Interview: Ryan Meeking (Whitaker)

Melbourne band Whitaker have been around for quite some time in different forms and they are getting ready to release a new EP late in November. We were able to speak to Ryan Meeking, one of the core members of the band, to find out a little more about them.

Hi Ryan, Welcome to Beauty and Lace.

What made you want a career in music?

Simple. Playing music led us there.

Can you tell us a little about how you met and formed the band?

We met studying music at university. Ryan was writing tunes at the time

Where did the name come from?

Initially, thin air. Then came the research and there were countless ways the name resonated with us – including a character named Whitaker from the book ‘To War With Whitaker’. Some legendary quotes and connections to us as a band in there.

How would you describe your sound?

A recent review said ‘wind-like’. I don’t really know what that means but it sounds cool…

The new EP, Wichita, is released in November; what can you tell us about it?

Without wanting to sound like a typical musician – this is definitely our best work yet. It’s also the beginning of something new for us as a band. We feel like the EP saw us producing the best version of sounds we’ve previously made while simultaneously introducing something we’ve never done before.

whitakershoot_1238-2Photo Credit Dan Soderstrom

The recording of the EP sounds interesting, can you share with us some of the places you recorded?

A garage, a church, a convent hall. We didn’t set foot in a conventional studio for this one. We wanted spaces that had a feeling to them so that every sound we recorded was great as it was – no audio ‘photoshopping’.

The title track, Wichita, was recorded in the auditorium of the Abbotsford convent, can you tell us about the experience and how you came to record there?

We were looking for great spaces to record in across Melbourne that had a real mood to them. The convent was just one of these and, like everywhere else, it was amazing – although quite possibly haunted. Phantom door-knocks and voices behind walls weren’t uncommon during our recording there.

You have some live shows coming up in November as well, what can audiences expect from them?

We’ll be playing the new EP in its entirety plus tunes from our previous album – maybe even some newer stuff, we’ll see.

Who has had the biggest influence on your music career?

On my music career? Me I would hope! On my music? My Dad and his record collection when I was growing up.

What is your favourite album to listen to at the moment?

I’ve been collecting a lot of vinyl recently which has meant going back over some corkers from the past. Beck’s ‘Sea Change’ sounds phenomenal on a turntable.

What’s next for Whitaker?

We’re touring through Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with Gossling throughout November, then the EP is out November 22nd and we’ll be playing a massive launch show in Melbourne at Revolver Upstairs on November 29th. Good times.

Thanks for your time Ryan and good luck with the tour.

Whitaker can be found on Facebook, Twitter and their Website.

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