Arts & Entertainment

Sick of Sarah don't mind proving they can rock

Abisha Uhl is living anything but a bittersweet life.

Raised in Japan, Uhl grew up wishing she could come to the states to be a famous entertainer.

"It was like Fievel Goes West," Uhl said. "I was living on an island and I wanted to be in the entertainment business, but never really got the chance to do that. I had American influences living in Japan, but my drive came from feeling isolated on an island."

Uhl fronts the indie rock group Sick of Sarah, whose first video Bittersweet was shown on the credits of E! News this month. The all-female group from Minneapolis is heading to the Tri-Cities for an 8 p.m. show June 8 at The Red Room, 711 Vineyard Drive in Kennewick.

The band was originally called Sparkle Motion, a nod to the film Donnie Darko, until Uhl's then roommate Sarah mentioned how she disliked her name and was "Sick of Sarah."

The group met through random encounters in 2004, and formed in 2005. One day Uhl heard guitarist/vocalist Katie Murphy and was blown away. Uhl's friend Sarah was dating drummer Brooke Svanes, and met guitarist/vocalist Jessie Farmer through mutual friends. The band added bassist/vocalist Jamie Holm last year.

Since then, Sick of Sarah was signed to Adamant Records, an indie label that helped release their self-titled album last August. On May 20, the album dropped in Japan with interviews and reviews in Elle Girl Japan, Harper's Bizarre and other publications.

"It's really cool that's going on and we have some stuff coming up in the next few months," Uhl said. "All the stuff that's already happened to us leads from one thing leads to another leads to another."

Still, being an all-female group sometimes means dispelling the stereotype that women can't rock as hard as men.

"Girl bands get stereotyped and we fit right into that category," Uhl said. "Usually after the person made the judgment and see us play, they say 'Oh you're really good.' People usually have low expectations and afterwards we get a good result. It feels good to just kind of prove ourselves."

The band has gotten close with fellow tour-mates Von Iva, another all-female group.

"It's awesome to see other talented female musicians going and pursuing what you are, and see other bands that are inspiring," she said.

The groups' influences include Alkaline Trio, Tegan and Sara, No Doubt, Depeche Mode and Weezer.

"Since we just toured with Von Iva, we've been rocking out to their CD," Uhl said. "It grew on us like crazy. Another local band that we like is The Melismatics. We went on tour with them a few months back."

The group plans to tourEastern states again after this one wraps up. Uhl hopes to constantly be writing and touring.

"That's what everyone's gotta do to build a fan base," she said. "And part of our charm is actually seeing people and socializing with them. The music is great, but we're fun people and we like to have fun on stage and we want to have people feel the same as us."

Nonstop touring has taken its toll on their sanity, resulting in many games of I Spy. Still, the women of Sick of Sarah have had some down time and even got to meet Donnie Darko producer Nancy Juvonen and explain how her movie inspired their former band name.

"Jessie spoke to Nancy who produced it," Uhl said. "Jessie was there and I was somewhere else. I got to meet Kirsten Dunst and tell her that Bring it On was one of my favorite movies."

In a way, Sick of Sarah is an oxymoron. They have that fresh sound that the entertainment industry is always searching for, yet the group manages to retain a sort of retro feel.

"We appreciate and love seeing fans out at shows and we want to thank everyone for listening to our music and taking the time to support us," Uhl said. "We do appreciate it more than anything and we're definitely going to be touring more and mostly just want to meet everyone. Come out and have a good time."

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. For more information, go to or

*Bethany Lee: 582-1465;