Sister Grizzly
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Sister Grizzly

Oakland, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Oakland, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Rock




"Sister Grizzly at The Starry Plough"

"San Francisco's own steamroll through the kind of hooky riff-rockers that make other riff-rockers develop an inferiority complex." - Robbie Hilson - Performer Magazine

"Sister Grizzly at The Hemlock Tavern"

"Sister Grizzly hails from an earlier, more punk-influenced era of indie rock, when songs were rugged and raw, but still full of feeling, without all the preciousness of a lot of current indie rock." - Michael Fearnow, - San Francisco Examiner

"Meet Oakland's Indie Darlings"

Sister Grizzly is an Oakland-based indie rock band that, in their words, ‘writes songs about the metaphors of moments, the mysticism of women, and the transformative power of rock and roll. We also enjoy cheap drinks, high-fives, and mixed messages.’ Sister Grizzly’s recent album, Truth & Consequence, straddles the line between rock and indie, and the band’s story is uniquely their own.
Originally a scrappy two-piece out of Berkeley, Sister Grizzly has grown into a four-man band that rocks some of San Francisco’s best local music venues, including Bottom of the Hill and Brick and Mortar Music Hall. The band is made up of Tom Grigor (rhythm guitar and vocals), Tucker Owen (lead guitar and vocals), Eric Mai (bass guitar), and Justice Israel (drums).

Tom and Justice, the founding members, met at a bar in Berkeley. Justice was working the bar, and Tom was the bouncer; coworkers fondly nicknamed Tom ‘velvet ropes’ for his uncanny ability to guard the door. Tom and Justice say, ‘We were roommates and we wanted to hangout more, so we started a two-piece band and began playing some small venues around Oakland and San Francisco, including The Knockout and El Rio.’ Eric joined the band about two years ago, and Tucker is the most recent addition, officially joining in January 2016.

While each of the band members came to San Francisco for different reasons, all were searching for a next step. Tucker and Eric came for grad school, while Tom moved to San Francisco to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. Tom’s comedian dreams were put on hold after he experienced the energy of a local band showcase. ‘I could always be a comedian, even when I’m old and ugly, but there’s a short timeframe for when I can rock out on a stage, so I decided to pursue music,’ jokes Tom.

Tom, Justice, Eric, and Tucker all started playing music early. Justice points out that his first instrument was the trombone, but he has since transitioned to drums. Tucker wanted to be a drummer, but his parents balked at buying a drum kit. Instead, he taught himself to play a ukulele they had around the house, perfected a few songs over four months, and showcased his talents to his parents, eventually convincing them to invest in a guitar and lessons.

‘We all like music that isn’t afraid to go to a vulnerable place. Artists who are using music to express something they normally wouldn’t have an avenue to do so, is what sounds truthful and best,’ says Eric. Some of the band’s biggest influences are Television, Spoon, Japandroids, The Darkness, Animal Collective, and Pavement. Father John Misty’s lyrics have influenced Tom’s lyrics. Tom grew up outside of San Diego, and his father was a faith healer who often had an eclectic group of ex-hippies over to his house to experiment with many types of music. ‘It wasn’t uncommon for me to hear passionate singing, chanting, and groveling throughout my house,’ says Tom about his youth.

San Francisco has proven to be an excellent city for Sister Grizzly. ‘One of the few challenges with San Francisco is that there are always so many things going on, so there’s not one guaranteed venue where there will always be a captive audience,’ says the band. Yet, San Francisco’s rich music history makes the city one that music lovers will always travel to.

One thing the band wants its fans to know in 2016? Sister Grizzly is aiming to be the most dangerous band in the Bay Area. ‘Dangerous can mean anything,’ the band says. ‘It’s up to interpretation.’
Check out Sister Grizzly on Feb 12 at The Night Light in Oakland or March 9 at Bottom of the Hill.
Sister Grizzly is currently working on a new album, slated to come out at the beginning of 2017. - The Culture Trip


2011: On Nights Like This (EP)

2014: Truth & Consequence (LP)



Sister Grizzly is a rock band from Oakland, CA. Originally founded by singer/guitarist Tom Grigor and drummer Justice Israel, Sister Grizzly independently released an EP, On Nights Light These, as a bombastic rock duo in 2011. In mid-2012, guitarist Jordan Griggs and bassist Eric Mai joined the band and the group immediately began working on a full-length record, Truth & Consequence, that was released in July 2014. After releasing a video for the song Molecules in March 2015, Sister Grizzly is heading back in the studio in July 2015 to begin recording their second full-length record, which is expected to be released in early 2016. 

Throughout the years, Sister Grizzly has cemented their reputation as one of the Bay Area's most beloved live acts, which can be attributed to the band's leave-everything-on-the-stage performances and comedic banter. With their heart pinned firmly to their sleeve, Sister Grizzly guarantee their audiences a pure, unadulterated, visceral rock experience. Don't be afraid to sing along, this is your song.

Band Members