Whale Bones
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Whale Bones

Bloomington, IN | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Bloomington, IN
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Indie




"Showcase: Whale Bones"

Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Nathan Kane: Vocals/Guitar
Paul Lierman: Drums/Backing Vocals

What’s your hometown (or what are your hometowns)?
P: Nathan is originally from Indianapolis and I grew up in Kirklin, but we both live in Bloomington now.

How did the band come together? How long has it been?
P: We first met each other at a music talent show our dorm hosted at the beginning of our freshman year of college. After the show we talked about what kind of music we liked playing and discovered that we had quite a lot in common. We made plans to hang out and jam, and the writing happened really organically after that! We started playing cover songs together for fun in late 2012, but we didn’t start writing for the band until the spring of 2014.

How have you grown since you started?
P: We’ve both certainly come a long way since we initially started jamming together. In the time between that first semester of our freshman year and now we’ve both taken in tons of new musical influences, written, recorded, and released a full-length record with our other band, (The Wise Man’s Fear) and spent lots of critical practice time tweaking our live performance.

I think perhaps the biggest way we’ve grown since we first began is in our confidence in playing in front of people in a live setting. It used to be really intimidating to perform for even our close friends, but after years of playing on the street, in friends’ living rooms, and in venues with both of our bands we feel a lot more at ease than we did back then. Having that kind confidence from experience makes everything so much more enjoyable! We can focus on bring the songs to life and enjoying ourselves live instead of worrying about slipping up because of stage fright.

N: Yeah I think we’ve both grown a lot creatively. I wasn’t even aware of some of the most influential artists for me when I first met Paul. It’s important to always grow with who you’re inspired by. If you’re stagnant, then you can’t really grasp what it means to improve yourself and to be creative. I also think it’s really helpful that we’ve both seen each other grow in these ways. It helps give context when you can follow someone in that process. We learn so much from each other. My major is in Recording Arts with a minor in business, and Paul’s major is in business, with a minor in creative writing, so we work together to make a really cohesive end results.

What sets you apart from other bands?
P: Instrumentally, we do a couple of things differently than most bands. Nathan plays in an open tuning that very few people use which gives him the ability to create chords and play parts that sound really refreshing and new. I play “open” on the hi-hat/snare and leads with his left hand, which helps shape his beats and fills differently than a lot of drummers.

We also draw some instrumental influence from post-hardcore and metalcore, genres we both enjoy as well. We borrow components of that style to do things that aren’t typically seen in indie music like playing with a double bass pedal on the drums and bass drops live. Those little instrumental quirks help us keep our sound familiar but unique and new.

In terms of songwriting, we always try to keep pushing the envelope. For example the first track on our EP, “The Current,” is written in 16/8 time signature but we tried to make it flow so that it’s not a really blatant property of the song. Lyrically, Nathan writes extremely raw, personal songs and I think the sincere emotion behind it definitely shows.

N: I really like learning new instruments and relearning old instruments in different ways. By using a tuning I’ve never used before, I can keep my proficiency at my instrument while being forced not to fall into the same creative crutches I would otherwise use. I’m working on a song right now where only one string is tuned differently, but it had a really profound impact on how I use my guitar.

When you go to a show and you can see that the band is just trying to be their own version of a band they look up to, it’s pretty frustrating. There’s nothing genuine or real about the music or the message. Then you see a band that is doing something new and true to them, and it’s so refreshing. They’re not trying to be a part of a scene; they just want to make the music they make. They’re not concerned about how cool they are to other people. I think those are the people that get it, and those are the artists that you look up to as a creator. I couldn’t stand behind something I didn’t feel was original and sincere.

What’s the best part about being in your band?
P: The best part about being in the band is probably just playing shows with our best friends! Nathan and I are roommates and Ben and Nick who play bass and guitar for us live are two of the greatest guys you could ever meet. We always have a blast when we play shows; it’s something we look forward to a lot.

N: It’s really important for me that I share music with the right people. The work we’ve created is very personal, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable working on that with just anyone. I wrote alone for so long because I didn’t want to share my thoughts with someone I didn’t think shared the same sentiment or ideals as me. Paul and I have a lot in common as far as personal beliefs and musical objectives; there really was no compromise involved. For a really true and raw sound, I don’t think you can just work with anyone. We’re both really fortunate to be able to work with each other. I don’t feel any need to hide my thoughts for fear that they won’t be taken seriously.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
P: The bands we listen to definitely impact how we write and perform! One band that we both really love is Switchfoot. That band has been creating music for almost 20 years, and every record they have put out has been pure gold. They’re also just great, wholesome guys as well. They’re one of those rare bands that makes for great professional and personal role models. Beyond that, I take a lot of inspiration from Alex Rodrigues from Saosin, Secret & Whisper, and Austin Thornton (Woe, is Me).

N: I take a lot of inspiration from artists like As Cities Burn, Oceana, From Indian Lakes, Dear and the Headlights, Yvette Young, Now, Now, and Copeland. Creatively, these artists all make me stop and dissect their structures and instrumentation. If an artist makes me stop and think “Wait, how did they do that?” then I’m probably super inspired by them. That applies to visual artists too. People like Pat Perry, Esao Andrews, and Alphonse Mucha really make you stop and think about which rules really apply and which you merely placed there for yourself.

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
P: Our proudest accomplishment so far has probably been the positive feedback from the EP! Lots of people whose musical opinions we really respect have spoken highly of the EP, and that gets us extremely excited.

The next step for us is to release physical copies of the EP. That was something that we did not think we were going to be able to do originally, but we’ll be working with a label soon for a small run. We’re ecstatic to see that we may be able to offer physical copies pretty soon here.

N: Being that it’s just Paul and I funding everything, we know some things won’t be possible for a while. We weren’t going to compromise on the recordings, so the majority of our budget went into that. Physicals and merch are a real possibility, but we weren’t expecting to be able to afford that at first. Because of the response from everyone, these things are looking very promising.

We’re going to be doing some tours in the Midwest and to make some new friends. Can’t wait to get these songs out there!

Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
P: One of our favorite memories by far was the day we spent shooting the music video for “Hiding from the Sea.” We always love to get out and explore, and we also got to hang out with some of our closest friends that day to go swimming, grab ice cream, and play a basement show later that night.

N: That was one of the best days of this past school year. It was just starting to get nice out, so it was really refreshing to get outside and climb everywhere. It’s one of those days where you’re so busy and end up feeling so fulfilled.

Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
P: We want to create something that impacts others the same way that we want to be impacted by music ourselves. Hopefully people can feel like they’ve experienced something beautiful after they hear our music, and hopefully it inspires someone the way we’ve been inspired by countless artists. We love music that makes us want to go out into the world and do something new, explore new thoughts, places, and ideas, and generally go DO something.

N: This EP is all about self-improvement. I hope people are inspired to be better people to themselves and others. I hope people want to make the most of every day and live a fulfilling life. We hope people can see the overall concept of the EP and recognize it as a full art piece as opposed to five separate songs. These songs were created intentionally together. We want people to experience them that way.

If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
P: This is a tricky one. The music industry is so different than it was even 5 years ago, and it is changing so incredibly quickly. I guess if we could change one thing about the music industry it would be to make more people interested in discovering new music and going to shows even if they don’t know who is playing. The internet is such a two-edged sword: the good news is that anybody can put their music online. The bad news is that ANYBODY can put their music online. We’ve inherited a musical culture that is sort of inundated with music to the extent that a lot of people have stopped caring about discovering new bands and experiencing new types of music.

One thing you notice immediately after you release a track or a record as a new artist is that it’s incredibly difficult to get people to just listen to music, even if it’s completely free to them (like YouTube or Spotify). It’s next to impossible to get people to purchase a record, and it didn’t always used to be that way. We would really just love for people to be open to clicking on a link to a band they’ve never heard before and investing thee minutes of their time listening and then sharing it with a friend if they enjoy it. It sounds so simple, but it’s one of the hardest things to convince people to do!

How did your band’s name come about?
N: Whale Bones has a few different meanings. For us, it comes back to the idea of the transience of everything. Everything has its time. Structures and once powerful nations eventually fall by the hand of nature. It’s a very sobering and humbling thing to realize. Whales are these massive, powerful creatures, yet in the end they are reduced to nothing more than bones. Not to mention how marvelous and elegant they are; they represent an aesthetic to which we want to liken our music.

“Whale Bones” is also a song by the band Secret & Whisper, a brilliant band that never got the credit and recognition they deserved in any of their incarnations. To us, their song is about taking responsibility and doing what you have to do, even though it’s painful to do so. It’s about longing for the peace of a home and family.

What’s the biggest mistake someone’s made while playing?
N: We’re honestly really musically tight with our live setup. We’re always running through things and making sure everything is in its place. I don’t think any of us have messed up too terribly. I remember once we were playing a house show in a really crowded basement. I like to move around a lot while we’re playing, and I didn’t have much room, so I tripped over the power strip I was using and killed the power for my guitar and the bass. We got everything back on within a few seconds and it all worked out.

Any pre-performance rituals?
N: We usually just hang out with friends and get a vibe going with the crowd. Making sure all our instruments are in check and everything sounds right is of course a must, but other than that we try to just get in the zone and focus on the moment! Doing the music justice is the most important thing, so centering yourself and realizing what the songs are really about is really important.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Let’s be friends!
The Seaside EP is out now on all digital stores! Like and share our page with anyone you think would dig it. Keep up with us on Facebook to hear about the upcoming physical release. - PropertyOfZack

"Midwest Rockers Whale Bones Are 'Hiding From The Sea'"

Reminiscent of the commanding and melodic post hardcore sound of groups like Pianos Become The Teeth, Title Fight and Touch Amore, Whale Bones is a two-piece outfit whose small numbers are no obstacle for their sweeping sound made up of roaring guitars and pulsing drum motifs. "Hiding From The Sea" is the latest cut off of their upcoming The Seaside EP, which is set to drop July 14th next month. The five-track release explores themes of regret and eventual forgiveness, exhibiting the pairs comfortability with sharing their hopes, fears, and insecurities with each other.

After meeting in Bloomington, Indiana, the Whale Bones pair, consisting of Nathan Kane and Paul Lierman, began to play on the street, quickly discovering their eerily similar musical preferences. They began to make their Whale Bones moniker come to life, and ventured to Florida as a muse for their musical creativity, thus spawning their The Seaside EP. Their trip also was a spur for the video for "Hiding From The Sea," which features a glimpse into one of the adventures the band experienced during their excursion. The band mates explore everything from abandoned buildings and expansive woodlands, wrapped up with what seems to be a basement show at the conclusion of the video. Luckily, we got a chance to ask the duo a few questions about their latest release.

Your song "Hiding From The Sea" is about so much. To me, the sea is symbolic of freedom and wilderness. Comfort, and danger. Is there a specific life experience that compelled you to write this song?

The themes explored throughout the whole EP are that of regret, repentance, forgiveness, and self-betterment. For me, this song is about recognizing my faults and wishing for retribution. You hit the nail on the head with how you depicted the sea. In this song, the sea represents purity and returning to one's natural state. Although the state of being pure is one of peace, I think the process to achieve it is a difficult one. The sea violently separates the goodness from the faults and shortcomings. It's a purge of impurities. By separating these things from our lives, we are able to become sincerely whole.

There seems to be a strong sense of camaraderie amongst all the band members. When did you all develop such a strong bond?

Paul and I met in 2012 when we had both just moved to Bloomington, IN. We soon discovered that we had suspiciously similar taste in music. We played on the street together for fun, but quickly realized that we could make something we felt would be really special if we really dedicated time to our craft. I think it comes down to who you choose to be bandmates with. I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing such intimate experiences and thoughts with someone I didn't feel shared the same sentiments or ideals. Above all else, we're friends. We make sure to take time away from music to do other things we love.

Talking about self-regret and forgiveness makes me wonder, is there a moral/spiritual influence in your work?

The music itself is about self betterment and personal responsibility. Both of us would identify ourselves as moral/spiritual people, and for me personally, these songs do reference elements of my faith, but they are by no means exclusive to people who share those ideals. I really hope that doesn't turn certain people off to even the idea of our music, because I think personal responsibility and constant self improvement are important concepts for people of any belief system. We're happy to talk with anyone about spirituality, though. I think there are a lot of unnecessary tensions between people of different beliefs that would be dissolved if we could all talk and listen with open minds.

I love the idea of taking a trip to find inspiration. Can you tell us a story from your travels?

We drove down to Florida to spend a week writing what eventually became The Seaside EP. We stayed right on the beach in a small house. It was the perfect environment to start writing. Limited distractions, great atmosphere, and it rained the first two days, so we took that opportunity to really focus on the music and take advantage of that time. Every night we went down to the beach after everyone was gone. We walked in silence and reflected. It was so beautiful and inspiring to see so far down the shore and into the ocean without seeing another person. I think in order to really clear your mind, you need to get away from all distractions and people. It's much easier to isolate your own thoughts when you feel isolated. A lot of the lyrics came from those reflections. We love travelling and finding new places to explore. Every place has it's on special nuances. - Baeble Music

"Album Review: Whale Bones - The Seaside EP"

I recently received a submission to the site from a band that gave me nostalgic memories. I was immediately brought back to my high school years upon listening to Whale Bones’ latest EP “The Seaside.” In no way is this meant to date the band’s sound, but is instead a reflection of how my music taste has evolved over the years. This sentiment was echoed when I noticed a completely different band I used to listen to was touring close to home. It’s that alternative rock, post-rock, and dare I say post-hardcore sound that flooded my mind when I thought of that band, and immediately flared a desire to recreate that sonic experience. Insert “The Seaside,” a deep and thoughtful album that has reignited my youth, even if only for a moment.

Released a couple months back, “The Seaside” is Whale Bones’ first attempt at an album, and easily succeeds. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Nathan Kane and drummer Paul Lierman, this duo from Indiana has won my heart over with their passionate playing. Inspired by their travels along the Floridian coast, “The Seaside” expounds on the emotions of self-regret and forgiveness. Using many keywords relating to the ocean, the album is a perfect illustration of its violent and calm nature, from the wave crashing drum hits to the calm and serene clean guitar arrangements. Lasting about 20 minutes, this album feels longer than it actually is, considering you can feel Whale Bones’ presence with every passing second.

The album begins with “The Current,” an accurately named track containing tranquil keyboard and guitar chords reminiscent of a stream of water. The drums are inserted halfway, slowly disturbing this stream with bombastic hits, only to settle back down by the song’s end. Next enters “Hiding From The Sea,” a chordy song with Kane’s vocals spotlighting the track. A voice similar to Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter, Kane helps the listener to remember past mistakes and the emotion we felt in overcoming those mistakes. The track slows in tempo near the end, with a last melancholic plea for help.

This somber mood runs into “I Can’t Live Again,” again with Kane on the forefront and keyboard tones behind him. His conversational deliverance of the verse reminds me a lot of Leighton Antelman of Lydia, the king of storytelling. This method is so effective, and helps the listener to feel like the dialogue is happening in front of them. The song picks back up after a minute, with a cymbal-happy drum beat, grungy guitar chords, and the album’s first guitar solo in the bridge section. This song by far shows the best display of Lierman on the drum set, full of precision and passion.

“Exhausted Forgiveness” contains the only track on the EP with the acoustic guitar, something I yearned for throughout listening to this album. Because of the quiet, yet subtle nature of this album, I wished there were more moments highlighting the acoustic guitar, which helps in delivering the feelings Whale Bones is trying to create. The rest of the song is absolutely brilliant, and is endorsed as my favorite song off “The Seaside.” The guitar riffs a la As Cities Burn, the drum beats a la Arcane Roots, the handclapping and acoustic outro; It’s perfect. Closing off the album is the instrumental “title” track “Seaside,” a song full of atmosphere that would make Bon Iver proud. Lierman has the last say with his military-style snare drumming and quick beat bass stomping. After the song is over, the listener can’t help but recall that only two people created this remarkable album.

We need more duos like Whale Bones out there. This small ensemble has produced one inspiring album in “The Seaside,” an album that recalls my youth. The subject matter is also fitting, considering the regrets and forgiveness we all experience at such an age. This album is definitely worth a listen, and should be listened to if you have twenty minutes to spare. I’d recommend this album to fans of bands like As Cities Burn, Arcane Roots, Lydia, Thrice, The Fall of Troy, and The Receiving End of Sirens. Please support this band by checking out their Bandcamp page, and by following them on Facebook and Twitter pages for more information. If this is the material they can create on their first attempt at music, then the skies the limit for any of their future material. I will gladly await their next album, one I’m sure will be a work of art. - Crash And Ride Music

"Whale Bones - "Hiding From the Sea" [Exclusive Music Video Premiere]"

The Skinny: We've partnered up with Bloomington, IN alternative/indie rock duo, Whale Bones, to help premiere their new music video for the song "Hiding From the Sea". The group is a duo consisting of Nathan Kane (guitar, vocals) and Paul Lierman (drums), but as evidenced in this song, that doesn't mean that they don't have a rich, engaging sound that you'll just love.

While Whale Bones are set to release The Seaside EP in the Spring of 2015, they are giving fans a taste of the new tunes with this video. According to the guys: "The video for 'Hiding From the Sea' was all shot in one day. We invited our good friend Tyler to come out and do some urban exploring of abandoned buildings near where we live and document the day. Later on we met up with some friends to go hiking to a lake. Later that night we played a house show for a bunch of friends to round off the day, and we had a couple of people film that as well. We edited together the footage we collected from the day to create a video that we felt encapsulated the song and involved our passions." - Pure Grain Audio


The Seaside EP - July 2015



Whale Bones is an American Indie/Alternative band from Bloomington, Indiana. The band is composed of Nathan Kane (vocals/guitar) and Paul Lierman (drums).

The pair started playing music together on the street around 2014 when Kane and Lierman were both students at Indiana University. They quickly found that their drive and inspiration stemmed from similar areas and, soon after, formed what is now Whale Bones. Deriving influence from Indie, Post-Hardcore, Alternative, and Post-Rock, Whale Bones pushes to distinguish themselves from other groups in the modern scene.

Inspired by an adventure to the coast of Florida, their debut release, "The Seaside EP," explores a progression of self-regret and eventual forgiveness. With the intricate percussive patterns and crushing guitars along with the dynamic melodies, Whale Bones depicts the serene, yet violent nature of the ocean. The two recorded the EP in the Winter of 2014 at Primary Sound Studios in Bloomington, Indiana. The songs were mixed by Matt Goldman at Glow in the Dark Studios in Atlanta, Georgia and mastered by Nathan Kane. At just under 20 minutes, "The Seaside EP" thoroughly defines the raw and intimate yet refined sound of Whale Bones, giving a glimpse of what is still to come from the band.

"The Seaside EP" is available now through all digital distributors.

Band Members