Vocalist Joshua Flores, drummer Caleb Flores, lead guitarist Chris Fraga, bassist Jeremy Boyum, and keyboardist JD Vazquez make up the alternative-indie band, Shadow of Whales. They first performed at the Austin Convention Center, and after appearing on the local news station, have shared the stage with artists such as Mayday Parade, Courage My Love, Jonny Craig, and Cartel. A year after their debut performance, they released their first self-titled EP and have now participated in multiple festivals such as Vans Warped Tour and RedGorilla. They released their second EP, What We Do, in August 2017 and went on tour to promote their latest work. We got the chance to interview them and talk more about their music and the story of their band.
AltWire: Just to get started so we can get to know you, how did you all get interested in music and decide to pursue it as a career? Also, how did you as individuals meet and form Shadow of Whales and how did you decide the name and style of the band as well?
Shadow of Whales: All of us, and I guess this goes for most people, have been affected by highs and lows in our lives and music has just always been the theme that has either amplified or gotten us through those experiences. We have a deep connection in our souls with music and doing anything other than creating it and performing it just seems wrong.
Every one of the band members at one point or another met our lead singer, Joshua Flores. The planets aligned and we were all opened up for new projects when he brought everyone together.
AltWire: Now that we know a bit of background on you as a band we can talk about your music! I noticed you consistently lean towards positive sounding music and lyrics, it makes your music very fun to listen to but is there a creative reason you have chosen have a more positive vibe?
Shadow of Whales: Music you can move to is definitely a goal we strive for. Beyond that though, our mission is to “spread hope and love as far as sound can reach”. Much in the way music has helped us get through hard times and amplified our great times, we want to make music that is a catalyst for somebody else in that way and give back to music and the world what it gave to us.
AltWire: Can we talk a bit about the album? What inspired some of the music and what do you hope fans can take away from the album? Does the album tell a specific story when listened to in a certain way, what should fans keep in mind?
Shadow of Whales: The music is inspired by the experiences we’ve had in our lives and experiences our fans tell us about. A lot of our music is actually inspired by the fans we talk to on a daily basis. We try not to be too specific in terms of interpretation because we want to allow our music to say whatever people can be inspired to take away from it. However, our goal is to comfort, encourage and inspire our listeners to know that they’re not alone and that we believe in them; no matter what they’re going through.
AltWire: Your song Talk seems very different from the rest of the record, is there a reason you chose to include that song in the compilation?
Shadow of Whales: Yeah, that one was kind of on the edge. The whole goal of What We Do was to show that you can still believe in yourself and you can still chase your dreams even in the midst of tribulation. Our first record didn’t speak a lot to how real life can be in the way of it’s difficulties. Talk is probably one of the darkest songs of the record, it’s about trying to mend a relationship that you might have even broken yourself and while trying to constantly give and pour into it, it’s just never enough. There’s a lot of people that might relate to this. Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, you might have a friend who is always unhappy with something you’re doing in your life or to them from their perception. The reason we included “Talk” was because of it’s chorus. It’s resolution is to own what you can own and move on. A relationship is a two way street and there’s only so much road you can give someone before you have to decide whether or not that road is still worth traveling for your own emotional sanity. If you have a toxic friendship or relationship and the only one trying to fix it is you, it’s time to move on. It’s a situation we have heard a lot with many of our fans and a lot of them feel trapped and unable to pursue their dreams or even be happy because of it. It’s not as optimistic as the rest of the record, in some ways it’s almost a lose-lose situation. No one wants to lose a friend or significant other or make that decision to walk away but sometimes you have to for both parties sake. Only then can you find happiness within yourself again.
AltWire: What about new music? Anything in the works for you guys that you can tell us a bit about?
Shadow of Whales: We are working on new music, whether or not it will get released this year I can’t say. But we definitely want that to happen.
AltWire: I really loved your music video for Runaway! Can you tell us about that video and what it was like to film?
Shadow of Whales: It was both really fun and really difficult to film haha. We were on a pretty big time-constraint and the weather was not agreeing with us. But we had a lot of fun and the finished product turned out great. Shout-out to Fox & Florals for the amazing job they did.
AltWire: I have watched some of the behind the scenes videos from your tour that showed what life was like on your side of the stage so to speak. How was the tour? Any weird or fun things you did together or learned about each other as friends and bandmates?
Shadow of Whales: There is a part in the video you’re talking about where we are at this venue that had this underground basement with a TON of weird stuff. Definitely one of the highlights haha. The whole tour was a lot of fun overall though. Even all of the really difficult parts (when a show fell through, when we had to reroute or drive through the night to make the next gig) it was a lot of fun; and I don’t think I would’ve wanted to experience that with anyone other than the band and crew that was with us. It was great.
AltWire: One thing I always want to know about is the artists you are listening to…any good recommendations for us to check out?
Shadow of Whales: Oh man…do I. All of the bands below are fantastic and bands for the most part we recently discovered and became friends with ourselves. Every one of them deserves a listen (and they’re all on Spotify)!
Death By Fireworks
Serf and James
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