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Interview: Freelance Whales

posted October 12, 2012, 5:38 pm by Ben Oliver | Filed Under Editorial, Festivals, General Interest, Interviews, Music News, Releases, Tour, Video | comment Leave a Comment

We admit it: we have a new band crush on Brooklyn’s Freelance Whales. They are getting a copious amount of attention this week, and deserve every bit. We ran an On The Verge article about the band, highlighting the fact that their new record Diluvia was released on Tuesday. We saw the band live ourselves on Wednesday, after getting to chat with them over the phone. Then yesterday, they were declared the MTV Push Artist Of The Week. They join the ranks of other great bands like AWOLNATION, 2 Chainz, Walk The Moon, Azealia Banks, White Arrows, Two Door Cinema Club, Warpaint, and Givers. Their new music video “Spitting Image” premiered on MTVU, and is our video of the week. We got to talk to keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist Chuck Criss, who is the brother of actor Darren Criss of the television show Glee. Get tour dates and learn more about the band and their new record here.

How did you hook up with band Geographer?

It turns out that we have a lot of the same mutual friends. We toured with the band Miniature Tigers, who are on the same Modern Art label same as Geographer.   So they were recommended to us from friends and seem way cool.

How do you most often listen to music? (cd, iPhone, Spotify?)

Well we all love vinyl.  It sucks that we aren’t able to take that on the road with us. So mostly, at least while touring, we mostly are just driving and listening to someone’s iPhone through the car stereo.

What kind of reaction and feedback are you receiving on the new record so far?

So far it’s been mostly positive and has been good. It’s more of  a grower.  It has been cool to  see the early reactions. I would like to wait a month or a few months, and then see the reactions.

Are you looking forward to seeing any other bands at ACL Festival?

Oh there would be a ton of them. But we have a little press after playing,  then we hit the road again. We have 24 hours to make it to Los Angeles.

What sort of feedback are you getting on the behind the scenes videos, and how did you come up with the idea?

It became clear to us  in the  studio that it needed to be documented in some capacity.  We have realized that what is mundane to us i could be appealing to someone else.  Personally, we  like watching VH1’s Behind the Music, so we thought it could be a great way for us to promote.

Describe working together on the new record Diluvia.

It has been great. For our first record Weathervanes back in 2008/2009, Judah (Dadone) already had the record completed before the complete band line up had formed. This time we were able to work on it together.  When we were first starting out, we were really not sure what to expect. Lucky for us, it had some legs. This time around, it wasn’t a home project, but rather a reflection of who we are now after touring.

How do you prepare for show vs fest: what’s different?

With shows there is more time to get ready, set up, and sound check. A fest is riskier, and you have gotta be able to move quick.

How do you choose your set lists?

Festivals are like the Oscars, you can’t go over your allotted time slot, or you get kicked off.  We try and plan a power set of 7 or 8 songs, usually ones with high energy.  While touring and during regular shows, we can slow it down a bit.



What is the newest video you have seen together, or does the band have a favorite video to watch?

Yea it’s called  The Perfect Fig and is hilarious.  We started to make it a custom in the studio after each perfect take we would have.

Did you really start off by playing subways?

Yea. We were only playing small gigs and venues. We felt we had already honed our sound but were looking for more experience.  We were trying to think of something different yet authentic. We started to realize how effective playing live music free in public places was at getting more people to know who we, and to come see our shows.

How did you start getting your music placed in tv shows?

We were really just lucky. You can never write with the intention of placement, you  just have to put it out there.  Yet there’s gotta be an emotional connect for people to relate to.  Besides, when you are first starting out, you aren’t sure if anyone really wants to listen to your music or not. You aren’t positive it will ever be heard by more than 20 people or not.


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