But while Deaux and bandmates Parker Gispert and Julian Dorio aren’t relocating to the Big Apple anytime soon, the trip there was a success—highlighted by the band’s March 31 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.
“It was great,” Deaux says. “It was our second time to do that. This time, I felt like we were a lot more prepared and knew what to expect. The first time around it was pretty surreal and it was our first TV appearance and it was a little overwhelming. This time, we had the benefit of doing it once before and we knew the routine. Even though the show is taped during the afternoon, it’s taped in an hour time frame and you see it just as it happened. Before you know it, the song’s over and Dave’s walking over to shake your hand and that’s it. It’s fun to be on the other end of that TV screen you’ve watched your whole life growing up. It’s pretty thrilling to have that opportunity.”
On Saturday, April 10, The Whigs will perform at Workplay in a triple-bill show with Band Of Skulls and The 22-20s. On May 15, The Whigs can be seen at The Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores. Currently, The Whigs are touring in support of In The Dark, the band’s third album and second release for ATO Records. Deaux says a new approach—coupled with mixing well-worn songs with some 11th-hour additions—made recording In The Dark an enjoyable and productive experience.
“We came off a tour in November of last year and we had a little time off and started working on new material,” he says. “Some of the songs were already being put together as far back as Thanksgiving of last year and some of the tunes happened last-minute in the studio. Some [songs] were reworked and rearranged right up until the last take. For this album, we loosened up a little bit more and let spontaneous things occur and we enjoyed that attitude.”
Even though songs are permanently documented on a given album, Deaux says that they continually evolve. “Some songs will change over time when you’re on stage,” he says. “I’m not sure why it is, but even some of the older songs take on a new personality. We try to keep from getting too set in our ways and we try to spice it up a little bit.”
Though the band’s sound is often compared to that of the Kings Of Leon, Drive-By Truckers and Dead Confederate—bands that also draw inspiration from guitar-driven album rock of yesteryear—The Whigs’ career is being forged in an era that is anything but retro.
Deaux is both realistic and optimistic about recording and distributing music in the age of iTunes, YouTube, satellite radio and customized ring tones. “Things are changing and the music industry is going through a transition right now,” he says. “It’s so easy for creative people to get their music out and have people hear it. People don’t really buy physical records anymore. Everything has become digitized. You’ve got to accept the fact that these things are happening and you have to adapt and roll with it.”
But regardless of technology and trends, connecting with fans via live shows will always remain a vital part of music. Deaux and his bandmates place their emphasis on performing live and see it as their reason for being a band.
“I think our band exists on stage and that’s how the band formed and came together,” Deaux says. “When you start a band, you don’t really anticipate going into the studio and making records. You just want to get in front of your friends and turn up your amplifier and wail. That’s been the attitude of the band from the get-go and it still is. We get up on stage and play in front of people and that’s what we love to do.”
Brent Thompson writes about popular music for Birmingham Weekly. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.