Indie Funded – Naked Walrus
There’s a reason why websites like Kickstarter and Pledge Music are in existence. There are great ideas and projects of all kinds that just need a little push start. With the help of fan-sourcing, some amazing music, movies, artwork, etc, can all be made for the world’s enjoyment.
At WordKrapht, we see the importance of the work being done on those sites and the artists trying to fulfill lifelong dreams on them. Each week we will feature one project. This week, the artist is Naked Walrus.
Why don’t we start with you telling us who Naked Walrus is and where you come from? Is there a story behind the band name?
Naked Walrus is a group of friends, who have been brought together by a common artistic inspiration. The members are Dakota Gartner (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar), Hayden Bush (Lead Guitar/Back Up Vocals), Avery Wheeler (Bass/Back Up Vocals), Taylor Hurtado (Drums) and we formed in Santa Barbara, CA but are in the process of relocating to Los Angeles (We have two members in each city as of now). Our name came to be out of the completely ridiculous sense of humor that we all share but along the road we discovered that there was more to it. The deeper meaning that has become evident is that the combination of the words, Naked, being sexual, and Walrus, being hilarious, creates an immediate comfort. This has become clear through countless incidents of communication with people of all walks of life, who have immediately taken down their guard once our band name came up in discussion.
Talk a little about this project. What has the journey been like since your debut?
Our story has been interesting to say the least. In two years of us being together we have managed to record a full-length album and play some great shows at venues like The Roxy and The House of Blues. Also, at the same time we’ve had to deal with lineup changes in the band, but in turn we have watched this project grow and become the band that we were meant to be from start.
You are all involved in the songwriting process. Is it a complete collaboration or does one person come up with something that then gets hammered out by the band?
It really all depends. All of us can play multiple instruments, so we are always writing new stuff to bring to the table. Sometimes one of us will come to the band with a full song written and we work out our own parts or it might just be a riff that we build upon as a band.
How do you think that the fact that each of you are involved in different areas of the music industry helps you?
We feel more confident when walking into a venue for the first time or dealing with promoters, sound guys, etc. Plus, it always helps to have a member of the band studying for his degree in music business. Can’t tell you how important it is in today’s music industry to be educated about your craft. We honestly feel that we have come this far in our short time as a band because of the fact that we are all dedicated to learning as much as we can so that we can thrive as professionals in the industry and as a band.
When and where are you planning to record? What producers are you looking at for All In?
We are going into the studio the first week in February, and we can’t wait! We are going to have Curtis Douglas, an awesome producer and great friend out of Austin, Texas to come out to produce another album for us. We looked around for different engineers and producers in the LA area but in the end we decided that Curtis was ultimately the best fit. We enjoy working with him because we all share the same vision and we can trust each other because of this. There is nothing better than to have a producer that you can feel completely comfortable with and one that can push your playing to the next level.
Who makes those crazy picks out of the cymbal?
Our drummer Taylor makes those necklaces from his broken Zildjian cymbals.Each one is cut, grinded, polished and engraved by hand. It’s also a cool way for people to have a little piece of Walrus luck with them at all times.
For those pledgers looking to get one of those screen printed posters, what should they expect? What will they look like?
These are going to be really cool. We are fortunate to know a lot of creative people, so we have asked them to help us out. We are going to have these artists create their animated interpretation of the Walrus in black and white, then have them professionally screen printed onto full sized posters.
Of all the different sites now available, how did you decide to use Kickstarter for your fan sourcing on this project?
We decided to use Kickstarter because we have used it in the past, for a small CD duplication and t-shirt run, and it is probably the most legitimate fan sourcing site out there.
What would you want to say to anybody thinking of contributing to your project and to those that already have?
To everyone who has contributed thus far,thank you so much. Your support is how this all works and we can’t express our gratitude enough.To anyone thinking of donating, please consider taking a close look at our cause and know that we are not just trying to record another album. What we are trying to accomplish stretches beyond that with the hopes to inspire and educate future generations of musicians and industry professionals. Not to mention we have some really cool incentives as a small token of our appreciation.
And finally, what does being an independent musician mean to you?
Being an independent musician means learning the ropes, no one influential ever got to their position without working their way up. We have each dedicated our lives to music and figuring out the proper approach to many areas of the industry. It is with this knowledge that a successful musician is created. Independent does not necessarily mean you stand alone, it just means you need to be more creative with your approach. This is evident through things like Kickstarter but it really is becoming obvious that in recent years whether it’s a Youtube sensation or the new person on The Voice, it’s important for artists to develop their network.
Artist Name: Naked Walrus
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Blues, Progressive, Rock
Band Members: Dakota Gartner, Hayden Bush, Avery Wheeler, Taylor Hurtado