"This city is an island," Valdez points out. "The next biggest cities are an eight-hour drive. We are so isolated when it comes to music. On the East Coast, you drive forty miles and you're at the next big city, and it's another market. We have maybe six big markets around us, but they're all eight hours away. We're looking to make this a full-time thing, so you've got to do all these jaunts and pay the piper and do all these rough drives. We've been lucky, and have been very close to breaking even."

"Because it's only two of us," adds Riley. "But, yeah, you have to drive eight hours, lose money, play to ten people and hope that they like you, and after a month and a half, drive back and see if you can get more people there. And then kick ass and see if you can impress some people and maybe get on a better show next time."

"It's so weird...I tell my family what we're doing, and they're like, 'Man, you have to have so many fans,'" says Valdez with a smile. "But they have no idea what it's really like. We've been told we're working really smartly and we're following the right steps, and the potential is there to make something for ourselves, but it's hard, and it's going to take a long time."

Location Info


Larimer Lounge

2721 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205

Category: Music Venues

Region: Downtown Denver


In the Whale record-release show, with Pull the Alarm and Viretta, 8 p.m. Friday, November 22, Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer Street, $13-$15, 303-291-1007.

"I think the media likes to portray it as a fast process," declares Riley. "You see American Idol, and they depict it like they've discovered this person off the street, but you don't know that that person has been taking voice lessons for five years and has been in all these bands and has two albums out. It's a better story to say, 'Oh, my God, I found this person on a park bench,' because that's more exciting."

"I like to think that we're sort of the answer to the Denver folk stuff," concludes Riley. "I always imagine we're the band the hipster doesn't want his friends to know he likes. All his friends listen to Lumineers and Bon Iver, and he's sneaking out to go to the Hi-Dive and watch In the Whale. Nothing against those guys; it's just action, reaction."

Or Slash and burn.

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