1. When did Shadow of Whales get together, and what inspired the name of the band?
We have been together since August of 2013 (roughly). The name of the band came from a dream experienced by our piano player, JD Vazquez. He was walking through the city one day when a shadow came over him. He looked up to see ginormous whales flying in the sky, one of which was blotting out the sun. JD said it was the most humbling feeling he ever had awake or asleep--to be in the presence and shadow of such a large, gentle creature.
2. What's the band's process like for writing songs?
We kind of have to take it day by day. Sometimes Josh will record something on his computer, and we will all come together and take a listen and tweak it. Other times we will be at our scheduled practice and come up with something on accident. Then there are times that we literally will schedule a writing session and the whole purpose will be to create music together.
3. For people who haven't heard your music before, how would you describe it?
I used to describe it as a mix between the Killers, Switchfoot, and Panic! at the Disco. However, there have been people that have said we sound like the Beatles, and others that say we remind of them of One Direction (hough I'm not really sure how). We've had reviews that have called out Franz Ferdinand as a relatable artist as well.
4. I love that your IndieGogo campaign has such a specific focus. What made you decide to do a campaign to buy a van, and what has the response been to the campaign so far?
Well... Mainly because we just really need a van, haha. We've been taking two or three cars to each one of our shows. Some of these concerts are long distances such as the concert we did in Lubbock earlier this year. Gas costs a lot of money as it is, and it costs a lot more when you're multiplying the amount you're paying by three.
The response has been overwhelmingly humbling. We've had a lot of close friends donate and a lot of fans donate and help spread the word in creative ways. We tried our best to provide really good incentives, even to the point of doing ridiculous things like squirting lemon juice in our eyes, or drinking a gallon of milk and running a mile. We've even offered that we will play anywhere in the U.S. for one of our incentives, and we've had people graciously donate to that and to a lot of our incentives. We are about 25% towards our goal and a little more than 25% through the campaign's timeline, so we're on a great track!
5. What would you say is the hardest part--and what would you say is the best part--of being an indie band?
The best part? Gosh, I don't even know! Playing music with your best friends? Playing music with your best friends for your best friends in the audience and having a heck a lot of fun? Meeting new people? I don't know--there are so many awesome things about what it is we do. (Not saying we're awesome, but that it's awesome to be able to do it... Also, we're awesome #jk).
We get to travel and meet the coolest people in the company of each other, and not only that but we get to play music and jump around and pound our instruments until we're completely out of breath. It's the best!
The worst part? Probably the ever-increasing, overwhelming amount of discouragement that is constantly being thrown in our faces. Even if there was nothing from the world, as an artist you are constantly evaluating yourself: I missed that note, I'm out of shape, I feel insignificant in this role, etc. Top that off with all these bands that talk about how they make no money, or how record labels are taking advantage or yadda yadda. It's hard to hear that your heroes hate where they're at, when simultaneously you want to be where they are. Now add negative, non-constructive feedback from any one person. We've received feedback regarding our music that stated "it's not what I'm into," and that's all right, but when it's more of a "get a life" or "you suck," that's not helpful at all. We brush it off as best as we can, but I'd be lying if I said it never got to us.
What keeps us going are each other, our awesome team here at home (parents, significant others, friends), and our amazing fans and supporters online and at our concerts. These are the most encouraging people we have in our lives, and they keep us going.
Note: The photo of the band in action above is by CeeCee Hood.