Naked Walrus is an alternative rock band based in Los Angeles, California made up of “a genuine group of friends who make music with a kaleidoscopic attitude, independently expressing themselves as they wish, allowing those in their wake to peek into their lifestyle through their music”. The band released a new record, titled “All In”, this past week; we sat down with Naked Walrus to discuss the band’s formation, their musical influences, and of course, their recent album release.
How did you all meet and begin playing music together?
“Our band has gone through multiple changes (since January 2011), but it all starts with Dakota (vocalist) and Hayden (guitarist) meeting at Arcadia High School in Scottsdale, AZ through a songwriting program. Dakota then moved to Santa Barbara, CA for college and created Naked Walrus with a friend as an acoustic side project. Dakota met Taylor (drums) on the phone while Taylor was living in Pennsylvania; Taylor’s dad, Hector Hurtado, was helping Dakota build a practice space in his house at the time, and as soon as Taylor moved back to Santa Barbara he was asked to play in Naked Walrus. After a couple of lineup changes, Taylor moved from bass to drums, Hayden became the lead guitar player, and after an unfortunate bass player malfunction, Andy (our bassist), was brought on for our first self-booked tour and was officially christened once we got back from our journey.”
What inspired your name?
“Our band was a bit of a joke when we first started, so the name was really us being ridiculous. We always attribute the reason for sticking with Naked Walrus (as our name) to a lecture that we heard from a songwriter named Chuck Cannon in one of our college classes. He was discussing co-writing, which is how most of our songs are created, and he stated that in order to co-write you need to be completely comfortable with your songwriting partner, so comfortable that you would be okay being naked in front of each other. As soon as we heard that, it all kind of just clicked and we decided that the meaning of our name represents a state of mind where you are “comfortable” (an example being that walrus of a friend that is completely fine walking around in the buff and has no insecurities).”
“We have tons of musical influences spanning from all different styles and genres. Musically, our top five influences would be Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Black Keys.”
What can you tell readers about your new single ‘Aliens’?
“Our new single ‘Aliens’ is about aliens taking over the world. It comes from the perspective of the aliens coming to earth and how humans would approach this (situation). It’s a really fun song to play and we feel like it’s the perfect taste of what’s to come with the new album.”
What inspired the writing and recording of your upcoming album “All In”?
“”All In” was a really diverse record because it was written during a time when one of the founding members was leaving and we had to figure out if we wanted to continue as a band. Most of the songs were written while we were all living together in Santa Barbara (one of the most creative experiences we had ever had). Each song has lyrics that are about finding yourself and accepting the world around us. The recording process was a whole effort in itself; after our guitar player left, Hayden joined forces with us and we starting raising money via Kickstarter to fund the project. We had our producer, Curtis Douglas, take a train to Santa Barbara (where we recorded in Hector Hurtado’s home studio, called the Soul Kitchen). We spent pretty much all of February 2013 tracking every waking moment; we can’t thank everyone enough for contributing towards us achieving our dreams.”
“Every live performance is exciting to us, whether it’s in a coffee shop, bar, school, or (traditional) venue. Every show is unique and although some are better than others, that is truly what we live for. As a band we try to put on the best show possible with the most energy no matter what!”
What can you tell us about your experience with the Los Angeles music scene?
“It’s extremely difficult to crack the code; Los Angeles has a fantastic array of performances each night and we are totally stoked to be a part of this amazing scene. Although it can be rough sometimes (as far as not getting paid or dealing with stingy clubs), it’s really amazing how productive the LA scene is.”