White Noise Owl is a powerhouse rock band composed of lead vocalist Pete Murray of Lo-Pro and Ultraspank, bassist John Fahnestock of Lo-Pro, Snot, and Amen, drummer Will Hunt of Evanescence and Dark New Day, and guitarist Chris Shy of Aurora Sky.
The band recently released their first single, “Something”, from their soon to be released new album, Critical Condition. GIGsoup had a chance to talk with the Pete and Chris to get the inside scoop on the band, their music, and touring.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. We wanted to find learn a little about White Noise Owl. Tell us a little about the band as a whole. We know the band is a super group. How did you end up together to form White Noise Owl?
Pete: Can’t say I like that term but I totally get that people need a baseline for their story. The bottom line for me is that I feel like the planets really aligned for this band. Chris initially reached out to me with some riffs. Based on those riffs, it had to be John and Will for the rhythm section. John and I have history, our producer Ben Grosse got us connected with Will and the fusion was instantaneous. This all came together pretty effortlessly. We’re all in different states so when we come together in the studio or to rehearse – our experiences, which are vast – translate to a focus that’s unparalleled for me.
What does White Noise Owl mean, how was the name derived?
Chris: White Noise Owl refers to a couple of things in my life right before Pete and I starting tinkering with the early stages of the band. At the time, I wasn’t in the greatest head-space and gravitated towards being a bit of a night owl. Since those times can often be void of distractors, I reached for the guitar a lot to push back against the silence. In a way, the music I was writing during those odd hours acted as a bit of a white-noise machine – thus, I thought of those early song-starts as ‘white-noise in the owl’s hour.’
Overall, when making music together as White Noise Owl, what are some of your musical influences?
Pete: Our influences are all over the place – we like everything from Sigur Ros to Celtic Frost. When we write together, we want our tunes to groove on the most basic level but ultimately we want to create something interesting. We also tend to look at all the songs we’re working on as a journey. This new batch of songs starts with a full-on face ripper “Maybe It’s Time” and ends with “This Has Just Begun” which to me is the most interesting and intricate piece I’ve ever been a part of. “This Has Just Begun” is what really excites us but we need those other tunes to keep it all rooted.
Chris: All the way through the recording of our first EP, I think one of the advantages we had was our unfamiliarity with one another. We didn’t know shit about each other, aside from the discographies. Getting in the rehearsal space to write songs like “Something” dropped all of our influences out in the open at once, which was amazing. I’m excited as hell for everyone to hear the growth, the influences, and the risks we took on this album.
This summer you recently released your new single and video for the song “Something”. What is the status of the new album and what can we expect to hear (from a musical/sound perspective) on the new album?
Pete: It’s looking like the new album will be out in the spring. Will said it best in a “making of” video we released a while back – the new music is very much White Noise Owl but we stepped it up. The writing of these tunes was way more organic and we were all able to bring more to the table this time. I think we were able to translate what we all do in a really cohesive way. We have our basic locomotive riffs but we also got to blast off into space and take it way out there.
Chris: I think the single, “Something,” suggests that the album as a whole is on the darker/more meaningful side; in an insanely cool way. Songs like “Is Anyone Listening” and “This Has Just Begun” really do feel like you’ve been taken on a bit of a roller coaster. It’s a cliché, but this album demonstrates another level for us.
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Everyone in the band is a veteran in the music industry. Since you all have been in bands before and have been through the trials in tribulations of the music industry in the past, what insight does the past have to help you in the future for White Noise Owl?
Pete: One of the best things about having been around the block a few times is that it’s easier to flag the distractions. There are fewer surprises so you can really focus on the music – which is why we’re here.
After the album is released, do you plan to tour the United States or Worldwide? What bands would you love to tour with?
Pete: Fair to say we are all thinking globally. That’s going to require some luck though. Touring is an expensive proposition but we’re all dying to do it!
What is your favorite part about performing live?
Pete: I love the traveling aspect of playing live. There’s nothing like watching what your music does to a crowd in New York City, Dallas, Copenhagen or wherever. Sometimes it’s universal, sometimes it’s a surprise, sometimes it’s a dud. You never know, but you always learn.