Live Concert Photography: In The Whale at Berlin 5/5/19
Comprised of founding member Nathaniel Valdez (guitar, vocals) and Eric Riley (drums, vocals), the Greeley, CO-based alt rock duo In The Whale initially began as a solo recording project that Valdez started while obtaining his Masters in Educational Psychology at the University of North Colorado. When Riley joined the project, the duo relocated to Denver.
While the duo both grew up in very religious and conservative households, their material generally displays rebellious attitudes against the views and beliefs they were taught in their youth. Additionally, Valdez has cited his experience as an undertaker as influencing much of the band’s more morbid lyrical and thematic content.
The band’s debut, 2012’s Joey Barba-produced Cake EP was released to positive reviews on iTunes and helped the duo’s profile grow across their home state. Eventually, they landed an opening slot for The Photo Atlas’ Spring 2012 Midwest tour and inclusion in KTCL‘s annual Hometown for the Holidays contest. Building upon a budding profile, “Woman” appeared in a national ad campaign for Victory Motorcycles and “Heels” in the award-winning documentary Why We Ride.
2014’s Nate & Eric EP received attention and airplay nationally with the effort landing at #38 on the combined charts reported from various college and community radio stations with the EP reaching #119 on the CMJ Top 200 — and the EP was one of the 20 Most Added Records during the week of its release. As a result of the growing buzz surrounding them, the band played at that year’s Denver Riot Fest and several other regional festivals, including Treefort Music Festival. Additionally, the band spent the summer and fall of that year touring with Guttermouth, Jane’s Addiction and The Presidents of the United Stats of America.
2015’s Full Nelson EP was released to favorable reviews with the EP landed at #92 on the combined college radio charts. That year found the band playing at major music festivals like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Canadian Music Week and a critically applauded SXSW appearance, that received praise from the Chicago Tribune and others. The band was also selected for Taco Bell’s Feed the Beat and Quiznos Toasty on Tour artist programs — and they were included on New Music Seminar’s Artists on the Verge list.
At the end of the 2015, the band started a working relationship with Red Bull Sound Select, releasing a a No Age-produced single “Neighbor”/”Pray for the Prey.” Adding to an already big year for the band, they spent the fall supporting the Red Bull Sound Select Single touring with The Darkness, Toadies, and Nashville Pussy.
2019 saw the duo celebrating their eighth anniversary together — but just as important, this year also saw the release of the Steve Evetts-produced Dopamine EP, which was recorded at the Foo Fighters‘ Studio 606. Dopamine may arguably their hardest hitting effort yet, and as the result of hard work, dedication and moxie, their latest effort landed at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers, Independent Albums and Heatseekers Mountain charts.