Long Island-based quartet Whatever We Are are on a mission to break boundaries well beyond just their music. The band wear all white to symbolise unity and their ethos of ‘a blank canvas,’ and they promote a judgment-free, no limitations, open-minded and passionate creative process.
The quartet came together after enjoying their own individual musical successes. Singer Gabrielle Ross has toured the world with artists like OAR, Tyler Hilton and Kate Voegele and won New York’s prestigious Amateur Night at the Apollo championship when she was just 15.
While Chris ‘Trippz’ Michaud – the guy with a spaceship tattoo on his face – had a major publishing deal with Sony ATV, Joey Castellani has produced tracks for Drake and other independent artists, and Ian Bigg has opened for bands like Capital Cities and Neon Trees as well as supporting the likes of Jesse McCartney and Katy Tiz.
It’s fair to assume they’re a talented bunch and the proof of this is delivered in their second single HEAVEN, which was released at the end of last month. It opens up with light guitar then laid-back vocals “I’ve been hurting, I don’t know this road, Can’t carry the burden, Not for us both,” which intensify with “I typically hide my emotions, but this one’s too much, I travel the sky and the oceans, Chasing your love.”
Higher pitched vocals then give way to Gabrielle’s delicious vocals “I would die for you now, Take your place in the ground but Heaven will open its arms to you, So don’t you look down as you ride through the clouds cause Heaven will open its arms to you” over drawn-out guitars. The high-pitched vocals return over bursts of guitar and cool synth sounds, answered by Gabrielle’s vocals.
The pace suddenly drops down leaving just Gabrielle’s vocals “I’ve been calling but where did you go Reality’s walking me through the now I’m taking it slow” then dual vocals “I typically hide my emotions but this one’s too much, I travel the sky and the oceans, Chasing your love” then kicks back into life. Another chorus is followed by rapped vocals by Trippz before coming to a chilled-out ending. Check it out below:
We had a chat with the band to find out more about their music and their epic-sounding tour across North America, which kicks off in September. Read on below…
GR: Who are Whatever We Are?
WWA: “We were four friends – Gab from NY, Trippz from CT, Ian from CT, Joey from Delaware – each pursuing our own musical and personal journeys with many highs and lows. We went into the studio together to create for one another’s projects and breathe some new inspiration into making music and we accidentally created our first song LIMBO.
“We basically looked at each other and said ‘What just happened?!’ It was an undeniable creative chemistry we knew we had to stick with, so we picked up our lives and moved into what we call the ‘Limbo House’ in Long Island to make music out of our living room and we haven’t looked back since!”
GR: You just released your second single Heaven. What should people be expecting from the song?
WWA: “We wrote Heaven from individual experiences of losing someone special and all the different emotions you feel during that hard time. Ian was dating someone who recently lost her best friend after a long battle with cancer. He had never experienced a loss so tragic and couldn’t imagine the pain she was in and tried to write from her perspective.
“Gabrielle had recently lost her Grandmother, who was one of the brightest lights in her life. She heard what Ian was writing and it immediately resonated with what she was going through. Trippz had lost a close friend who battled with drug abuse. Joey poured his struggle and emotions into the production, which had originally started as an old Trippz beat, then he completely flipped it. HEAVEN has an alternative yet pop/edm feel.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
WWA: “Being that we all came from different musical backgrounds prior to WHATEVER WE ARE, our music combines it all. It’s really whatever we feel and want it to be, which is forever changing just like our creative process.
“The constant in our formula is our ‘Blank Canvas Concept,’ which means every time we create we start from a clean slate with an open mind and one goal, which is to make great music without limitations. We also wear all white to symbolise that very concept of a blank canvas, and to inspire others to live their life this way. Being true to who they are, what they feel, and to think outside the box, breaking any boundaries and limitations this world tries impose on us.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
WWA: “Writing is like therapy for all of us. We write from an honest perspective and usually personal experience. Being that we all experience different highs and lows our topics may vary from feeling lost and trying to find our way, to battling vices and demons, to love and loss, to happiness and pain, and then there are those records that just feel really good when the energy is right! We’re all just human trying to figure out life and everything that comes along with it.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
WWA: “Each of us educate one another on music and artists we love all the time. Our influences range drastically but some include Twenty One Pilots, Coldplay, John Mayer, Linkin Park, Tycho, Hans Zimmer, Chaka Khan, Oasis, Evanescence, Florence & The Machine, Kanye West, No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mumford & Sons, and Blink-182.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
WWA: “We’re beyond excited we will be joining Witt Lowry on the Nevers Road North America Tour. It kicks off 14 September and it’s 32 dates across the US and Canada. We will be releasing the rest of our LIMBO EP just before we hit the road and we can’t wait to share this music and meet so many new people. We already have so much more music to follow this first EP and are constantly making new records. It feels really good to finally be sharing it with the world.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
WWA: “We just love and appreciate every person who we can touch through our music. If you can relate to us as people and what we write about that’s all we want. Reach out to us on our socials, write to us, talk to us, we would love to connect with each and every one of you!”