If you go

What: In The Whale (album release) show

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver, 303-291-1007

Cost: $13-$15

More info: larimerlounge.com


Check out In The Whale session

Not familiar with In The Whale's sound? Check out their performance in the Second Story Garage.

In The Whale's Eric Riley and Nate Valdez are wanted for crimes against folk rock, but maybe Colorado can forgive them. Their gametime pantlessness for the Broncos seems to be an effective superstitious practice. That, and their music rocks. When you can't swing a mandolin without hitting an indie folk band, it's extra nice to find a band so loud and dirty.

In The Whale's last record, Cake, is a solid intro to the band, but they really need to be seen and heard live. This Friday, the guys will be at the Larimer Lounge to celebrate the release of their new 7-inch, Eric. We talked to the album's namesake band member about the new songs and the (good-natured) war on folk.


First of all, I think Broncos fans should be thanking you for your ritual pantlessness. They're doing well.

Apparently, yeah. I guess so.

How did you end up naming the record after you?

In The Whale album art for the new 7-inch, Eric.
In The Whale album art for the new 7-inch, Eric.

Well, basically, we were thinking about a full-length album and we kinda decided that it's a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of money, putting out 10 songs just at the quality we wanted to put it out at. We thought we're kind of still a baby band, and if we were to put out of full record, it might not get the recognition we want it to get outside of Colorado. So, we decided to put out two short releases to just kind of spread it out and keep people's interest. So, marketing-wise, it just made sense. There's two of us and there's two releases. In a few months, we'll put out a Nate.

Were the songs picked by personality or something?

No, we just got a list of all the best songs we had and, you know, me, Nate, our manager and Pat Meese, the producer, all just kind of sat down and said, 'Which are the best ones? Which go together?' There's no theme or anything.

The song "Girlfriend" has been out for a bit, and I think that one sounds closer to your old stuff than the others on the record. Was it the same recording session?

We recorded 'Girlfriend' as a single earlier this year. We put it on just 'cause. The other two songs were recorded in our basement, actually.

Wow, really? They sound very polished.

Pat Meese came in and we brought the gear down in our basement, and we tracked there and did vocals in his house, and we sent it to a guy in Portland.

Have you been trying something different with the new songs?

We're a new band — or we're newly serious — and we just moved to Denver, so there's the issue of being a two-piece, where people just dismiss you right away. With Cake, we wanted to sonically sound really, really good and huge, to just kind of say, 'This is what we are and what we do. This isn't bullshit.' I love the way it sounds, but with the new one, we kind of wanted to be more true to what In The Whale is and reflect the live show. It was more stripped and gritty.

I saw the 'wanted for crimes against folk rock' poster. Nice follow-up to 'quit folkin' around.' Is that still pissing people off?

Well, I think because we make fun of ourselves so much, we can get away with it. It's a preemptive strike, if you will. We have a Twitter battle with [Denver band] The Whicker and Pine. When we had the Quit Folkin' Around stuff at the UMS, we were at the UMS and we were like, 'Let's go to Illegal Pete's,' and there's them on stage playing their set, and they called us out when we were standing in line and we couldn't move. But they came up after and said they're cool with it. We don't dislike folk rock, it's just that it's so saturated right now.

I don't think people hate it, it's just refreshing that you're doing the polar opposite.

Yeah, absolutely.

Not familiar with In The Whale's sound? Check out their performance in the Second Story Garage.

Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109 or dean@coloradodaily.com. On Twitter: twitter.com/AshaleyJill.