Other than the weather, the only other thing Chicago has in common with Canada, is a good taste in music.
It seems like Said the Whale is like a Canadian version of Mumford & Sons: they’re a relatively new band that came out of nowhere, won a bunch of awards, and are playing soon in a town near you. Currently, Said the Whale is touring in support of their latest album Little Mountain, which is nominated for “Alternative Album of the Year” in Canada’s 2013 Juno Awards. Catch them at the Metro on Saturday, March 23 with Stars and Milo Greene. I had a chance to talk with vocalist and guitarist, Tyler Bancroft before their upcoming Chicago show.
You just got done playing South by Southwest, what did you think of it this year, how was it?
We’ve played a couple shows down there. This was our 3rd year going and we had a blast! A lot of bands say its stressful because they play 4, sometimes 5 shows at the fest. Said the Whale played 2 shows and we got to hang out for the rest. We got to party and meet new friends and hang out with some old ones.
I read that a couple years back at SXSW, your drummer had a run in with a disgruntled fan and a bottle of mustard, were there any incidents this year or did you get off easy?
No, no this year we’ve avoided any condiments.
But being on the road so often, I bet you have some other crazy stories…
There’s a lot of shit that happens on the road that probably is crazy, but it doesn’t seem so crazy anymore to me. I think I’ve become numbed to it all after being on the road so often and crammed in a van for 12 hours at a time with several people, you learn to get used to it.
Two years ago, Said the Whale won New Group of the Year at the 2011 Juno Awards, and now this year, you’ve been nominated for “Alternative Album of the Year,” how does that feel?
Its great! It’s nice to be recognized at a high level along with all of the other great bands nominated.
Well congratulations! Those are some solid accomplishments, what’s the best piece of advice you can give to another band?
It seems cliche, but writing as good a song as possible is the most important thing. Also work your ass off and travel and tour as much as possible.
Do you have any tips for touring bands?
Hmmm I’d say don’t sweat the small stuff that might happen, and bring more socks and underwear.
You cover a lot of ground on your U.S. tours, do you have a favorite city?
Chicago has to be one of them, also we’re big fans of California and all the cities there. Going up and down the coast, it’s the most diverse in talks of landscape and fans.
Here’s a question I like to ask bands: What is your favorite song to play live?
Me personally? It depends on the venue and the crowd, but the newest songs are usually my favorite to play live. We’re half way done with our new record, so we’re playing 3 or 4 new songs on this tour.
Our shows are a lot smaller in the states, because its a smaller fan base. But it’s cool because it makes for some great inimate shows. Also compared to Canada, gas is cheaper, beer is cheaper, and there’s more types of food in the U.S.
– Interview with Tyler Bancroft
Well, that has to be the first time I’ve heard “cheap” and “gas” in the same sentence, I guess they haven’t been to Chicago in a while! You can catch Said the Whale this Saturday at the Metro with Stars and Milo Greene if you already have tickets to the sold-out show, and if you want to grab a drink with them after, Tyler told me Big Star tacos in Wicker Park is their go-to Chicago spot.