Nathan Kane of Whale Bones recently answered our questions about the music scene in Indianapolis, their music video for “Backyard,” and much more. Check out the full interview below.
Being from Indianapolis, Indiana, what type of music scene did you grow up with?
I didn’t grow up in a music community, really. The majority of my exposure to music, when I was younger, came from my parents. They showed me a lot of grassroots folk, which I think had a strong influence on my songwriting and my choice to take acoustic guitar lessons. I’m also grateful to have grown up in the internet era, because I was exposed to a lot of alternative and emo bands from the early 2000s. I had a few friends in high school who showed me cool bands that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned of, but I never experienced an overarching community of music in Indianapolis.
What led to starting Whale Bones?
I’ve been writing music since I was in high school, but only started taking it seriously in college. Once I moved to a town where I didn’t know anyone, I began spending time writing alone in my room. At the time, it was only meant for my ears, and I used it to focus my energies on something productive and positive. Once I met my friend, Paul, we immediately connected through our mutual love of various bands, and our love of playing music. We started playing on the street in order to make a little money. Over Spring Break one year, we took a road trip to Florida and spent the week relaxing and playing music. I wrote five songs during that week that later developed into being The Seaside EP. It sort of just fell into place, and Whale Bones became the vehicle for those songs to come out.
The Seaside EP was inspired by a trip to Florida. What inspired the band’s upcoming release, Island Fire?
My grandfather built a cabin on a lake in the middle of nowhere, Canada. The closest sign of civilization is a 30 minute drive away. My family goes up there every year to get away from the world and to reset. There’s no electricity, and we use propane in order to light the cabin at night. Paul has been up with my family before, and we had a blast exploring islands and enjoying the solitude. A few of the songs on the new record were written up there.
One summer, we saw smoke on the horizon, and took a boat out to see what was happening. There was an island that had caught on fire due to a campfire that had not been properly doused. The embers slowly ate away at moss in the rock and eventually spread to cover the whole island. There were firefighters that were able to stop the fire. After they had taken care of most of the island, I climbed on to take a few photos, which ended up being the album art for Island Fire.
Who did you work with for the “Backyard” music video?
My friend Joe Etemadi filmed the music video. He approached me about working on a music video together, and after a year of talking, we finally started working on the project. We collaborated on storyboard and executing the shoot. After it was shot, we both worked on editing and coloring the final product.
My friend John agreed to be our character for the video. He once spent time traveling the US and living in the back of his van, so he felt like the perfect person to take the role.
What is your focus leading up to the album release?
Right now I’m focusing on making a new music video, and getting everything else ready for the release. Doing booking, management, and press on your own is tough, but it gives me control over the whole product. I’m trying to set aside time for writing and creating, because that’s what gives me fulfillment.
What are your plans after the release? Are you heading out on tour?
We have a short tour being planned for right before the release, and my intent is to tour the record with some frequency throughout 2018. I plan on doing some solo stripped down tours, and also larger tours with the full band. Traveling is such a fulfilling experience. You get to meet some of the kindest and most interesting people on the road. It’s also great to reconnect with old friends!
Do you have any hobbies outside of the band?
I’m really interested in hand-painted signs and other forms of visual art. While I wouldn’t consider myself a visual artist, I do enjoy making art and discovering other artists. I also like hiking and exploring state parks that are near me. there than that, I like trying different beers with my friends!
Thanks for your time! Where can our readers keep up with the band?
You can keep up with what music we’re listening to on our Spotify Playlist.