Colorado is without a doubt home of countless original musical talents but perhaps there are few that have managed to stay in the spotlight as long and as successfully and as only a duo as Greeley’s own INTHEWHALE. This loud two-piece heavy rock band certainly needs no introduction, but for the few who might not be in the know, INTHEWHALE consists of the brilliant and creative minds of Nathaniel Valdez (guitar) and Eric Riley (drums.) From touring with Jane’s Addiction to playing Lollapalooza to recording at the Foo Fighter’s Studio 606, there truly isn’t much these guys haven’t done within the span of their time together, and they’re far from finished. They’re playing at the Aggie Theatre on Saturday, January 7, at 6 pm, so I strongly encourage everyone to get tickets while they still last. Valdez and Riley were gracious enough to spend a little time with New Scene recently to answer some questions and inform everyone about INTHEWHALE. Here’s what they had to say.
NEW SCENE: You’ve been around for quite some time, so most of Colorado already knows the name In the Whale, but for anyone who might not be familiar, how might you describe yourselves as a band?
INTHEWHALE: We are loud aggressive rock known for our high-energy show. If it is your first time seeing the band, be prepared to have your moshing shoes on.
NEW SCENE: I apologize in advance; I’m sure it’s more than likely the most tired question at this point in your career. I really like the name, and I was hoping you might be able to share where that comes from.
INTHEWHALE: Our name came from a feeling that the singer (Nate Valdez) had after a long relationship had ended. The feeling of abandonment and being rudderless.
NEW SCENE: You guys have kept pretty busy since 2010, from albums to EPs and singles; for just two guys, I think it’s fair to say you’re pretty prolific. Do you find with being a two-piece that it’s easier to create more music and get more done in general, or do you not attribute much to that?
INTHEWHALE: With only two people in the band, it is both great and terrible. Writing music has been smooth because we both have the same goal in mind and want to create the best music we can. When suggestions are presented during recording, it’s pretty easy to try things and see what sounds best. That being said, it is also important for a band like us to have a third party (Producer) in the mix to help be a tiebreaker when we can’t make a decision.
NEW SCENE: The band has managed to achieve a lot in the decade+ that you’ve been at it; with licensing songs for TV and film, touring with big names, and playing major festivals, I have to imagine every experience is important, but I’m just curious if there’s maybe one accomplishment or specific moment that the two of you hold in just a little higher regard than all the rest?
INTHEWHALE: Playing with the big names and playing the festivals is all great, but the things that stand out to us the most are when we see fans sing back all our lyrics to us at our shows or when fans show us their INTHEWHALE tattoo. It’s humbling to know that people care for us so much.
NEW SCENE: Your show at the Aggie Theater is coming up on Jan. 7; since you guys have played all over the globe, but with your origins being set in Greeley, how special is it whenever you get a chance to play through NOCO?
INTHEWHALE: We love northern Colorado! It’s where we cut our teeth. Coming back to our old stomping ground is a great feeling, mainly because we get to see all of our old friends.
NEW SCENE: I realize you just released your latest album Vanishing Point not all that long ago, but I thought I read online there’s possibly even a newer album coming out soon. Is that true?
INTHEWHALE: There is a new album coming. We have been sitting on it for a while and trying to work out logistics with whom we will partner to release it. Hopefully, it will be out soon.
NEW SCENE: With the New Year right around the corner, is anything specific you have your sights set on doing within the coming year or any band news fans can look forward to going into 2023?
INTHEWHALE: We hope to release a new record and tour as much as possible. Keep your eyes peeled for a few single releases in 2023!