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Described as “Indie Pop Gypsy Rock,” THE DUSKWHALES of Northern Virginia have been on a roll since they began making music together in January 2010. Since then, the band has self-released three full-length albums and one EP. With a strong Catholic faith and a passion for music, the band has set out to create music that inspires the soul and feet to dance simultaneously. Formerly a four-piece band, the current trio includes guitarist/vocalist Seth Flynn, drummer/vocalist/guitarist Chris Baker, and keyboardist/drummer/vocalist Brian Majewski. The band recently released their latest self-titled full length, which is dedicated to the Catholic saint also pictured on the front cover. We spoke with Baker regarding his band’s new album and their successful Kickstarter campaign they used to fund the recording process, the importance of social media when promoting their band, as well as how their religious beliefs influence their song writing.

You guys recently released a new self-titled album. Can you tell me about the concept of the album and how the recording process went for it?

This album was made up some older songs, as well as some never material. We recently lost our bass player, Austin. He decided to pursue his studies at Virginia Tech, but this album was a culmination of the old sound that we had with the bass player and some of the newer songs that we wrote without a bass. So it features more of the keyboard and organ type of sound. As far as the recording process, we actually had Austin, the bass player, come and record on four of five of the songs — some the older stuff that he used to play with us in the band, and then for the rest of the bass tracks, we just recorded ourselves as the trio. We recorded with this guy Pablo Cabrera at his home studio in Annandale called Precocious Studio. So that was pretty cool. It worked out pretty well. We went in for a few sessions of June and July, and we got it mixed and mastered for the release in August.

I saw on your Bandcamp page that in July of this year you released the single “Lavender Ladies”. What is that song about?

Seth was the primary writer for that one. I think it’s supposed to be about Dracula. He recently saw the Francis Ford Coppola Dracula film, and it’s about how he is always longing to have a bride but he has no access to it.

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For this album, you guys did a Kickstarter campaign to create the album. How successful was it?

It was very successful, actually. We set our goal at $1,500 and ended up making over $3,000. It worked out really well. We had a friend of ours come shoot the video for us, and we got a lot of support from our friends and our families, as well as some random people that we’ve never met. So that was really interesting and cool to see.

Do you guys plan to do anything like that again in the future?

Yeah probably, but I don’t know about any time soon since we just did one and we still are straggling to get all the prizes out. But maybe in the future for upcoming albums — considering it was so successful — I could see us doing another Kickstarter or something similar to that again.

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I love how involved you guys are on social media. Do you think that is important for a band to be successful in today’s music industry?

I think, definitely, social media is a large part of reaching your fans just because so many people are always on Facebook and checking their phones. We had a friend of ours that was at this independent music marketing company, and we were trying to get her to show our music to the people in charge there. They were really into it, and they said that we were doing the best we could with our social media. At the end of the day, the music is obviously important, but the way the industry is, changing social media is almost kind of more important than anything else, which is a bummer. But at the same time, you still have to be playing a lot of live shows and doing “regular band stuff” rather than just throwing yourself out there on the Internet.

Do you still approach people in person to promote your band, or is it more online?

It’s a bit of both. Whenever we meet people, [our social media] usually ends up being the conversation starter. We tell people we’re in this band. It’s just kinda what we do, what we talk about. But at the same time, we also redirect people and tell them to check us out on Facebook. They are both very interconnected.

Is there a double meaning to the song, “I Won’t Be your Sun”?

Brian, our keyboard player, was the primary writer of that song. The way I understand it, it is [about] someone who is infatuated with someone else, and they’re looking up to that person as their “sun” or their obsession. And the other person is telling them, “Why are you obsessed with me? I won’t be your sun.” You should redirect this attention and obsession to God … or something more important.



Would you consider yourselves a religious band?

We are all actually devout Catholic. We had this EP called Martha, Martha we released back in April 2013, which was based on some of the Gospel accounts, but as far as the music, I don’t think it comes across as a typical Christian or praise band. In a way, I think in some of the lyrical content it just comes through because we are very passionate about, but at the same time, we don’t want to shove it down people’s throats. It just happens to be something that is such an influence in our lives. This album is actually dedicated to St. Therese of the Little Flower. She is the woman that is pictured on the cover.

Do you have any shows coming up soon?

Thursday, September 11 we are playing at Deja Brew Coffeehouse in Haymarket, and on September 24, we are playing at The Camel in Richmond. September 28 we might be at The Velvet Lounge in DC, but I’m not totally sure about that.

For more updates on THE DUSKWHALES, be sure to visit their website, “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and check out their music on Bandcamp.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Falls Church, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with friends.

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