Said The Whale are a band from my homeland of Canada and are making their sound be heard across the country. FPT's very own James Brimacombe chats with Tyler Bancroft (Vocals, Guitar) about Canadian influences, road trips, the struggles of cracking the USA market, and about some new music around the corner.
Hello Canada and Look Out USA!
Said The Whale - Islands Disappear REVIEW
JB: Talk about your path as a band from the start of 2007 until now?
TB: Even before 2007, Ben and I had been playing together for 5 years just messing around with home recordings. In 2007 we decided to take a "real shot" at being musicians, made a record and put the rest of the band together for a tour. Since then we've recorded 2 full length albums, a handful of EPs, toured Canada about 9 times, and had a few lineup changes.
JB: Congrats on winning the Juno Award for New Group of The Year. Has winning this helped your street credit in anyway?
TB: I don't think winning a Juno necessarily gives you "Street cred" but we're hoping we can parlay it into a little bit of attention south of the border. Like "Hey guys look! People in our home country think we're a real band!"
JB: You are a true Canadian Band in song title and lyrics. Would it be safe to say you are "Proud to be Canadian"? And how has your Canadian roots effected your sound?
TB: I would say we're proud to be Canadian, but in no way are we proud to NOT be American, know what I mean? Nationalism is dangerous. We love our home, but who doesn't? Being Canadian has affected our sound mostly because of geography - especially being a west coast band, we've got a lot of ground to cover in order to get to the other side of the country, and the drives are beautiful and inspiring.
JB: Being from Canada myself (now living in the USA) I always found it frustrating that quality bands such as yourself get very little exposure in the USA. How do you guys approach the US market with your music?
TB: I think we need to approach it in the same way we approached Canada four years ago - one fan at a time. We know we're essentially starting from scratch and we need to just hit the road and play to empty rooms and hopefully win people over and make friends.
JB: Listening to 'Islands Disappear' I notice a constant change up from song to song. It also felt very influenced by a lot of other current musicians. How would you describe 'Islands Disappear's sound?
TB: Our band has always had a pretty diverse sound. Having two songwriters is definitely one of the reasons, but I think everyone has different influences, and like experimenting with different genres. "Diverse" would be a good way to describe the album.
JB: You have songs mentioning Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, British Columbia (Of Course), are a lot of your songs written while touring across the country? Any chance on your next album you can mention my hometown of Cobourg, Ontario?
TB: A lot of our songs are inspired by those long drives I was referring to earlier. We don't really write on the road, but its nice to get home and put a bunch of new found inspiration on paper. Cobourg, eh? Never heard of it, but have us over for dinner and maybe we'll find inspiration in your town!
JB: Your recent tour came to an end with stops in the US, Canada and the UK. What is next up for you guys? Any new material in the works?
TB: As I write this, we are in the studio and Ben is singing into a grand piano making weird sounds that will be on our new record. We'll be in the studio all summer and will hopefully have the new album ready for release early 2012. If things go smoothly we'll have a short EP ready for the fall.
JB: I read on the info part of your facebook page that you are the subject of a CBC documentary called 'Winning America' - any details you can share about the documentary?
TB: Definitely - the CBC followed us down to SXSW this year, and made an amazing documentary about the struggles of being a band trying to break into the US. It will be airing in BC on July 23, and if viewership is high it might get broadcast nationally later in the summer.
JB: Lastly a non music question... What would it mean for the city of Vancouver if the Canucks bring home the Stanley Cup? (This question was asked after game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals)
...we all know what happened...