Welcome this weeks addition to Saturday Spotlight: Whatever, Forever. Having caught them recently supporting Stuck Out at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne, I was immersed in the atmosphere of their performance. The incredible way they displayed emotion through their live show was intense, and the passion and vulnerability of their music shone through and made me an instant fan of the band.
After this set I knew straight away they’d be a great fit for Saturday Spotlight, and going home to properly listen to their music only solidified that. Recently released “Bridges” and “Whispers” seem to indicate that the band are just getting better with each move they make. The Sydney based five piece describes themselves as ‘loud, sad music’’, and display blatant punk influences through their sound.
Whatever, Forever are made up of Michael Godwin (vocals), Nick Adams (guitar/vocals), Chas Levi (guitar/vocals), Jack Rudder (bass), and Matthew Doherty (drums). This group of young men came together after starting out as a guilty pleasure project for Michael and Nick. They both wanted to write music that differed from the bands they were playing in at the time. Since then the lineup has shifted and changed, to become the Whatever, Forever that we see presently.
What really fascinated me about Whatever, Forever was their intensity. Despite the fact that their music wasn’t the heaviest instrumentally, the vocals alone were enough to have me mesmerised by their performance. Listening now at home, it is also the moody melodic combination of the echoing background tones and the in-your-face revving guitars that lie behind the vocals and keep the atmosphere afloat. The vocals combine violent screams and soft melodies, and display untouched passion that reminds me of music by La Dispute or Casey. But when it comes down to it, Whatever, Forever are their own band.
Taking their name from a Modern Baseball lyric, they shared with us that Modern Baseball played a big role in their formation as a band, but list other influences like Title Fight, Gatherers, and Basement, as well as well-known Australian acts, Perspectives, and Hindsight. When listening you can hear the impact each of these influences has had on their sound, and how listening to these bands has shaped how they go about being in a band and writing music.
Writing is a shared task, with the band explaining,”Typically, the bulk of the music is written by Nick with lyrics and vocal melodies being added afterwards by Michael. This isn’t entirely definitive of our writing process though, as all members past and present have had an impact writing wise in Whatever, Forever.”
Pulling out a quote from The Office to describe their live performance (“Indescribable.” – Ryan Howard), they are looking forward to playing as many shows as they can in the future. They’re also hoping to hit Adelaide and Perth especially, and tick off some milestones for their first time playing there as Whatever, Forever.
Luckily for them they’ve recently been able to tick off some more of those boxes, after describing their recent tour with Stuck Out as a “great defining moment”. That tour allowed them to play to the most people they ever have, getting their sound to more ears, and potentially gaining new fans in the process. “We definitely couldn’t look past opening for Turnstile early this year though as the most excitement any of us has felt being in WF.”
From where I sit, Whatever, Forever seem to be on a rapid rise. Check them out via their Facebook page and Spotify.
[Photo of Whatever, Forever courtesy of Albert Lamontagne]