By Brad Lopez
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
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Rather than leave the nest, Eisley keyboardist/vocalist Stacy DuPree takes it with her.
Along with bassist/pal Jon Wilson, Stacy's bandmates include three siblings -- lead warbler/guitarist Sherri DuPree, guitarist Chauntelle DuPree and drummer Weston DuPree -- who travel under the supervision of tour manager Boyd DuPree, their father. That's a recipe for irritation, Danny Bonaduce style, but if Stacy's relations cause her to grind her teeth at times, she never lets the smile slip. She acknowledges that Boyd is a "show-must-go-on dad" who's unlikely to let Sherri skip an upcoming gig despite a cold that's wreaking havoc on her voice, and jokes that her singing sis is "a little more bratty" than she is. In her next breath, however, she says she and Sherri are so close that "we're kind of the same person," and insists that the collected DuPrees "are all best friends.
"It's great being with all these people you know so well," she enthuses. "It's comforting."
The same can be said of Room Noises, Eisley's 2005 debut long-player. Tunes such as "Lost at Sea" are exceedingly lush and tuneful -- so much so that potential complaints about the high sugar content of lines like "The sun is beautiful/And it is warming you and I" (from "One Day I Slowly Floated Away") are carried off on a tide of hooks and harmonies. This sonic combination is so mesmerizing that Eisley concert attendees are as apt to fall into a reverie as they are to rock out.
"It's almost like they're in this funny kind of inquisitive trance throughout our whole show," Stacy confirms. "They'll clap, but they're very in tune to everything that's going on. By now I'm over it, but it used to make me very nervous, because they were watching everything we did. Everything."
Those eyeballing the quintet represent a broad demographic, as the webmasters at the act's Internet site, Eisley.com, recently discovered. They conducted a survey in which they asked visitors their age, and although most respondents were in their early twenties or younger, many were decades older. Far from finding that vaguely creepy, Stacy celebrates such interest. "You wouldn't think somebody at that place in their life would be going to a rock show," she allows. "It makes you feel special to think that there's something about your band that brought them there."
One possible explanation is Eisley's love of the pop masters. "Maybe I'm a music snob, but nothing catches my attention like an old Beatles record," Stacy concedes. "Besides the overall big guys, like Radiohead and Coldplay and Björk, I don't listen to any new bands, because I can't stomach it."
This declaration has the potential to cause a family rift, since Sherri recently got engaged to Chad Gilbert, guitarist for just such a group, New Found Glory; Gilbert proposed at the Hollywood premiere of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Sherri's favorite book. But Stacy makes a quick recovery. "New Found Glory's next record is probably going to be one of my favorite records of the year," she says.
Nice save, Stacy. Looks like you can stay in the nest.