Interview: Said The Whale

Here at Spindle we’ve been huge fans of Said The Whale since they graciously agreed to come and perform for us at The Brighton Busk during Great Escape 2011. These Vancouverites were super-psyched, friendly and put on a great show for us. Their warmth and musical talent is evident in all the music they’ve produced, and their new album, Little Mountain, hits it right out of the park.

We caught up with STW for a quick trans-Canadian chat about holographic concerts and what’s next for the band:

How did you celebrate your 5th birthday?
Chuck E. Cheese, obviously.

What made you decide to release Let’s Have Sound and West Coast Christmas for free?
Let’s Have Sound was the first thing we ever released as Said The Whale, and it’s pretty difficult to convince people who have never heard of you to pay for anything, especially when it cost us next to nothing to make. The Christmas EPs are free because that’s what Christmas is all about – giving.

You posted an article on your tumblr about music piracy – is that something that has particularly affected you as a band?
We’ve never had an album leak pre-release, but we’re affected by piracy the same way most bands are – and that is, we can barely afford rent.  If every copy of our album that people owned had been paid for, we’d be doing much better financially.  But there’s another side to it, which is “if everyone that wanted our album had to pay for it, we’d probably have a lot less fans”.  It’s a tricky balance, and so far no one has the answer.

How have the various line-up changes of STW affected the creative process and generally influenced your sound?
I think with every line-up change our band has improved, (no disrespect to past members) so the creative process has gotten easier and easier.  Of course, each member brings their own flavour to the sound, so that’s changed a bit with each member change.

Finish the sentence: Said The Whale…
…is the name of our band.

How did you find the reception to Little Mountain?
I think most people liked it, and some people hated it.  That’s fine with us.  If everyone who liked your previous album likes your new album, then you’re probably doing something wrong.  In general, people just want you to rewrite the same album over and over, which is boring for everyone, but it’s safe.  If you’ve evolved, you’re going to lose some people along the way.

What do you think of the new hologram concert craze- can we expect a hologram STW?
When we grow tired of touring, yes.

What’s next?
We’re planning some dates in the US for this fall, so hopefully it all comes together.  We’re also going to start chipping away at a new album, song by song.

Thomas Dearnley-Davison is Spindle’s Canadian Correspondent. You can follow his insane trans-Atlantic ramblings on Twitter @such_doubts

Photo credit: Jonathan Taggart.