Whitney :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

It had been a weird two days for Whitney. Coming off of the first weekend of Coachella, the band was feeling kinda bummed over the experience. Or at least, that’s what they told the crowd the next night, at the first of three sold-out nights in San Francisco. The first night of the run was a tour-highlight for the band, and the excitement from the quick-turnaround was palpable.

AD sat down with principal members Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek the next afternoon, and went deep on their continuing inspiration and partnership, what to expect next from the band, and how they’ve maintained their love of the music in spite of playing it non-stop for over two years.

Whitney :: Red Moon

Aquarium Drunkard: Where are you at right now for your second record, and how is it going?

Julien Ehrlich: It’s good. Whenever we’re home it takes a few days but then we usually get an idea up and running — we’re just essentially making the same record… because you know, we have all the Light Upon the Lake demos, we initially thought we were going to release them all in that demo form — we’re kinda just doing it the same way. I imagine we’ll wind up re-recording it — we’re a few songs in.

AD: You played a new one last night — and you played live shows several times before you ever released any of that original material — do you like work-shopping material in front of an audience?

Max Kakacek: I think the way we play songs live versus the way they’re recorded is we have to rearrange things. The recording of the new song right now is super-string heavy, and obviously we don’t have those live, so a lot of playing it live is figuring out how to shuffle around, as musicians, to arrange it has a dynamic arc, that strings would have provided. So we’re learning, every time we play we’re learning how to make it a little denser in certain parts, and where to back off.

AD: For the rest of the band, having them in on it, for a full cycle, is that changing your process with how you’re writing? You’ve been effusive about your trust for the other members of the group and their contributions — is that a trust that continues to grow as you record this, or is is the same strong bond that’s always been there?

Julien Ehrlich: We still definitely need the songs to come from us two, but we spend so much more time with these dudes now — maybe we’ll write half their part, teach it to them, and ask what they think they should do there. Whereas the first one was entirely written by us. We’re still conscious that the songs need to come from our two brains, and only our two brains probably…

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