Recognized in 2011 by LA Music Blog Rollo & Grady as their “Artist to Watch,” Whalers is a rock and roll band from Austin – a group comprised of friends of friends from around Texas. Though Whalers is just two years old, the band has gathered a loyal and sizable local following, playing nearly every major Austin venue, and becoming a regular fixture at places like Club Deville and Lamberts. Most recently, they were invited to record a Daytrotter session at Matt Oliver’s Big Orange studios, which is scheduled to be released next month.
Influenced by a number of prolific rock and roll bands including The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, White Stripes, and Brian Jonestown Massacre, Whalers’ blend the sounds of past greats with modern themes and arrangements to craft songs which resonate across the decades. Their approach is simple – Whalers make music that they want to listen to.
Stylistically, Whalers’ music reflects their collective appreciation of simplicity, as well as their disdain for wasted notes. Whalers make it a point to “get the most out of their instruments” with “songs that are transportive in nature… Everything fits and each song is tight.” (The Steam Engine). Picture 60’s surf-wave mixed with modern folk-pop with a 90’s rock slap in the mouth.
This year, Whalers played 12 shows in one week during SXSW, showing not only their dedication to live performance, but also their love for partying at large (whether participating or merely providing the soundtrack). Along the way, they have shared the stage with groups including The Black & White Years, Ponderosa, Sunset, TV Torso, and Daniel Hart (The Polyphonic Spree). Whalers’ unique musical formula has garnered this “talented Austin indie rock band” a considerable amount of national attention. “They are damned good.” (Indie Rock Café).
In November 2010, their self-released debut EP, How The Ship Goes Down, received unanimous critical praise, solidifying their legitimacy as a band that should be noticed. “[Whalers] presented a mini-album, which can shine the sumptuous pop melodies of rockers finally on the right sound… a good rock band is really growing here.” (Wasser-prawda.de).
Recorded in guitarist Kyle Rother’s home studio in Austin, How The Ship Goes Down was mixed by My Morning Jacket’s sound engineer, Kevin Ratterman, and mastered in Jim Eno’s (Spoon) Austin studio, Public Hi-Fi. After one listen, don’t be surprised if you find yourself experiencing “one of those moments where you get to the end and say to yourself ‘how good was that?’ before hitting repeat.” (The Mad Mackerel).
In late October, Whalers announced that they will be releasing new EP entitled Paddle Easy on November 11th. An impressively varied five-song album, Paddle Easy demonstrates Whalers’ growing aptitude for creating diverse music within the rock and roll genre, from the surf-inspired “Cheat on Each Other,” to the elegance of “I’m a Pixel in Your Picture,” to the hypnotic “Lighthouse” featuring Arum Rae Valkonen of White Dress, and all the way back to the hard-nosed modern rockers “Vagenda” and “Paddle Easy.”
What makes Whalers different than the hundreds of other rock bands playing around Austin? According to Mingus Magazine, “the best part about this group is their confidence. That’s what rock’s about.” And that’s what Whalers are about – making great rock and roll music, one song at a time.
Whalers Band Members:
Kyle Rother – Lead guitar
Dan Martin – Rhythm guitar
Gus Smalley – Vocals
Amir Mozafari – Bass Guitar
Milos Bertram – Drummer