By: Stephanie Granada
Appearing on David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O'Brien are milestones most bands will only ever dream of. Add enthusiastic mentions in esteemed music magazines like Spin Magazine and Rolling Stone, and a performance at world-renowned music venue Red Rocks and you have a band that has, as they say in the music industry, "made it."
With two albums and a third one on the way The Whigs
have carved a place out in the competitive rock music scene. On Saturday, Gainesville will hear the sound of The Whigs during a free concert at the newly reconstructed Flavet Field Bandshell. While on the road, the band's drummer, Julian Dorios, talked to InSite about the new album, what it was like playing Red Rocks and where the trio will be hanging out after the show.Where are you guys now?
Entering Dallas. We just finished touring with Kings of Leon, which ended in Los Angeles. We were on the road for about a month, now we are in the process of driving cross-country, then we will play the show in Gainesville and go back home home to Athens, Ga., to finish working on the album.Have you ever been to Gainesville before?
Yea, we haven't played there in a while though. Tim Deaux, our bass player, is a UF alumnus, so he loves Gainesville.Why did you guys choose to book the Gainesville show?
We were really excited because we haven't been down to Fla., in a while. We talked about going to Gainesville or that area for several months but just couldn't. Tim lived in Gainesville for long time and went to school there. He was jumping up and down when we heard about it.What are you looking forward to about visiting Gainesville?
We're from Athens, which is a lot like Gainesville, but Tim is the one that knows the most about Gainesville, so I'll head this questions over to him. [Chatter in background, presumably with Tim.] He says he is going to take us to the Salty Dog. I don't know what that is. I'm guessing it's not a kennel.What has been the most memorable moment on this tour?
We sort of got spoiled on this tour because we were playing at most amazing venues that any musician, any band would love to play. We played the Red Rocks, which is arguably the most famous and amazing outdoor venue in the world. It's just insane, the most beautiful place and natural amphitheater. During the show I couldn't even help but smile.Is it hard to be on road while working on finishing the new album?
I guess being on the road was a nice break from it. We're excited to get the album done and all that, but in a way leaving and coming back to it gives a nice break and gives us a new perspective. We got a chance to play a lot of the songs live and get away from the initial recording, all the excitement built from pouring the creative idea and writing, and we got a chance to regain objectivity when listening to the songs. Ultimately we are a live band so it was good to see how the audiences reacted to the music.You have two albums, a 7- inch single and you're working on your third album now. How is that going?
We're done with most of it. We have new perspective after getting to play a lot of the songs live on this tour, but were not redoing anything. We are continuing to write and deciding what songs stand up most in front of an audience. Any chance to be home is rare, and it's hard to write on road, so while we are in Athens we are going to take advantage of writing.Are you doing anything different with this new album?
We write songs we are happy with and let them stand up on their own own, so we are doing same thing songwriting-wise, but this time we are incorporating more time in the studio - working with tones and vibes, and more effects. With the last album, Mission Control, we were more focused on making sure the album sounded like our live show, because we are a live band. We just went in to the studio and played it like we were playing a show. Now that we've done an album like that, we are working on an album that translates an energy, but is also a separate thing from the live performance.
The Whigs: "Right Hand on my Heart"Are you going to release a 7-inch teaser before the full album again?
I hope so. When we finish all this we would love to do another 7-inch. When we get to the moment when we are talking about singles, we'll know what we can do with that. We've talked about it somewhat though.When will next full-length be released?
Since releasing an album at the end of the year is frowned upon, not by the band, but by the music industry, we are hoping to release it at the beginning of 2010.So the first album you produced yourself then on the second one you used well-known producer Rob Schnapf, is there anything you miss about doing it yourself?
I really did enjoy working on the first album, but I do love working with a producer assuming you find one you like and respect. The reason I prefer it, at least for now, is because everybody gets to do their job. We can just focus on writing and playing the music. Ben Allen is working on the next album.Describe your music in your own words.
We're a high-energy, garage rock-and-roll band that writes for and exists on the stage.Do you guys have any influences? On your MySpace you just have yourselves pictured under influences.
We have them, but its pretty wide. I'm listening to a lot of Randy Newman right now. Our music sounds nothing like him but I'd say he is just as much of an influence as any other rock band we like.When you started the band, did you guys know you wanted to make this a career?
We definitely hoped to. We've always taken it seriously, but tried to have fun in the process. When you first start, specially when you're young, you don't walk around saying I'm going to be a musician. In Athens, like Gainesville, everybody is kind of striving for that.What has been the hardest part of making a successful music career?
We respect everyone we work with and now we're very fortunate to work with a lot of people, to even have them is a privilege and we would only work with people in these roles we respect, but it's hard to make an album everyone is pleased with. First we do what we like, but we also want people who are working closely with us to be excited and pumped. Sometimes that can take a little longer than just making the three of us happy.Do you feel like you've accomplished everything you wanted to with music?
I think we're really happy with what we've gotten to do so far. Every time something awesome happens though, our goals are always rolling. Playing Red Rocks in Denver, I would have always wanted that, but now that we've played there it's not like were done. Now we're thinking about when's the next time we can play there, or what if one day we were able to headline Red Rocks.What do you hope for the future of The Whigs?
We want continue making music we're proud of, touring and playing live. Playing live is where we sort of live.What's been the band's biggest accomplishment so far?
I think it was a really special time last summer while touring on Mission Control we got to go over seas. I don't know if it's the biggest accomplishment, but it was really special. After Europe we went to Japan and there you just find yourself thinking of all the time working on the music, and now we ended up in Japan playing in a festival. It was so bizarre and surreal. Being that far away from home really triggered that feeling.What was it like being on late night TV?
Completely surreal. The first time was on David Letterman. We had driven endlessly to get there, and we had to load in at 6 a.m. We were so delirious, but at same time standing on the set, you've seen it on TV so many times, you know it like the back of your hand, but then looking in opposite direction, it doesn't look like it looks on TV. It looks like facsimile of what you're used to seeing. It's like a well-oiled machine how they air it. You don't get any chances to play that song, they just look at you and throw you out there, then Letterman is introducing you before you've even met him and you start playing. In about four seconds the song is over, and you look at your band members, and you don't know if you did good job or not. Later that night we watched it on TV and just hoped that we hadn't completely messed it up.What can someone who has never been to a Whigs show expect on Saturday?
To have fun. Thats what we always try to do. It's always a really upbeat, high-energy rock show. It's not supposed to be a seated event. People are supposed to stand up and have a good time and dance. It's a time to get away.The Whigs will be playing at Flavet Field Saturday, August 29 at 7 pm, followed by a performance from Citizen Cope. Free entry.
Labels: interview, music, star power