Meet the Juno nominees: Said The Whale
Said the Whale (credit: Jonathan Taggart)
Vancouver's Said The Whale and Montreal's Hollerado are in cahoots. Without hesitation Said The Whale guitarist-vocalist Tyler Bancroft endorsed Hollerado when asked which act besides his own should win the New Group of the Year Juno. Good thing too, we tell him, since Hollerado's Nixon Boyd picked Said The Whale.
There's no clear, obvious frontrunner in the category -- which also includes Die Mannequin, Misteur Valaire and My Darkest Days -- but just like Hollerado, if Said The Whale wins, Bancroft says they will mention sharing the award with Hollerado in their acceptance speech.
And it wouldn't be the first time the two bands have shared something.
"The first time we met them was four years ago," says Bancroft. "I saw them at North By Northeast, found them on MySpace afterwards and messaged them asking if they wanted to play this show in Ottawa with us.
"About nine people [came to the show]. The set we did was three songs back and forth, so that if they had five people there to see them and we had like four people to see us, we wanted to make sure that none of those people left. So we just traded three songs back and forth all night.
"We've been friends ever since; we've done a couple of mini tours with them, but it's a huge honour to be nominated in the same category."
As for his fellow nominees for new group, Bancroft prefers not to comment. He has looked them all up online, but explains, "I'm not going to pass judgment on a band after hearing two songs on their MySpace page. We know what they sound like; we know what their vibe is, but we haven't met them. We haven't seen them live and I never really want to judge a band if I haven't got all those three categories filled out."
Said The Whale -- whose other members are guitarist/vocalist Ben Worcester, bassist Peter Carruthers, drummer Spencer Schoening, and keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown -- will actually be interrupting its U.S. tour to attend the Juno festivities. The band, which is supporting its 2009 album, "Islands Disappear," flies out of Los Angeles to Toronto and then back to San Francisco and then Portland for the second last show of the tour. The band also plays JunoFest on March 25th at the Horseshoe.
With all that touring, the band was certain to run into a road incident that is so common among musicians it's become cliché: a couple of week ago, Said The Whale's trailer was broken into and gear stolen. They didn't have insurance.
"It happens to everybody I think. It's sort of like a right of passage," says Bancroft. "We heard from bands before that it's not a matter of if you get robbed, it's a matter of when you get robbed.
"We keep our stuff in the trailer, but I guess we just had shitty locks and [the thieves] cut them off and had a field day. Luckily, they must have got interrupted a quarter of a way through because there was stuff strewn all over the ground as if they got scared off. It could have been a lot worse."
Aux TV generously gave the band $200 towards a new acoustic guitar and the band found some cheap replacements in music stores on their travels, including a glockenspiel through Craigslist that they picked up in Austin in time for their gigs at South By Southwest. Lesson learned, the band bought tougher locks and got some deceptive "junk removal" stickers.
"If someone wants to get in your trailer they'll get in your trailer," Bancroft resigns. "That's the way it is and all you can do is take every preventative measure that you're able to do."
The band has already been working new songs into its set, none of which are called "My Gear Just Got Stolen." "Nothing quite that witty and nothing quite that brand new!, Bancroft says. "We're not the type of guys who can write on the road."
But they are a band that can make a video reenactment of a crime right after becoming victims. "That we can do," Bancroft laughs.