About The Band:
With their fierce intensity and explosive punk rock energy, The Whigs had a specific mission in mind for their new album, Mission Control; to capture the energy and spirit of their live show. The legendary Hollywood Sunset Sound Studios (where everyone from The Beach Boys to Led Zeppelin have tracked) was a far cry from the sweaty, dilapidated mansion in Athens, Ga., where the then-college students made their self-produced and later critically acclaimed debut Give ’em All a Big Fat Lip, but it proved an optimal background for their ATO Records debut, Mission Control. Mission Control is a raucous 37 minutes embodying all things forgotten in alt rock’s uncompromising optimism.
Focusing on songs, playing them hard and with heart – its no surprise Mission Control captures a raw and gritty spirit that makes pop music interesting. The band’s new album delivers on the promise the trio raised with 2005’s self-released Give ’em All a Big Fat Lip – an attention-getting shot across the bow that had everyone from Rolling Stone, Spin, Blender, Entertainment Weekly and many others scrambling to be the first to praise the young newcomers. The album is a reaction, a reengagement in the bare-boned aesthetic and melody of indie rock music and its left-of-center predecessors. “Pavement was huge for me,” says songwriter Parker Gispert. “I remember discovering them and the Replacements and realizing that these people wrote pop songs — really well-written, catchy tunes with cool lyrics — and that made pop music appealing for me.”
In July 2007, The Whigs entered Sunset Sound with noted producer Rob Schnapf, who has worked with Elliott Smith, Beck and Guided By Voices. “One of the things we liked about Rob is that he brings out the style of whomever he’s working with” says Gispert who cites a major goal for Mission Control was to capture the full sound of the band’s live show while allowing the absence of overdubs and extra guitar parts to highlight the purpose of the prominent instruments in each of the songs. Drummer Julian Dorio explains, “What’s important is capturing the spirit of old fashion rock ‘n’ roll. Everybody has their purpose in the songs. It should sound full yet sound like there are three of us. The bass does a lot of melodies. There aren’t two people playing the same thing on guitar. No one is sitting there backing up what someone else is doing. Hopefully that comes across.”
Tracks like the blistering opener “Like a Vibration” and the cymbal thrasher “Need You Need You” really jump off the speakers and set the album’s no-holds-barred tone. But The Whigs prove their versatility by switching up the mood on the melancholic “I Never Want To Go Home,” the crowd favorite “Right Hand On My Heart,” and the psychedelic “Sleep Sunshine.” “We listen to a ton of different kinds of music, and the bands I love aren’t necessarily bands that have a certain sound. Your sound is more of a byproduct of the songs that you write” explains Gispert.
The Whigs toured relentlessly behind Give ’em All a Big Fat Lip, including a stop at the 2007 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Now with new bass player Tim Deaux on board, The Whigs are ready to hit the road again in support of Mission Control, which was released in January 2008. “There’s nothing more revealing than playing live,” Dorio says, “That’s when you find out what the songs are made of.”
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