Like most bands, the Whigs—guitarist/vocalist Parker Gispert, drummer Julian Dorio and bassist Tim Deaux—have had to endure their fair share of rough patches during their eight-year existence, including major-label troubles and lineup changes, but perhaps these bumps in the road were merely the stars aligning for the Athens, Ga., trio. The label issues prompted them to record and release their debut album, 2005’s Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip independently, earning them the title of “the best unsigned band in America” from Rolling Stone. It wasn’t long before they were signed to ATO Records—which issued the band’s critically acclaimed second release, Mission Control, in 2008—and playing high-profile shows at festivals and late-night talk shows and touring with some really famous names. New album In The Dark is the Whigs’ grittiest and most explosive album yet. Ever the kings of the road, the Whigs are currently on tour in support of the release, but they’ll also be guest-editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with the Whigs and our 2008 feature on them.
Gispert: I spend most my time in the van losing things. I don’t know how it happens. It’s not an exceptionally large area: a 15-passenger Chevy van five-an-a-half-feet wide and 15-feet deep. On any given day, our van’s bench seats might decide to maliciously steal my wallet, cell phone or keys. It’s all very amusing for the bench seats. They calmly and guiltlessly sit there and watch me freak out trying to find my stuff. Just when I reach my breaking point, they reveal the object of my desire in an obvious place as if it were there all along. They know I already looked there. They always designate a place I’ve specifically checked a few times to plant the lost item. That’s part of their fun. These turds with their dinky metal legs, their acrylic chest hair and the hairy roll in their stomach. These guys are gross. Their wimpy undeveloped arms have to buckle to hold me as their prisoner.
Just as much as I hate these guys, those same scrawny arms are holding me safe in a reluctant embrace as we travel the nation together. I am spooned nightly by that same hairy, acrylic belly as it nestles itself against my butt. Sometimes, in a moment of pure restlessness, I roll onto my own stomach and confront one of the beasts face to face. All is forgiven in this moment.
Despite the peanut-butter-and-jelly stains we’ve tattooed on their coats, the sunflower-seed barnacles on their body and the overall grayness they’ve acquired with age, they continue to support me, figuratively and literally. As I type this guest-editor piece for a website they’ve never visited, one of the goons peers over my shoulder, tacitly offering his encouragement so as to not disrupt my train of thought. It’s all cool. We are friends.
Video after the jump.