In today’s final installment of our Artist Of The Week feature with Minnesota indie-pop band Whosah, we bring you an exclusive Q&A with drummer Dave. Get to know the band below:
Beyond The Stage: Introduce yourself / the band– who does what in the band?
Whosah: Spencer Grimes- Songwriter and Programmer // Synths, Frontman, Tamborine, trigger pads live
Dallas Erdahl- Live guitar lead and arranger, BGVs
Mack Grimes- Rhythm Guitar, Synths, BGVs
Nate Flynn- Bass
Dave Grimes- Drums, Trigger Pads, Programmer
BTS: Tell us a little bit about your music, in case our readers aren’t familiar with you!
Whosah: Generally speaking, it’s Indie Pop. Verses and choruses, synths combined with rock instruments.
The feedback we always get is that the message and the vibe is one that makes you smile and at least bob yo’ head. We generally try not to take ourselves too seriously, but we definitely take our music seriously. We aim for a vacuum-tight feel with lots of landscape in terms of interweaving guitar and keyboard lines, blips and pops in tracks or triggered, really whatever comes to mind and feels right.
BTS: Where do you look to for inspiration when writing new music?
Whosah: Some artists try to primarily look to the future of music, and others try to focus on looking back on what has impacted you from years gone by. We try to look both directions all the time, while also just making it up as it comes along within our own creative minds. Sometime that inspiration is a remix like Mike Posner’s “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” (I think a Dj named seeB did that one?), other times its a buried track from a classic like Hall and Oates’s “One on One”. One of our band’s text feeds is “hey check out this tune”, and we kinda keep a friendly competition going when we find a new song that will out-thrill the other guys. Van time while on the road is a great place for that.
BTS: You just released a new EP, “Work.” Can you tell us a bit about the process of creating this body of work?
Whosah: Bands always say their most recent release is their best to date, but we were totally thrilled by how this one came together, and feel like it definitely brings our writing and production up to another level. It started as demos thrown back and forth between various dudes, and a few demo recording sessions between Spenc and I. While we were still kickin around where we should record what we had a bunch of songs demoed for, a producer named Chase Coy out of Nashville happened to catch our set one night in support of a tour coming through Mpls, and invited us to come out to his place to cut our next project. We ended up being completely blown away at where we felt like our music could go with his help, and while the demos we started with ended up only really influencing what we ended up with on the final disk, we couldn’t be more pleased with where the sound of the band has landed for the future.
BTS: I’m very intrigued by the album art for the EP, can you explain the significance / what inspired it?
Whosah: “The idea for the artwork came from a desire to illustrate a conflict that many of us are confronted with: do we choose what we are told is the safe and responsible path, or do we follow our passion? The two halves of the shirt show the difference between these paths, but they also show that just because they are different doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t exist together. Life is fun and life is hard, and the presense of one makes the other worthwhile.”
BTS: Who are some of your biggest influences for your music and / or your live sets?
Whosah: Spenc grew up learning from Relient K, Dallas loves anything with a dancey or rippin guitar, I love indie rock, pop, and anything with great groove, and Mack loves the motown era and anything sweet and saucy. No matter who you talk to, we love going to see live sets any chance we get- recent experiences have been guys like Jukebox the Ghost, Great Good Fine Okay, Bleachers, Troye Sivan, Etc. We’ll also love going on bro dates to see local friends’ live sets, such as Step Rockets, Grayshot, and Hi-Fi Cali. You can learn a lot from your peers, and we’re all in this together, so it’s a lot of fun to stay connected and get into what other people are doing.
Nate really rounds out our ideas for live shows. He was an original member of Sing It Loud, and used to do tons of Warped Tour kinda circuits and has seen a ton of live sets from sidestage, so the rest of us always love to hear what he has to say about a certain turn, transition between songs, or something we can add to take the live experience to the next level. I’m man crushin for a second- Nate is a great dude. Love playin’ rhythm for this band alongside him.
BTS: If you could curate a festival, who would play alongside you?
Whosah: So many options. You’ll get a slightly different answer depending on who you ask. Passion Pit, The 1975, Walk the Moon, Atlas Genius, Twenty-One Pilots, Kings of Leon, no longer living Michael Jackson, James Brown, Hall and Oates, Marvin Gaye… festivals can have a super-long lineup right?
BTS: You are headed out on a short tour soon to support your EP, what is the best part about playing your live shows on tour?
Whosah: The people. Hangin’ with the guys in the band/ on the tour package (The Millenium and JC & The Class are some of our best buddies), meeting new people at venues, hanging out with familiar faces who come out every time we’re in their city. Beyond any doubt- it’s getting a chance to do life with the people we meet and get to continue getting to know- that’s where the magic is.
BTS: What’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
Whosah: Honestly, it’s tough to find one. Everything I can find at one point was the perfect song for something. Maybe a funny one is that all of us have gone through seasons where we set our alarms to be Chamillionaire- “Good Morning”. Try it, you’re guaranteed to be pumped to go no matter how early it is.
BTS: Do you have a dream venue you hope to play one day?
Whosah: We grew up right by First Ave in Mpls- we’ve played the side stage a few times, but Mainroom would be a great bucketlister to play at- so much history there. It would be awesome to tour overseas, we’ve pipe-dreamed about Japan someday? They say if you can get over there, American bands can do super well. We’d definitely need a translator though.
BTS: Where can our readers find you and your music online?
Whosah: Easiest central spot to find us is whosah.com. We’ll give ya a free song for joining our mailing llist, you can stream tunes there, or you can grab links there for all our socials. We’re super active on all mediums, and you’ll be talking directly back and forth with one of the dudes from the band on any of them.
We also just released 4 “moving still videos” for the new EP, you can find all those at: youtube.com/wearewhosah .
BTS: Anything else you’d like to add?
Whosah: We do music as a way to introduce ourselves. If you’re into what we’re doin’, now it’s your turn. We’d love to get to know you! Follow us on social, message us on twitter, send us an email, whatever. We’re obsessed with the way music connects people who would have never met otherwise. Don’t be shy! That’s what it’s all about.