Spinning Whips
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Spinning Whips

Seattle, Washington, United States

Seattle, Washington, United States
Rock Garage Rock

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"Interview: Jordan West of The Spinning Whips"

Interview: Jordan West of the Spinning Whips
Posted by Dagmar on 03/15/2011 in Interviews, Music Videos | Short Link

The Spinning Whips‘Jordan West is one of my favorite musicians. I saw him first when he was 1/3rd of Seattle’s Iceage Cobra, a band that won my heart effortlessly with their overwhelming racket and joyful ways. West is always entertaining to see perform live, whether he’s hanging from a venue’s ceiling or straightforwardly playing his guitar and singing. When Iceage Cobra split up, West got working on another band in 2009, a project he explains in our interview that would be his, one he’d have primary creative responsibility for. The band decided on the name the Spinning Whips, and they’re building up momentum in the Seattle scene quickly, playing a variety of venues in the area. They’re looking at recording in May 2011 – for now you can hear some demos on their facebook profile and MySpace page. The music is rock; it freaks out and asks you to join in. Every show I’ve seen involving West has been an awesome experience – and I’ve seen him a lot – Iceage Cobra remains my most covered band, and I expect the Spinning Whips to surpass them soon. The Spinning Whips play Columbia City Theater this Thursday, March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day! Get your tix now.

How did you get involved in music – was it as kid?

Jordan West: I started playing guitar when I was thirteen. I remember I saw the music video for [Soundgarden's] “Black Hole Sun”and I thought Chris Cornell was so cool, and I thought, that’s what I want to do for a living. That’s what made me want to start playing guitar, and my older brother had already tried it and quit, so we had a guitar in the house.

Why did he quit?

JW: My brother’s very business-minded. I think we’re kind of opposites that way. I think he probably got the guitar to meet girls. I know he tried violin for that reason. There was a girl that he liked a lot [when he was in elementary school] that played violin, so he took violin lessons to get in closer with her.

Who came up with the name, the Spinning Whips?

JW: There were six of us, and there are names I came up with that I liked better. And there were some names where some of us were like, I love that, (or) no, I hate it. Spinning Whips is a name that nobody was really like, that’s awesome! It was the name where six people said, that’s a good name.

I love the name. I remember it. . . There are five of you in the band now. Who did you find first? Nate [Pierce, bassist] and Scott [Minnich, guitarist]?

JW: No, there were actually a different bass player and guitarist before Nate and Scott. Nate and Scott have pretty much been there from beginning. It was Colin [Faddis] and I that were the first two that started playing together and the other guitarist and bass player, and then we found Amanda [Schmahl] on keyboards – she’s no longer in the band. She had a baby and she’s doing fine, she’s having fun being a mom.


Jordan West @ the Comet – November 2010 – photo by Dagmar

I’m always looking at the relationship between guitarists. How do the three of you work together?

JW: What’s been really cool is that they kind of got each other in the band. First I was looking for a guitarist and so I sent an email out to all these bands that I knew. Scott, who’s in the Magic Mirrors, said I don’t know any guitarists right now but I know a great bass player who’s looking for a band. I was like, sorry, I don’t need a bass player. The next week our bass player quit so I was like, what’s the name of that bass player again? And that was Nate. He fit in perfectly. I had about four or five songs already written and Nate came along and learned them really quick. Colin and I loved him from the beginning. And Nate told Scott, thank you for referring me to this band, it’s great and it’s going really well and I like the songs, and Jordan’s a cool guy . . . Scott realized that everybody else in the Magic Mirrors was also in another band except him. So he thought he’d check it out. What Scott really loved about it is that he writes the music for the Magic Mirrors, and so this band he’s totally free from songwriting obligations. He gets to show up and play, so it’s a fun outlet for him. He loves playing guitar. I’ve been meaning to have a band where it’s my focus, where I know I’m not going to quit the band. I loved Iceage Cobra. It was awesome, but we were a three-piece and the other two guys quit and I was left there helpless. This time it was like, this is my band, I know I’m not going to quit, therefore I need to write all the music, I’ve got to be making the main decisions. I’ve been writing all the music and Nate and Scott write their parts to go with it. They still have creativity and add a lot to it.

So you’re pretty much writing everything?

JW: Yeah, it’s fun. New ideas were always really slow going for me, but with this band for some reason there’s just a plethora of ideas. We have an album’s worth of id - Back Beat Seattle


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