They’ve won a Juno, had their gear stolen, released a video series and toured all over North America – but what makes Said The Whale’s adventures all the more impressive is that all this has happened in just the past year!
On March 6th, the Vancouver-based indie-pop band released its third full-length album, Little Mountain. Full of both catchy insta-hits and some stormier songs, Little Mountain represents the most well-rounded album to date for the band.
During a stop at home, Said the Whale’s guitarist/vocalist Ben Worcester (pictured far left) stopped by Youthink HQ to talk about the band’s whirlwind year, the latest album and the band’s newest member.
YT: With the growth and rise in popularity the band has experienced, especially after the Juno win, has this past year felt overwhelming at all?
BW: Not so much overwhelming... when I look back on it, it seems like so much has happened but as it’s happening, it just kind of seems like everything’s fitting into place. You know, we were in the middle of a tour when we flew to the Junos and it just felt like, “OK, now we’re at the Junos.” Then we went back to tour and were like, “Did that really just happen, the whole Junos thing?” So I’ve never felt overwhelmed by what we’re doing, just whelmed.
YT: Your latest EP, New Brighton, came out in November 2011, and your new album, Little Mountain, in March 2012. Why did you release an EP so close to your full-length album?
BW: We went into the studio and recorded 20 songs and we didn’t want to sweep them under the rug... we liked all of the songs. We put a lot of hard work and thought into them, so we decided to do the EP as a way of putting something out there into the world and tiding people over until the album. We wanted people to hear these songs and it was a great opportunity for us to be able to do that. Instead of having a 20-song album, we split it up a little bit.
YT: It’s been three years since your last full-length album came out. How has your sound changed?
BW: Well, I think just in performance. Every performance is a practice and the more you play, the better you get, the more you meld together as a band. With this record, we really worked as a group more than ever. Starting with a small seed of a song and growing it into what it was recorded as. So rather than Tyler [Bancroft] and I having the skeleton of the song and bringing it to the band, we really worked together as a group on this one.
YT: If you had to describe the new album in just five words, what would they be?
BW: This is like creating a haiku… new music for our friends! There’s five words in a row!
YT: You guys had a change in lineup over the past year. How has that affected the band’s sound?
BW: We love everyone who has been in the band, but Nathan Shaw joining the band on bass has raised the bar to a new level. His playing style is different than both [former bassists] Peter [Carruthers] and Jeff [LaForge]. He’s a young guy and he’s dedicated his energy and life to the bass guitar so he’s definitely bringing something to the band, which adds something new to the music. When you hear Little Mountain, you’ll hear his playing and it does sound different.
YT: If there was one specific emotion fans were to take away from listening to Little Mountain, what would you like that to be?
BW: Ah, one emotion for 15 songs... that’s tough. Across the record, all the songs change drastically… they’re not a lot of the same song and each one has its own vibe. I would say that if everyone had to take away one feeling by the end of it, I would say… peace. Peace of mind, how’s that?
YT: You’re touring North America this spring. What are your expectations for the tour?
BW: It’s going to be amazing in Canada with the new record out and having people know who we are. Then the other half of the tour in the United States, it’s going to be the kind of thing where we’re starting from square one and trying to build a fan base there and convince people to come to our shows. So it’s going to be split right down the middle, two different kinds of tours. I’m looking forward to both of them.