Kid Sistr, Everyone’s Dream Older Sisters – A BUST Interview

by Maya Olson

An all-women indie-rock band is gliding through genres and capturing the best of different eras to create their own signature sound. BUST chatted with Kid Sistr to discuss their latest tour, their inspiration, and the musical universe they’ve built.

Kid Sistr consists of Becca Webster on drums, Sabel on guitar and vocals, and Sara Keden on bass and vocals. Sara and Becca met as children while playing music together at an after-school program. Later while at the University of Miami, Sara met Sabel and the two booked a hometown show with Becca. Immediately, they realized they had found something special and continued to book hometown shows during college breaks.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kid Sistr took to TikTok where they performed covers of songs and gained a cult following.

“Around that time we started using social media as a tool to reach more people… We were posting on TikTok funny short clips, and we did this series covering songs from movies that we really liked… to show our personalities,” Becca said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, they released their first original songs together. Their lighthearted and welcoming personality as a band continues to shine both on social media and on the road; they distinguish themselves by giving away friendship bracelets with phrases like “ur mom” on them to fans. Taking fan interaction from social media comments to interacting with them on tour has been “really, really exciting,” Sara explained.

Kid Sistr pulls a lot of their inspiration from their move to Los Angeles from the East Coast two years ago, and being “very online,” said Becca. Sabel said that her own inspiration came from finding a talented musical community at college. In the bleak days of the pandemic, it is easy to see how their energetic sound drove fans desperate for lightheartedness and connection to their music.

As for the name Kid Sistr, it comes from the oldest-sister role that bonds the three band members. “We want to be like a big sister figure to any other young kids that want to get into music or are intimidated by it. I feel like growing up as the oldest sister, you take on that role at the beginning. We’re all very close with our siblings,” said Sabel. “It’s just down to the core of who we are because didn’t have the older sister to say, ‘you can do this.’”

Becca added, “In terms of our songwriting and storytelling, I feel like that aspect is really important… As eldest sisters, you take on this role where you’re experiencing everything first and you’re setting examples…You are able to help your younger siblings through it.” They are simultaneously the role models who normalize all the awkward parts of growing up, and the indescribably cool girls— with shimmering makeup, patterned clothes, and bright-colored Instagram feeds— we all would have looked up to.

“We try to tell stories with our songs and express feelings and desires, and various emotions that come with being women in this world. Really, it’s for all of the young people so they can feel a little less alone,” Becca explained, and for them to “have a big sister.”

Their debut single, Little Sister Song, seems to sum up their identity. The song serves as a letter to their little sisters about being between childhood and adulthood. The lyrics state, “She walks like a woman and talks like a little girl,” which touches on the often dark realities that exist between these phases and the impact of the world’s perception on them. They often poke fun at these serious themes, while simultaneously acknowledging the gravity of the reality needed to share these sentiments and their reactions. They normalize the part of change that must be grappled with in all of its pitfalls and glory. It paints a realistic portrait of their identities and their relationships (especially with their own sisters), all while reminding us how much fun we can have relishing in womanhood.

“I was thinking a lot about representation… I like to trick myself sometimes and pretend and step away from the politics of it all,” Sara said.

“I can pinpoint the point in my childhood and adolescence where I saw myself represented, and I remember those to this day. [For example,] being 10 years old seeing a girl play guitar. I remember those moments,” Sara said. “I think it’s a great privilege to be part of the lineage of women creating, and queer women creating.”

“We’re definitely in a vulnerable spot being all women,” Becca said, “But at the same time I’ve had so many musical experiences where I was the only girl in the room and those were so uncomfortable for me. I felt like I couldn’t really be myself and I had to put on this weird masculine front.”

Kid Sistr discussed with BUST the inevitability of always getting asked about being women in music and the double standard that men are not forced to discuss their gender alongside their talent.

“​​Now, I do feel [that] I love getting that question because it’s very important to acknowledge it. It is more of a rare occurrence. Women in music are the minority,” said Sabel. “We are acknowledging it, and we’re talking about it, because it’s important and cool.”

Regarding representation, BUST asked Kid Sistr about having to step into the role of being a figure for others to look up to while simply trying to do what they love.

“Really, we’re just three girls having fun doing stuff,” Sara told BUST. “But the reality is that they are forced to be the representation that is so desperately needed of women in the musical world.” We also discussed not having the choice of wanting to serve as a representation of women in the musical world but still having to act upon that role.

“I think for me, it’s very liberating,” Becca responded. “I feel like I spent a lot of my childhood and adolescence as a musician covering up that fact and trying to fight it. And trying to make myself fit into these very male spaces, especially as an instrumentalist. Especially as a drummer… I feel like I kind of was always trying to hide that part of myself. Now, being able to talk about that has made me feel a lot more comfortable and feel like I’ve been able to kind of express my femininity even while tearing up the drum kit. There’s a duality there. But I really, really love and really value that.”

Another important element is their humor. On X-Tape, their latest song, they were able to “build a complete world around” the song with its accompanying music video, according to Sara. They poke fun at the traditional classroom setting and instead teach a sex-positive sex-ed class in the video, to lyrics that state “I’m just a girl and I’ll do what I want.” This matches their merchandise, where they sell birth control cases with “Kid Sistr <3’s Safe Sex” written on the front.

From the Kid Sistr Store.

As an independent band, they are “working girls,” and have huge dreams for what’s to come next. They do not appear to be limiting themselves to a singular identity or genre anytime soon, as slower song “Dallas” and their punk-inspired vocals on “X-Tape” prove their vast range of ability.

Sabel said, “We have big aspirations and we love music, and love writing. We’re definitely not going to slow down.” They use humor, irony, and joy to discuss huge themes such as humanity, misogyny, friendship, queerness, and even more. These layers are evident in their willingness to experiment and venture into the unpredictable and unknown. So keep an eye out for Kid Sistr, either on their current tour or along for the ride on social media. Be sure to stream their songs as they redefine the musical universe and maybe even invent their own.

Top photo by Emily Entz.

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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