The Whigs Keep Rollin’ On
Julian Dorian of the Whigs at Bumbershoot ::: Photo by Josh
During late August, just prior to their appearance at Bumbershoot and in anticipation of their upcoming three month tour supporting the Kings of Leon as well as the Kooks, Julian Dorian, drummer for Athens, Georgia three-piece the Whigs was excited to get on the road again. “We like it,” he says of touring without hesitation while over the phone with me from his hometown. “It’s normal to us.”
Dorian’s not exaggerating one bit when he says three months is normal. A look at their calendar for the last few years has found the band on average about three months on the road at a time, a couple of times a year. In the struggle to retain any notion of continuity he confesses, “we eat in waffle house more than you might imagine.”
In 2006 the Whigs were called out as the best unsigned band in America after Rolling Stone’s David Fricke got a whiff of their DIY debut full-length Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip. Dorian himself was named as Esquire’s drummer of the year in 2007. Eventually the band signed to ATO Records and released their second full-length Mission Control in January of this year, a record I personally think outdoes their first and stands as one of the year’s best albums overall. Ever since then, the momentum has been palpable.
The week of the album’s release they visited the Late Show with David Letterman. “That day was so surreal, so bizarre, and awesome!” Dorian remembers. “And then it’s over. In a flash. Even right now talking to you it’s odd saying it happened. You spend your whole life not being on that show…” It was just the first of numerous late night appearances and the kind of jump start to a just released album most bands can only dream of. The summer of 2008 found them at most of the major music festivals in the country, among them our own Bumbershoot and Sasquatch Music festivals.
Now following a spat of dates riding the coattails of southern rock royalty Kings of Leon, Tuesday at the Showbox SODO finds the Whigs playing the second leg of their tour opening for rapscallion heartthrobs the Kooks. Earlier in the evening at 6pm apparently both bands will be singing some songs acoustic at Easy Street Records on lower Queen Anne. Both sets will be very worth catching.