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Band Of The Month: Whosah “Make A Move” [VIDEO PREMIERE]

Whosah Minneapolis, Minnesota band personal pop maple grove

What more can I say about indie pop locals, Whosah. They’re great people. End of story. Refrain from judgment, if any, on the flashy jackets, excessively buttoned-down dress shirt, and patterned pants. Have an opportunity to meet them and you’ll see they’re a fun-loving group of genuine human beings who simply enjoy playing music together.

With Spencer Grimes (vocals), Dallas Ergdahl (lead guitar), Mack Grimes (rhythm guitar), Nate Flynn (Bass), and Dave Grimes (drums), they continue to break the cliché, “we’re too cool for you” band dude stereotype one personal interaction at a time.

You may have noticed three members share a last name, as Spencer, Dave, and Mack are all brothers. If you grew up as an only child, you may not understand the true challenges of spending lengthy time around siblings. If you’ve ever attempted starting a band or a small business with a friend or family member, you might assume Whosah’s family/ best friend venture of success could very well be futile. However, Whosah has concocted the nearly perfect recipe for high-quality teamwork and effective communication, which is the cornerstone of success in any realm of business or relationships.

Since the band’s formation, Whosah has been committed to creating an environment where relationships are formed through a musical connection. By approaching every song and performance with 100% energy and authenticity, Whosah delivers an experience that forms a musical bond not quickly forgotten. The group thrives in environments both large and small, performing shows as intimate as college dorms and large as music festivals.

In our interview, we talk with Spencer and Dave about the dynamic of being in a band with family members, overcoming difficulties of pursuing a career in music without the heavy hand of a record label, and how they separate responsibilities within the group in order to work as a well-oiled machine.

 – Whosah Interview –

When did you all develop an interest in music? Was there anyone in particular who inspired you?

Spencer: When I was in middle school, our family moved from Indiana to Minnesota. Like a lot of kids, I didn’t make very many friends right away. I remember connecting to songs like “more than useless” by Relient K and thinking, man this song feels how I’m feeling so well. I want to learn to do that. I bought a guitar and learned every song on that record and then as soon as I could play two chords, I started writing my own songs to process my middle school life.

Describe the experience of being in a band with brothers?

Spencer: Being in a band with brothers is wild. On one hand, it’s really hard because we know each other so well and we have such a long history together that little things that bother us about each other can become big things pretty fast. But on the other hand, it’s amazing because no decision or musical direction or disagreement can stop us from being brothers, so we’ve really got to put our relationship first, before our opinions or ambition.

Like when things get heated, it’s always, “look, you’re still my brother and I love you a ton, but I hate how you’re acting right now.” It keeps everything in perspective with what our priorities are with this music: people & relationships are what really matter to us. Also going on tour is like being on a family road trip, that’s pretty rad.

Describe the experience of being independent musicians?

Spencer: Being an independent musician is like trying to build a start-up business in a marketplace that is over saturated with competition and similar products, and has very little chance of being profitable even if you somehow rise to the top of the pile. It’s like being in the baseball minor leagues, knowing that even if you work hard your whole life, it’s most likely that you won’t ever make a livable wage using that skill.

Buuut, on the other hand, being an independent musician is much like panning for gold on a sunny beach in California, even if you never “make it big” or become famous, you can do whatever you want because no one is telling you what to do, and you can really have a great time doing something you love in the process. Both those metaphors hold truth, but we focus on the 2nd one because we really enjoy being independent and working hard on our art, just for the sake of doing something we love.

Who does what in the band, musically and business-wise?

Spencer: There’s SO much that goes into both the music & shows, and the business of our band, that we all do all of it to some degree. We tend to help each other out a lot and switch around roles when people start to get worn out of a specific task. At the moment, we’re all working on songwriting together and individually (for our respective instruments).

Dave and I are splitting the booking and show logistics tasks, Dallas is doing all the website, posters, merch design, good looking stuff, and Mack is filling the gaps with marketing and some video work. Dave handles most of the social media content right now, although Dallas does a fair amount as well.

Also, Dave is doing most of the PR stuff. I’ve been trying to step away from a lot of the business stuff, although I still end up doing all the finance stuff and kind of high-level planning for our future, I’m trying to focus 100% of my time into some songs I’m working on right now.

Your last EP was titled, “Work”. How does one (or five people) maintain a steady income, while also having the ability to take off for tour when need be?

Spencer: It’s a wild adventure! As of October, over half of us will be married, and two of us will be homeowners, so we’ve all got bills to pay and people we’re responsible to. “Work” really focused on this theme of finding meaning and value in your everyday grind, even though for many of us (not just in this band) don’t spend most of our time doing the things we love the most.

We really feel like even if you don’t “do what you love” in the sort of follow your heart sort of sentiment, you can still love what you do. As in you can still choose to enjoy your day to the fullest even if your day is full of some things you don’t super enjoy. Choosing to love you day is still a choice we try to make every day.

But yeah, in a practical sense, we all just work our tails off whenever we’re in town at our day jobs so that when we need some slack to go out on a run of shows, our bosses feel like it’s worth it. We also try to be super available by phone and email on the road, which can be super taxing, touring and working remotely, but it helps our jobs stay flexible. That’s pretty much our technique. -Spencer

 

What are a few best-scenario day jobs for a musician?

Dave: Anything you can contribute to a company (hopefully with a mission you can get behind) which that helps stabilize your income but also allows you to travel when you need to is the money shot. Super hard to do- takes a long time to build the necessary relationships to do it. For us we’ve just only allowed ourselves to take work where our desire to stay in this band and to tour is a mutual agreement on the front end- setting expectations on both sides of any relationship is key.

Explain the importance of believing in yourselves and how you maintain the grind without allowing doubt to creep into your mind.

Dave: For us, it has less to do with believing in ourselves and more recognizing that you need true allies alongside you and something intangible to hold onto that keeps you going. Some part of us feels meant to do this or at least feels something deep inside us that propels us to never stop pursuing new relationships and moments through making music.

From that perspective, sometimes it’s most helpful to recognize that today you feel discouraged, or tired, or jaded- and you need the people you rely on the most to be there for you to help you remember those things you forgot that bring purpose to what you pursue.

What makes you different than the other musicians in the area?

Spencer: We’re all the same! Haha, we often hear from people that they’re surprised how much we care about the people that come to our shows. Not just as fans or numbers, but as individuals. I really hope that doesn’t make us different because I know a lot of artist like that, but maybe it does. We also are all technically educated (engineering, computer science degrees, etc) which I think catches people off guard sometimes. When they find out we went to college they assume like liberal arts or journalism or something.

What are you currently up to?

Dave: We’ve been writing a full length on and off pretty much since the day the last EP was released. That experience of writing in Nashville taught us so much about how to throw away the rules and try something new… it made us want to go back to our roots in a new way but to keep that free air going on a deeper story that we feel like only a full length can tell.

We started the year with some deadlines in place on wrapping that full length up, but the more we write, the more we up our standards for where the tunes are headed and decide to circle back. 30-some demos in and we only feel like 6-8 really say what we wanna say. Timelines now? Let’s just say after this tour that record’s pretty much all we’ll be doing.

We started the year with some deadlines in place on wrapping that full length up, but the more we write, the more we up our standards for where the tunes are headed and decide to circle back. 30-some demos in and we only feel like 6-8 really say what we wanna say. Timelines now? Let’s just say after this tour that record’s pretty much all we’ll be doing.

 

Please share a memorable story (embarrassing, sad, funny, exciting) that sticks out in your mind that involves the band.

Spencer: Oh man, so many embarrassing/funny stories. It seems only fair that I share one about myself, not the other guys. One time on the way home from a gig, like 2 in the morning, I got pulled over for speeding in a country town where the speed limit drops from 60 to 30mph. The cop asked me where we were headed and I said, home to Minneapolis, and he said, “No you’re not. You’re almost to the South Dakota border!” I’d driven like an hour in the complete opposite direction of home and would’ve kept on till the sunrise if I hadn’t been pulled over. Lucky the officer felt sorry for how stupid I was and let me off with a warning.

Where should people find your music?

Dave: Anywhere on the internet really. iTunes, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon, whatever. Spotify –we’re on there — but I’ve heard has one of the lowest artist payouts these days, so maybe come to a show and buy a souvenir CD?

Catch Whosah perform September 14th at The Triple Rock. Buy your tickets in advance, here. Don’t forget to stick around after the show to snag a photo and chat with them. They’d be more than happy to meet you!

Whosah Triple Rock Sept 14

Positive energy-seeking singer/ songwriter, graphic designer, vandweller, writer, photographer and whatever else I can get my hands on.

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Written by Bo Weber

Positive energy-seeking singer/ songwriter, graphic designer, vandweller, writer, photographer and whatever else I can get my hands on.

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