Nexus Meets… Artist – Shadow of Whales

While the talent in the UK is overwhelming, sometimes artists so outstandingly talented reach our European ears all the way from across the pond. One of these groups is the US indie-rock group, Shadow of Whales. Building a name for themselves amidst the Austin scene, these gentlemen are ready to spread their sound beyond Texan (and even American) borders. We sat down with bassist, Jeremy Boyum, for a quick chat to discuss their upcoming gig at Six Flags, plans for the new year, and advice for new bands.

You recently released a video for your single ‘Words’. What was the concept behind the song and the video?

The concept behind ‘Words’ is essentially love. It’s a story of someone having feelings for another and feeling very close to that person, but not knowing whether or not they’re friends or more than friends. Among that, the anxiousness that comes with wanting to tell that person how you truly feel about them but not being able to express it in words.

We wanted the video to express both the heightened emotion of joy and happiness that comes from being freshly in love with someone, while also illustrating the very distracting chaos and messiness that anxiety can be on someone wanting to express their feelings. I think we accomplished that quite well.

Now, a lot of people have to compromise when it comes to filming – a sort-of plan not becoming a reality. Was that the case with this video?

Oddly enough, the vision was a bit different than the end product ended up being but we are ultimately very happy with how it turned out. Originally, Josh was supposed to be hanging upside down, and the camera was going to be upside down as well so all of the elements you see thrown into the picture would have ‘reverse-gravity’. We quickly found out that we couldn’t do that safely enough with the equipment we had so we had to pivot a bit. But all of the choreography of the elements being thrown into the picture, the slow motion effect of Josh singing really fast and props and backdrop are all true to the original vision.

I am a big supporter of SoW, and I’ve noticed a growth in marketing of the brand. How important do you think promotion is for bands, and what advice would you give newer artists from a marketing perspective?

I’ve always believed that marketing and promotion was 80% of the music business. It’s how I’ve always operated with any band I’ve ever been in, and I treat SoW the same way. My advice for any new artist trying to get into the music industry is to start now and learn as much as possible always. Don’t wait to have a band if you don’t have a band, learn your instrument, make your own brand and learn how to market yourself. The market yourself part is obviously an incredibly large and daunting balloon, but I really mean that in every sense. If you wait until you have a band, which could be 1-10 months or 1-10 years, you’ll find a feeling of being way behind when you finally have it all set up. Learn everything now. It’s also much easier to find and attract a band when you know how to navigate the music industry on your own.

Lastly, get super duper extra crystal clear on what it is you want to be in the music industry. That’s the most important thing. If you want to be an online artist, if you want to be a touring artist, if you want to be the main songwriter, if you want to be a YouTuber, if you want to be whatever. That needs to be so finitely clear because the more clear that is, the more clear it is what you’ll need to know to get there, and you’ll get there a lot more quickly the more you know what it is you actually want.

You’re about to perform at Six Flags – a theme park for those on this side of the pond. Are you excited?

We LOVE Six Flags. We’ve played there almost every spring break for the last 5 year or 6 years. It’s always a huge blast!

If you could perform at any venue with any artist, where and who would it be and why?

Oh gosh… uh. Honestly, I would love to play Reading and Leeds. Warped Tour should it come back would be a dream. Madison Square Garden, Red Rocks, Frank Erwin, those are huge. Would love to play with The Killers, Switchfoot, Relient K, Knox Hamilton. Those are some of our major influences; that would be a dream.

What are your plans for 2019? Maybe a new full-length album?

We are working on a full-length album. 2018 was a fantastic year for us, but it was also incredibly difficult and we’re still feeling the effects of that. We are incredibly blessed to be supported by more and more people each year, and 2018 was a banger year for us for sure. We also stopped working with our drummer Caleb Flores, he decided he wanted to do something different. Even more recently, we stopped working with our guitarist Chris Fraga. It’s taken a huge toll on all of us emotionally because they’re our brothers and we love and miss them.

Ultimately, it was the best for everyone and we wish the best for everyone, but we loved working with them and miss them dearly as bandmates. The busyness of spring break coming up and all of that combined has really slowed things down on the writing side. But we essentially made two big goals for 2019 and that’s to play more shows and write more music. So it’s one of our top priorities to get a new album out to you

So, when can we expect you to make it over to Europe?

I so badly wish I had a clearer answer for that. We want to come to Europe so badly. I hate saying things open-ended, but the only answer I can think of is ‘hopefully soon…’

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