As singer-songwriter Stef Bernardi says, Whales In Cubicles is a band that likes to take itself seriously and not seriously at the same time.
“We have some songs that are very heartfelt and some that are more tongue in cheek – and I know that sounds a contradiction, but then our whole name, Whales In Cubicles, is a contradiction.”
The band has just released its new single Disappear ahead of the release of a debut album at the end of the year.
“We are from London – except I was born in Italy,” Stef says. “I have been in this country for the past eight years. It was just the music that brought me here. Before that, I was living in America.
“We were all in different bands for a long time in London, and you eventually meet different people who are dissatisfied with the bands that they are in. That’s how this band happened. That was about three years ago.
“We have done lots of shows. We have recorded an album, and we are happier in this band than we were in previous bands. I really don’t know why it works. It’s like a personal chemistry thing, I guess.
“The album is meant to come out at the end of the year, and there is definitely another single in October. For the album, I don’t really want to say any names at the moment. There are a few names that we are discussing. It is not finalised yet.
“The music is not one-dimensional. A lot of bands stick to one formula and one sound. We are not one of those bands that limit ourselves to one thing. I suppose the category would be indie rock or alternative rock if you can still call it that. It is like accessible rock with an edge.”
As for the name, Stef says: “I used to work in this coffee shop and the other baristas would be bringing CDs in to work, one of them was Andrew Bird’s. I saw him gig in Austin back then and I loved that line about the whale in a cubicle.”
Having dropped out of school in Italy, Stef chose to follow his ambitions of becoming a musician and bought a one-way ticket to America. There he spent a few years on the West Coast ‘couch-surfing around hostels and strangers’ living rooms’.
Stef met Alex and Jamie in DC at a Dismemberment Plan show. They all exchanged emails, and when Stef’s visa expired he was forced to leave, and decided on a move to London to form the band with Alex and Jamie.
Forthcoming dates include Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar in Brighton on August 16.
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