‘Future classic’ band The Whigs turning heads
Last year the Nashville-based garage rock band performed at the 80/35 Music Festival. On Saturday the three-piece returns for a headlining show at Vaudeville Mews.
“One of the great things about playing festivals is we’re music fans as well,” drummer Julian Dorio said during a phone interview. “Playing basically gets us free admission to a great festival, so we look around and see who else is playing. We got to see our friends Those Darlins, Dr. Dog, which is one of our favorites and one of my favorite childhood bands, Cake. Some bands hit the road when they’re done, but we like to play and hang out.”
The Whigs released its fifth album, “Modern Creation,” last year. It was the band’s first time working with producer Jim Scott, who has worked with Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many others. Dorio said The Whigs just came out of another studio run, recording two songs that might be released as singles, rather than part of a full album.
Working with Scott, The Whigs stayed true to a style that the band describes as “future classic.” There are throwback influences in The Whigs’ sound, but it’s not a throwback band. It can be a delicate line to walk.
“We believe that even the most casual listener can sense when a band is kind of phony or a gimmick,” Dorio said. “We just want to make art we’re proud of, so that in 40 years you can look back and hang your hat on it. We want to be successful and connect with fans, but instead of trying to sell copies we’re trying to connect in an authentic way.”
The Whigs show comes just a few days before the final “Late Show with David Letterman.” The Whigs were on the show four times, most recently in May of 2014. Dorio reflected back on The Whigs’ first Letterman performance in 2008.
“The first time was probably our most bizarre experience; it was so foreign to us. It’s nothing like a club show” Dorio said. “We had just played our first CD release show in Athens on a Saturday, then drove to New York for our Letterman date on Monday. They were double-filming that day, so our load-in started at 6:30 in the morning.
“We walked in and were standing on that stage. We felt like we knew it like the back of our hands, but we had never seen it from that perspective. We got to walk around the desk and sit in the guest chairs and see Paul Shaffer’s equipment. It was crazy, I still can’t quite wrap my head around it.
“Finally, at 4:30, our taping begins. You anticipate it so much, you look forward to it, then your three-minute song is over in the blink of an eye. You can’t tell if you’re good or not. We went to a bar that night and watched it. It was bizarre to see our band name up on the screen. I just loved it.”
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Vaudeville Mews, 212 Fourth St.