It's Smooth Sailing For Said The Whale
These west coast indie rockers have been stirring up a buzz on the other side of the prairies for some time now. Sure, they've had some help from Perez Hilton, but I guess it was only a matter of time before they found an excuse for them return to Toronto (apparently the "East" according to Said The Whale), and give us a little something-something in the form of rock and roll.
It was a cold rainy day in June when I called up Tyler Bacroft (guitar/vocals), who had just enjoyed a sunny baseball game in thirty degree weather. "It's so nice, it's fucking unbelievable. We have to scramble to take advantage of it, because we know it's going to disappear in a couple days."
Yeah, he rubbed it in.
Said The Whale has been a band for almost six years now, but they have had to bear through multiple line-up changes. "We've gone through a whole bunch of line-up changes, which have been a blessing and a curse," Tyler explains. "Peter [bass player, and the only member not from Vancouver] just joined the band in January. So, I think we've finally got a solid line-up that'll stick around for awhile. We hope."
They've just begun a tour that will take them all the way to Toronto and back to Vancouver. Anyone from Toronto will have two chances to seem them live. The first will be an in-store session at Criminal Records on June 19th, and the second will be on the 20th at the . Genuine music lovers who own a record player will be able to purchase their freshly-pressed 7 inch vinyl EP, Magician. I'll have to wait until October 13th for their full-length, Islands Disappear, to be released on these new-age CDs that everyone is talking about.
Tyler explained the reason behind releasing an EP mere months before their full-length. "All of us have always wanted to release something on vinyl. We recorded sixteen tracks in February, but we only ended up putting thirteen on the record, which were the ones that we thought flowed best, blah blah blah. So this EP was a way for us to get a few B-sides out, and then one of the songs which was a leftover from before."
On their MySpace page there is an obvious theme of water. Even the cover of their EP has, what looks to be, a small fishing town on it. I had to ask whether there was a conscious concept or theme that was being pushed beyond the band's name or whether their name was just a name and the rest was just the work of publicists and promoters.
"Being from Vancouver and near the ocean, it's just hard to get away from," says Tyler. "I work on a tugboat and I've been on boats my entire life. My dad was always taking me on trips and Ben [guitar, vocals] has a cabin on the end of Dear Island. I guess we, being the principle songwriters, must just release this lifetime of impression that the water has had on us. So we kind of keep, unintentionally, having water-themed songs. But it's not all that, especially with the new album. There's also an obvious influence of being on the road for the last couple years."
I asked if he had any good tugboat stories, to which he reponded, "Honestly, I take empty barges and drive them back with gravel in them. The whole thing takes about twelve or thirteen hours." So...umm, I guess it's not as exciting as touring.
Photo by Vanessa Heins
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