Said The Whale’s Tyler Bancroft recently spoke with Indie88 to explain the five songs that he thinks most influenced the Vancouver indie rock band’s sound.
The band has really honed their sound after making music together for eleven years now. “I started [Said The Whale] back in 2007 alongside Ben Worcester, who is the other singer-songwriter of the band,” Bancroft explains to Indie88. Since their inception, their music has molded and morphed into something new.
“I think that this upcoming album that we’ve made really feels like the most Said The Whale Said The Whale album there’s ever been. It feels like a totally distilled version,” Bancroft told Indie88. “It just feels so honest and true to our band, and I feel like we’ve landed on what our band sounds like more than ever before.”
Check out the five songs that made Said The Whale below.
The Beach Boys – “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”
Tyler: “The first song I chose is ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ by The Beach Boys, which I would describe as a perfect pop song. I think that it influenced Said The Whale in that it is a pop song with great hooks, and it also has this sort of element of forlorn nostalgia to it, which I think emerges as a theme in a lot of our music. I mean, Ben and I are both big Beach Boys fans, and I definitely got my peak songwriting as a kid listening to 60’s pop mixtapes.”
The Shins – “Pink Bullets”
Tyler: “Song number two is more me than Ben. This is my favourite Shins song ever written I think, and around the time that we were forming this band, the whole Garden State soundtrack was really popular, and that kind of kicked off The Shins’ career, or at least supercharged it. That song always jumped out to me as just beautiful poetry in a song, and when Ben and I first started the band, we started this music project together with the idea of focusing on lyrics because it was something that we had in common together. We always thought that music was powerful with moving lyrics, and to me that song was a really great example of one with a beautiful poetry base to it.”
The Tragically Hip – “In View”
Tyler: “Ben is a die hard Tragically Hip fan. I never was so much growing up, I kind of missed out on the Hip in favour of so-Cal punk rock. I think ‘In View’ was the first Tragically Hip song that really got me, and that kind of pulled me into liking the Hip and Gord Downie’s writing. That record, World Container, was a big staple in our tour van for a long time. It still is.”
Wolf Parade – “You Are A Runner and I am My Father’s Son”
Tyler: “Just an iconic drum beat and that album, Apologies to the Queen Mary, was an album that Ben and I bonded over when we first started making music together. Like I said, it’s got such an iconic drum beat and that sort of speaks to the importance of the rhythm section in Said The Whale and the percussive aspect of songs. In particular, I write a lot of songs just starting with a drum beat, so that song always jumped out to me. It could’ve gone any direction with the melody, and it would still be amazing because that beat was just so so good.”
Unicorns – “I Was Born (A Unicorn)”
Tyler: “I used to have a radio show in Victoria, and I played a lot of the Unicorns. Ben was a Unicorns fan, and what I really love about this song and why I chose it for this is because there’s a part in the song where there’s two singers in the band and they have this funny little lyrical quip back and forth. They’re sort of arguing over who writes the songs and who’s doing it wrong, and I just always thought that was really funny, especially as somebody who’s in a band with another songwriter. We often disagree on things, but we eventually come to an agreement, and I think we understand each other’s arguments well enough to never make it a huge explosion of egos, but it speaks to the difficulties of sharing creative processes with another songwriter.”
Said The Whale have been gearing up for their forthcoming album, Cascadia, which is set for release on February 8th.
“This is just totally what comes natural to us, and we’re all really proud of [Cascadia] and excited to be playing it live because we think it’s our best record.”
You can catch Said The Whale opening up for Mother Mother at the Phoenix on February 28th and March 1st.