From superhero banter to opinions on their Patreon campaign; Jeremy Boyum, Josh Flores and JD Vasquez of Austin-based alternative indie-pop band Shadow of Whales took some time out to chat with OSR writer, Nicole Mendes. Here’s what they had to say.
OSR: Hey guys, thanks so much for chatting with us. First question, how did all of you meet?
Jeremy (JB): We all mutually knew our lead singer, Josh, through different channels. He’s the one that brought us all together.
OSR: Shadow of Whales is a rather odd band name. Is it something you just came up with one drunken Friday night or does it have a special meaning?
JB: Substance abuse had nothing to do with :p
Our keyboard player, JD, had this crazy dream where he saw whales floating in the sky. When he woke up, JD got a spike of humble inspiration to write a poem about it. The name originates from that poem and speaks to what we want to emulate as a band. We want to stay humble and keep loving people to the best of our ability as far as sound can reach.
OSR: You have just finished playing the SXSW music festival. How did you enjoy the experience?
JB: We absolutely loved Austin and the SXSW experience! Seeing and hearing music and music fans in every direction you go is so much fun! We are so grateful to be even a tiny part of it.
OSR: Do you find it a big learning curve in your music career, and if so, how so?
JB: Running a band as a business has been a huge learning curve for us. We’ve learned SO much over the last two years, and we still have a lot more to learn. We’ve loved every second of it though and wouldn’t trade it for anything, except maybe Nutella.
OSR: One interesting fact I found in my research is your promotional campaign. You’re currently releasing a new single each month on your Patreon page – which is very cool. Why are you using this strategy?
JB: Quite a few reasons. One is that we wanted to do something BIG for our fans, and this seemed like a really cool way to do it. We’ve been able to get closer and be more interactive with our family than ever before, and it has been so much freaking fun! We literally have the coolest fans EVER!
Two, our goal is to spread hope and love as far as sound can reach. We want to get out of Texas; we want to see every one of our fans across the globe. This is one way that will be made possible.
Three, we really wanted to challenge ourselves. This isn’t a small endeavor; it’s big, and it’s a lot of work – and we were already working hard! :p Having successfully run three months of our exclusive Patreon club, I can say with absolute certainty that we are having a blast and are really excited for where it is going. This is going to be a really big year.
OSR: Have you found the strategy beneficial or successful, and how so?
JB: Yes, it’s been amazing! The real goal is to expand our existing vision of spreading hope and love. Patreon has very successfully helped us do that and is continuing to do so. We’ve been able to make MORE content that is more meaningful and better quality as a result of this closer relationship, check! We’ve been able to make some pretty awesome things happen because we are getting paid to release our music and content that I’m not allowed to talk about yet, check! And we’ve risen above the challenge to make more content and work harder as a unit, check! We are breaking down walls and moving forward, and it’s just plain awesome!
OSR: If you could give new bands out there any one piece of advice, what would it be?
JB: Learn as much as you can and never give up on your dream(s)! If one way isn’t working, do it a different way. If that way doesn’t work, do it a different way. Whatever you do though, just don’t give up. If everyone in your band quits, go solo until you find other members. If people tell you that you suck at music, learn what you can through that and get better, but DON’T quit!
OSR: Knowing what you know now, in retrospect, what would you tell yourselves NOT to do regarding entering the music industry?
JB: Honestly, I have no idea! It’s been a long journey and we’ve certainly made several mistakes. I think I really like the journey we’ve had, and I wouldn’t really change anything.
OSR: If each of you could be any Avenger, who would you be and why?
JD: Thor. On the account of my luscious head of hair, fondness for a good beverage and the fact that modern culture often confuses me.
Josh (JF): I would probably be the Hulk. I’m quiet and calm until someone makes me mad.
OSR: The major superhero question: Do you think Batman can defeat Superman?
JB: The nerd in me is about to come out. Technically Batman has already beat Superman; several times (according to Smosh). Logically though, that does not make any sense. Obviously, Superman should win; he has every superpower known to man and only one weakness. It’s pretty ridiculous.
This could be a very long conversation between the two of us, but I’ll keep the bullet points to the above fact. I’m going to stop there before I make this worse. #RIPshadowofwhales
OSR: If you could describe Shadow of Whales in one sentence, what would that sentence be?
JB: We believe in you!
OSR: Where do you see Shadow of Whales in 5 years time?
JB: Changing a lot of people’s lives!
OSR: If you could play with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
JB: The Killers, Switchfoot or Walk the Moon; because they’re bae.
OSR: Thank you so much for taking time out to answer some questions. Any final words for your fans and our avid readers?
JB: Just thank you guys! Thank you so freaking much for supporting us. Thank you to our family for constantly loving on us and letting our music into your ears! We are going to continue making steps in this industry, and it’s because of you. We wouldn’t be anywhere or anything without you guys, and we can’t thank you enough. We love you guys!
Thank you once again to Shadow of Whales for chatting with The Other Side Reviews. For more SoW awesomeness, head over to their official Facebook page.