Interview: Whitney @ Reading 2016

Heralded as the ‘sound of the summer’ by pretty much anyone who’s heard them, Whitney were made for festival season. Not content with just spending time on the road, the group are already taking things back to the drawing board. “We’ve kind of playfully thrown around the idea of starting a festival in the States,” Julian Ehrlich divulges, unwinding post-set. “We want to have some sort of a festival that we start from the ground up, and that we maintain throughout our lifespan.”

The concept’s just a pipe dream, but throwing around name suggestions of “Whitneypalooza” and “Whitneychella”, the outfit have already fine-tuned an image of how the whole event might take place. “I have this idea of having two stages and making Hoops play both the stages back to back,” Julian illustrates. “We’d have a different sound guy at each stage and have them duke it out over who they thought mixed the show better,” he grins.

“We want to have some sort of a festival that we start from the ground up.”

For this weekend, however, the outfit are happy to bask in the excitement of a job well done. “It’s the biggest festival stage I think we’ve ever played,” Max Kakacek exclaims. Indeed, Whitney’s ascent to popularity has been swift one. First album ‘Light Upon the Lake’ was released a mere two months ago, and already the Chicago band are selling out venues on both sides of the Atlantic. “Even cities that we’ve never really been to like Birmingham and Oxford were pretty much sell outs – all of them,” Julian enthuses. “We can’t complain.”

The band’s rise to prominence only seems set to skyrocket from here. Already thinking of the next thing, the band reveal that they’ve already started work on album number two – merely a month after their debut saw release. “We had a week and a half off in July and we started working on it,” Julian divulges. “We’re really eager to go back into writing mode. “We have three weeks off in September,” Max adds. “We’re going to write more then.”

“To be honest, writing and performing is the only thing that we know how to do at this point in our lives,” Julian laughs. “We haven’t really acquired any other skills that are useful to the world. We’re really just happy to be doing what we love. That’s what it’s really all about for us.”

With shows still to play, the group are already planning their next return to these shores. “We’re back in England playing Koko in November,” Max states. “I think we might hire a strings section,” Julian considers. “We want to make that show as special as it can be. We love London. We love England as a whole, but London especially – it’s the most beautiful city.”

Declaring they “love this life that we’ve kind of made for ourselves,” and vowing they’re going to “continue to do it whether or not people pay attention,” Whitney are showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.


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