Q&A with WHALEHOUSE
Ben Snaath asks the questions, Sonya, Amy-Rose and Zoe from Brisbane’s WHALEHOUSE provide the answers.
Can you tell me about your first rehearsal and the feeling of your first few shows versus where you rehearse now and how you approach gigs after the couple of years that you’ve been WHALEHOUSE?
Sonya: I’m not shit at drums now. Nah actually I am. Not much has changed. I think our first rehearsals were really exciting. But they are still exciting but they aren’t new.
Amy-Rose: Nothing has changed.
Zoe: Our hair changed.
Did you study music? Are you “classically trained” new-wave punks ?
Zoe: Yes I have a Bachelor of Music
Amy-Rose: I’ve studied jazz singing.
How did you write “Sexy Whale Beach Party”? Was there a big gap between writing and recording it?
Zoe: We put our ear to a conch shell and heard it whispering the song.
Amy-Rose: We dove deep down into the bottom of the sea and found a chest. We opened it and the song was inside.
Sonya: Please stop being silly, guys. There was a WHOLE OCEANS gap between writing and recording it.
Is there a formula to the way you write songs or do you try to avoid writing the same way twice?
Amy-Rose: I’ve never written the same song twice so no.
Zoe: I usually start with lyrics and then go to the other song bits.
Sonya: I eat a heap of coriander which I hate, then I go down into my basement and listen to the possums screaming outside. I write the drum parts there, then the A and Z write the other parts.
You’re a band on the up and up: you’re playing big shows; you’ve got a manager; your songs are being mixed and produced by people with impressive resumes, what does that feel like? Have any of you been in bands where this has happened before?
Sonya: Feels pretty good. We are riding this rocket ship to space, baby.
Amy-Rose: We are riding all the way to the stars. Thanks for noticing.
Zoe: Everything I’ve ever done before WHALEHOUSE doesn’t matter anymore.
Which acts are you connecting with – be it sonically or at some deeper level? Who would you say are your musical allies?
Sonya: I connect with DEVO on a sub-atomic level.
Amy-Rose: DZ Deathrays responded to our Instagram DM once.
Zoe: Everyone that we play with and supports us are our musical allies. <3
I feel like your artwork has this fun, kitschy Australiana-ness and “Sexy Whale Beach Party” feels like I’m at some fair dinkum Aussie BBQ so I’m curious about how that aesthetic has developed in this band?
Sonya: I don’t agree with that.
Amy-Rose: I am also curious.
Zoe: Our aesthetic has developed through the tireless efforts of my 24 pack of crayola crayons.
What is your band’s dream? When do you decide that WHALEHOUSE has ‘made it’? Where do you imagine Whalehouse going?
What would you keep in your WHALEHOUSE?
Amy-Rose: More or less the same things you keep in a regular house.
Sonya: The heart of the ocean.
Zoe: My treasure chest filled with gold doubloons.
Whalehouse play at The Foundry on Friday 6 July with Rackett and Port Royal. More details here.