Said the Whale is a Vancouver-based five-piece that has been on a songwriting-and- recording spree since their inception just out of high school in 2007. In less than five years, they have released seven EPs and two full-length albums. In the weeks preceding their first U.S. tour, founding member Tyler Bancroft talks by phone from his home in Canada about the band’s name. “I wish we had a really interesting story, but it’s as simple as this: the band name was the result of a brainstorm. It works aesthetically, and it came to fit with our music.” He laughs. “There’s no exciting encounter with a whale or anything like that.”
The band’s prolific output may stem from the fact that there are two writers. “We work independently of each other, and we are influenced by very different things.” Half of the sound is reminiscent of late ’70s post-punk new wave such as Greg Kihn. The other half is West Coast pop with liquid vocals and beefy rock-guitar underpinnings. “That keeps it interesting for us,” says Bancroft, “and it keeps us interesting for our listeners.” But do they have a single intended message? He says yes, but it’s personal.
“We’re not a band that is very political or supercharged in worldly events. I think what you’re hearing in our music is a reflection of 20-somethings going through the kind of stuff that 20-somethings go through in 2011.” Twentysomethings, or perhaps even younger. “My old high school,” Ben Worcester sings, “Just the way I left it/ With lots of bodies in it/ Waiting to get out.” In the end, was there an interview question that Tyler hoped would or would not be asked? “I kinda hoped,” he laughs, “you wouldn’t ask about the band name.”
SAID THE WHALE: El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, Sunday, March 13, 9 p.m. 619-237-0550. No cover.