Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Chris Didear – lead vocals
James Millican – guitar, vocals
Heath Macintosh – drums, vocals
Aaron Herbster – bass
Alison Pepper – keyboards, vocals
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to White Label Analog? How long has the band been around?
We were Corey Feldman’s backup band called the Mangels prior to this. J/K
Heath – Soak, Alpha Rev, Crawling with Kings
Chris – Deejer, 50 Mission Crush, Blind Date
Aaron – Wan Santo Condo, O:A (Operation Awesome), Grace Woodroofe
James – The Blue Forty Twos, Brawny Cash
Alison – WLA is her first!
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
White Label pressings were the way that record labels used to send out promo copies of a single back in the days of vinyl. So it would be just a generic black and white label and was a cheaper way for them to do the promo copies and save a few bucks. So, in keeping with that vibe we added the word “Analog” to complete the name “White Label Analog.”
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Typically they will start out as either cool riffs, partially written songs, or more complete song ideas from our guitarist James. Then, if lyrics or vocal melodies need to be written, Chris will work on those. Once there is enough of an idea to jam it in practice, we then begin the process of forming more final drafts. We break them down and try any ideas offered by any member in an effort to improve the song’s overall presentation as well as each arrangement.
The themes have mostly been about either personal life experience, universal ideas or imagery that reflects a feeling or mood about something. Sometimes the songs write themselves, but other times it can be a much longer process. Once we feel we have exhausted ideas for a particular song, we’ll rehearse it until we collectively agree it is ready for an audience and perform it live.
There will always be past experiences to draw upon, and as new life experiences happen there will no doubt be more things to write about. We all constantly challenge ourselves in our songwriting. It is one of the most fundamental and important aspects of being in a band, so we place a huge emphasis on it.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Corey Feldman, Starfish Farm, and Hungarian Wedding Music… again kidding.
The Strokes, The Killers, Phoenix, Arctic Monkeys, Two Door Cinema Club
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Not so much a particular band or concert. All of us had bands and concerts that have inspired us to become musicians or to learn to play an instrument growing up. The motivation to form this band was simple. We just wanted to collectively write music that is fun and engaging, something with a modern indie rock sound that includes keyboard melodies and female vocals, and has an edge. A lot of current indie pop and rock bands lean heavily on electronic sounds and while we incorporate those textures we still like the fact that we are a guitar-based rock band.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
Chris: I certainly appreciate and enjoy a good IPA, but I have to severely limit my alcohol consumption while on tour. It really wears on my voice. So, I drink more water than normal before and during shows to stay hydrated. I think the rest just get their stuff on stage and then grab a beer or maybe a cider or tequila for Alison.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Probably our tour because it is a culmination of everything we have been working towards for the past year. Writing, recording, and mixing the songs, then releasing our first full-length album “In Case You Just Tuned In” and launching a national radio single for the song “Echoes” which all ultimately provided us an opportunity to get out on the road to perform our new music for people. The places we’re seeing and people we’re meeting have been really amazing. It’s definitely not as glamorous as people might think. You certainly miss your home and family, but it is a very special experience to be able to travel and play your music night after night in a new town and state. We only have four shows left as this is being written, but it has been an epic journey.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
This is a tough question, there are currently so many incredible bands past and present. Our past band would probably be the Beatles and present band would most likely be the Foo Fighters. Can’t imagine a more stellar touring experience than those two.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We’d just like to say thank you for the opportunity to talk about White Label Analog and our new music. Cheers!