A&E » Arts

The Whale surfacing in Whistler

Vancouver’s Said The Whale just one of 40+ artists on the bill for upcoming Deraylor Festival



Who: Said the Whale

When: Friday, Aug. 13, midnight

Where: GLC

Cost: $40 Deraylor wristband

Last Friday afternoon, Tyler Bancroft was busily "sifting through mounds of shit," getting his band's converted 2000 Dodge Ram van, "Franklin," ready to head out on the open road once again.

"He's dark green and has a raised roof, so kind of looks like a turtle shell, like Franklin the Turtle," Bancroft explained.

Bancroft is a founding member of the Vancouver-based indie rock band, Said The Whale, which features himself and Ben Worcester on guitar and vocals, Spencer Schoening on drums, Peter Carruthers on bass and Jaycelyn Brown on keys.

"The band name was really just a result of a brainstorm between Ben and I three years ago and we just kind of thought the name sounded kind of West Coast and reflective of the music that we were making at the time. It worked then, and now we're stuck with an animal band name, which is just fine by us!

"I mean really, how important is your band name, unless you've got the worst band name in the world? Some of the most famous bands we know have the worst band names."

The Whale was born almost three years ago, at the time Bancroft and Worcester were releasing their first EP, Taking Abalonia.

"I've always been pretty ambitious, so I definitely envisioned success and that was just our first step towards it, at the point," Bancroft said. "I could make it a far more romantic story if I said it was some sort of small passion project with no expectations, but in reality it was totally us wanting to take a stab at being successful musicians."

It took them a little while to iron out a lineup that worked. Eventually they recruited Schoening, Carruthers and Brown and ended up re-releasing that first EP, beefing it up with tracks that pushed things beyond the pure pop genre and created an "interesting dynamic" in the process.

"That's kind of something that's always been a little bit of a challenge for us - and when I say that, I mean having songs of different genres, if you will, fit in with each other. Ben and I are influenced by such different things, honestly it's not even that we write different songs than each other, it's that we write different songs than ourselves. Neither of us is really locked into one particular genre when writing, and we're just writing what comes naturally."

Their sound ranges from straight-up bubblegum folk of The Light Is You and gentle ukulele ballads like The Real of It to the thundering hard rock tune, Last Tree Standing.