Whales in Cubicles are a band that I discovered when I was lucky enough to share a stage with them at Bush Hall a few months ago. They’re a passionate live band with great songs and a D.I.Y. ethic that is earning them respect from fans and industry alike.
See what Leo and Stef have to say about dystopian nightmare’s, human sacrifice and more.
GeeksUnleahsed: Give us a brief history of the band.
Leo: We formed after Stef played me a song he’d written which blew me away. We were at my house in East London at the time. I asked him if he had any others and couldn’t believe how many great songs he’d been sitting on. Alex joined a bit later. He’d been in another band with Stef before. And Jamie was a friend of Alex’s so was the obvious choice when our first bass player left.
GU: Describe your sound.
Leo: I hate talking about how we sound. Sounds evolve over time but quotes seem to stick. We still turn up to shows and the promoter has written on the poster: “A hazy dusty angular sonic freakout…” which is something somebody wrote in the very first review we ever got. Plus it seems pointless describing a sound on the internet that is available on the internet. In the time it takes to read how I think we sound you could have gone to our soundcloud and found out for yourself.
GU: I really hate to ask but… Where does the name Whales in Cubicles come from?
Stef: It’s about man the wild beast and the mask of civilization that he wears. I heard that metaphor in a song by Andrew Bird, I’m not sure I see in that line what he did when he wrote the song, but I find it an apt image for the paradox of humanity.
GU: Your new single “Nowhere Flag” is out on 6th Aug. Tell us a bit about the song and the idea behind the video.
Leo: The video is a dystopian nightmare of the future in which London is under threat on all fronts; from an economy gone mad, public ambivalence towards indistinguishable political parties and terrorism. I think I’d been watching Sky News too much when I had this nightmare. The girl in the video blows up London but in the end it doesn’t matter cause everybody already left.
GU: You have a DIY approach to your music. How has this worked for you and what advice can you give other bands who’ve chosen the same route?
Stef: The DIY thing is interesting. We are DIY like 99% of bands out there are these days. I don’t know any other way. I am aware there are solo artists and bands who are groomed and shaped to sound and look a certain way but it’s like the 1%. Of course it’s that tiny 1% that the vast majority of people know and hear, because of the monopoly of distribution. It’s easier being in control of every aspect of what you do, but it’s not as easy doing it when you don’t have a big fat cheque. We’ll be a band for as long as we can physically afford to.
GU: Any plans for a tour in the near future?
Leo: We’ve got a mini tour planned for September of North England (see below) but I think we’re saving anything full scale until the album comes out next year.
GU: Do you have any pre gig rituals?
Stef: The usual you know, lots of water, warmups, and the odd human sacrifice to the gods of Valhalla.
GU: What’s next for Whales in Cubicles?
Leo: We have our single launch party for ‘Nowhere Flag’ on 9th August at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen (London). A load of UK dates in September, then finish the album. Probably another single before the end of the year. Album out early 2013.