October 25, 2011

At home with ‘The White Birds’

By Nathan Douglas–

Hailing from the suburbs of Philadelphia, “The White Birds” are a groovy group, utilizing hazy guitar rifts, heartbreak and the feelings of a Hawaiian bobble head dancing on the dashboard of a 1950s sedan at the beach. With their most popular tune titled “Hondora,” lead singer James Harvey’s smooth, dreamy vocals create a sunny break-up song, the lyrics telling a story of a dismantled relationship, the music invoking feelings of eating ice cream in the afternoon heat. With the coming of winter, I can think of no better music to thaw one’s frozen bones than “The White Birds” self-titled EP.
On Thursday, I was fortunate enough to house “The White Birds” after their gig and have a little Q & A session with them.

Q: Where did you get the name “The White Birds?”
Harvey: The White Birds is, not to be over dramatic, it means purity. All of our songs are about being cheated on and being treated like crap by girls, so basically it means like “hey don’t do that, White Birds, being pure,” but no one ever will.

Q: Which animal would your band be if it was not a bird?
Harvey: I think it would be white goblins, if goblins were animals. I should never say that again.

Q: What has touring been like for you guys?
Harvey: It’s been really great because we’ve only been a band for a short amount of time. We were lucky enough to have a band hear us and want to bring us on tour with them, so we’ve gotten to play a lot of cool shows early in our career. Basically it’s been better than any of us thought it would be and we’re really happy to be able to play wherever.

Q: Cassettes or CDs?
Harvey: Cassettes because cassettes are more than things. They’re more of a thing to hold on to like a vinyl record. It’s a much more tangible thing to have than a disc you can throw or a bunch of old burnt CDs.

Q: Would you rather eat all of your Halloween candy or sell it for $10?
Houshiarnejad: I’ll sell half and eat half.
Cammarata: Sell the chocolate, eat the fruit.

Q: What is your favorite music to listen to in the van?
Cammarata: “Sopranos.” We just listen to Tony Soprano breathe for 15 straight hours. It’s pretty true, that’s the most honest answer we could give. Our latest tour we watched “Sopranos” Season One twice. You find when you talk to bands no one really listens to music on tour. We find our sanctuary in Tony Soprano’s lungs.

Q: Which bear is best?
Harvey: Momma Bear? Momma bear doesn’t try to scare you; she’s the best bear.

Q: Best live show or moment?
Harvey: I would say tonight, tonight was pretty good. I feel like every show gets better.

Q: Future plans?
Cammarata: To be rich, so we don’t have to sell our Halloween candy to get by.

“The White Birds” are James Harvey, Farzad Houshiarnejad and Mike Cammarata.
Their self-titled EP can be found at Whitebirds.bandcamp.com or at the bands website, Truewhitebirds.com.

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Photo: Nathan Douglas/The Louisville Cardinal

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