AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DUSKWHALES
From the moment I first met The Duskwhales, I knew they were good people. With Seth on vocals/guitar, Brian on keyboard, and Chris on drums, these humble, down to earth guys create a fresh sound on the indie pop scene by incorporating some sweet 60’s vibes. I got the opportunity to talk to them in my hometown of Strasburg, VA.
You guys started The Duskwhales in high school. How was finishing high school while balancing being in a band?
S: Probably different than the way everybody else experienced high school. I feel like I kinda skipped out on most of the normal high school experience just because I was with only these two guys who were doing the same thing and not getting into trouble.
C: I feel like sort of transitioning out of playing sports and into playing a lot of music, because that’s how Seth and I met and started the band with another kid who played soccer, and then as we got more into the music it became less about sports and high school activities and more about music.
S: It was never about sports for me. No offense to sports!
B: Probably offense to sports though
Who writes the lyrics? Is it one of you or all of you?
S: It’s collaborative
B: Usually we write the music first and then we write the lyrics.
You guys released Living Room and Emerald Skates in the past couple months. Are those going to be on an upcoming album?
B: No, those are going to stand alone singles.
Is there going to be an upcoming album?
B: There is!
S: Hopefully we’ll have that finished up by the end of this month and we’ll have it out by the fall.
Where are you guys recording it at?
S: Bias Studios in Springfield. It’s a nice studio.
At what point did you realize you wanted to keep doing the band thing and not give up on it?
S: From the second I started.
B: Literally though it’s always been like ‘oh the band’ ever since we first started out.
S: Yeah, I didn’t want to do college and I wanted to do music.
B: Now you’re not doing college and you’re just doing music!
C: Yeah for the longest time people would ask about it sort of like “Oh how’s the band doing” kind of like not condescendingly but -
B: It was condescendingly.
C: It was more in a way where they were kinda thinking it was something we do on the side, but I think that recently in the past year or so they realize ‘oh this is what they’re doing now.’ When people think of the three of us, they think of the band you know. It’s kind of become our identities, so it’s kinda hard to dissociate the two. I’m fine with that.
What’s your favorite album to listen to while driving?
S: Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys
C: Brian has The Beatles discography so we’ll listen to that on really long car rides.
B: It’s intense
What’s your favorite song to play live?
S: I think Estranged Brother for me definitely.
B: We have a song called Cassiopeia named after the constellation, that’s my favorite. That one is a lot of fun, and it has a really cool bass line that I play on the keyboard.
C: I think my favorite is a song called Be Mean which we don’t do that often, but when we do it’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of vocal harmonies which are really cool.
Bands in the 80’s and 90’s didn’t have access to social media, but they still had huge fan followings. Does social media play a role in your band?
B: It’s a good place to direct people when we meet someone at a show and it’s like “well check us out on Facebook” because that’s where you can learn more about us and check out our music.
S: Yeah people don’t always buy CDs so it’s a good place to check out our music for free.
C: It’s the best way to get in touch with fans and other bands too.
B: You’re able to book an entire tour on your own because you can contact other bands or venues throughout the country.
What’s it like being a band/musician in the 21st century?
S: I think it is an advantage to have the technology to record yourself and promote yourself, while past generations could not even feasibly conceive doing so. With the internet there are so many bands and artists and it can be really hard to make it. It is like going into a thrift store and there are just boxes upon boxes of old CD’s movies and vinyl, it takes effort to find music that wasn’t made effortlessly. More than half of being a musician is promoting yourself. You could have the best, purest, or rawest music out there but if you cannot promote or market yourself properly you will run into a lot of snags. It has happened with so many bands like Big Star for instance, like why did it take so long for people to realize the music they made is crucial. Anyways, glad to be an artist in this century. I think it requires a lot of work to practice, write, be on time to shows, network yourself, and build a strong relationship with your band.