Recently I was able to catch up with Charleston-based indie rock band, Whitehall, to chat about their upcoming new LP Maizy, out everywhere music is sold on May 5th. Whitehall is Paddy Mckiernan (Vocals/Guitar), Avery Green (Guitar), Brennan Clark (Bass), and Davis Rowe (Drums). I asked the band about their approach to writing great singles like, ”Pull,” as well as what they hope others will take away from listening to their music. The band has toured with pop-rock giants like the Goo Goo Dolls, and appear poised and ready for their moment.
Thank you for your time today. Let’s start off by discussing your great new record, called Maizy, that will be released on May 5th. Now that the album is about to come out, what is your range of emotions going into the promotional cycle of this LP?
We’re really stoked! We think these tracks are our best work yet and we’re excited to hear what people think of them. It feels like we’ve really come into our own in terms of songwriting. A little bit nervous but the feelings are mostly positive!
You released a single called “Pull,” recently. Can you tell me what went into the writing and recording of this particular track?
This one started as an idea that Avery brought to the group during the writing sessions for this album. The original version was pretty dark and heavy and leaned into some of our more punk influences and we were worried that it might feel out of place on the record, so we came up with a slightly more chill/indie version as well. We ended up combining both ideas and you get the chill version for most of the track and the outro is kind of a nod to the original heavier idea. We might play around with going back to the original feel live though!
You’ve toured with pop rock royalty like the Goo Goo Dolls. What lessons did you learn from opening for them?
Up until that run, our tours had been pretty DIY. We play in a lot basements and small rock clubs, so it was really cool to see what touring at that level looked like. The band and their crew are all so cool and professional.
Were there certain songs on Maizy that took more time to finish than others, and if so, can you describe the writing process your band went through?
The writing process was surprisingly smooth, we wrote the whole thing in two weeks. We hit little speed bumps here and there though. When we were writing Rose we were having a hard time coming up with lyrics for the verses so we ended up grabbing some of the books we had brought with us for inspiration. There are little lines in there taken from White Noise and Slaughterhouse Five to name a couple.
I understand your band is from Charleston, South Carolina, correct? What are some of the things you love most about where you’re from, and the Charleston music scene in particular?
The scene in Charleston is great. Everyone’s pretty supportive of each other and there are so many awesome bands. Daddy’s Beemer, Homemade Haircuts, Baby Yaga, Secret Guest, and Babe Club are some of our favorites but we could go on forever. Definitely grateful for getting to come up in that scene.
Every band has a unique story to tell in their music. What do you hope fans of your music will take away from listening to Whitehall?
That’s a tough one. Our music is mostly about ourselves and processing our own specific experiences. But hopefully people can relate to some of those experiences and feel a little bit less alone.