Here’s a band you should hear: Whirr, a bi-coastal quintet who makes heavy and melodic “mature punk.” Founded in the Bay Area by guitarist Nick Bassett, along with guitarist Joey Bautista, guitarist/vocalist Loren Rivera, bassist Eddie Saldago, and drummer Devin Nunes, they originally went by the name Whirl, which was maybe about as on-point, musically, as it could get. There’s so much hazy swirl your head will whirl. Free whirl. Whirr is still the same, under a new name.
In 2013, in support of their first release Pipe Dreams, they embarked on a headlining tour with Philly’s Nothing, during which Nick and Nothing’s Domenic Palermo started their own spawn, Death of Lovers. This collaboration led to Nick’s re-location to Philly as well as being Nothing’s full-time bassist, and from there he and his Whirr-mates continued to write new material for their upcoming new full length. Sway was released last year on Graveface, and has gotten them deserved attention for that hazy swirl and devouring reverb.
This attention has also, at times, been entertainingly polarizing for some who don’t do jokes that well. Looking at them as a band, it’s easy to think they just act like a bag of dicks all the time, but probably because all the beauty comes out through Whirr’s songs. Listening to them sounds like everything. Title track “Sway” is an incredibly beautiful slow burning experience, single “Heavy” is just that, and the album closer is “Feel.” This album is all about the feels. All of them. Catching them at Baby’s All Right on Wednesday, April 8 is recommended.
To gain even further deep, deep, penetrating insight into Whirr, here is Maria Shurr’s interview with Nick Bassett, as short and to the point as Whirl’s song titles.
Maria Shurr: Your press release mentions that Loren rewrote the lyrics for Nick’s material. Is this a common occurence in Whirr? Is there a primary lyric-writer?
Nick Bassett: No, he never rewrote lyrics. Loren writes them.
MS: I know the band, or at least Nick, has a strong connection to Philly, partly due to the alliance with Nothing. What are your favorite things about the city?
NB: Franklin fountain.
MS: Nick says the album is “mature punk.” What are some other bands that may fit this label?
MS: What is it about Graveface that made you sign to them?
NB: He's tight.
MS: Touring seems to be a drag for a lot of bands. How do you keep sane on the road?
NB: I usually keep it all inside.
MS: Do you feel that most newer shoegaze music lacks a real bite? Are you happy to be the primary band working that angle nowadays, or do you wish others would step up?
NB: I don't really know or care honestly.
MS: Why did the band change its name from Whirl to Whirr?
NB: We got sued by some old bitch.
MS: What are some other goals Whirr has, beyond being the loudest band in the world?
NB: Being the richest band in the world.
MS: Do you still hate Pitchfork?
NB: Yep, basically any publication that reviews music.