rogers and as always, The National. 

Natassa: I’m listening to so much of Wolf Alice and the latest Yeah Yeah Yeahs album. 

What’s planned for the remainder of 2023?

Danny: Hopefully another SIG SALI banger before the year’s out. I’m keeping myself busy writing with a few songwriters/producers for a creative publishing company which is really fun!

Natassa: I’m in the process of writing some tracks that Danny is helping to produce and back in the studio later this year with my band Dande and The Lion for some more recording. 

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Danny: Well I actually went on a mad burger binge back in Sydney and haven’t stopped burgerin’ since. I think I had like nine in two weeks. Still alive. Natassa, what was that place called where it was really dark, red lit, writing on the walls? The burgers there were outrageously good. 

Natassa: So Dan is referring to Mary’s Newtown and I’m vegetarian so it was interesting watching him vibe out on some chunky meat. Glad he had a good time though. 

I’m into Thai food and Mediterranean at the moment, and places to hang out when I’m not gigging would probably be in the ocean or in nature somewhere with a few trees. 


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