When it comes to contemporary indie rock, I have yet to find a band as fun and creative as White Rabbits. The six-piece Brooklyn based band is currently on tour following the release of their critically acclaimed sophomore album, It’s Frightening. I recently spoke to Alex Even, guitarist and vocalist for the band, about the band’s history and music.
Half of White Rabbits’ members met at the University of Missouri. The others already played together in a band called Texas Chainsaw Mass Choir. When I asked Even about his college experience, I was quick to be informed that he did not really attend college. He described his college experience as “just going to the parties.” The band later moved to Brooklyn and began playing shows. Even and the band enjoyed their move to Brooklyn because of the, “huge portion of people there who were serious music listeners,” and because “it never feels like scenes are too competitive.”
When I asked Even about the music that he listened to when he was younger, he humorously told me that the first record he bought was the Montell Jordan single “This Is How We Do It.” However, Montell Jordan certainly did not encompass his entire music collection. When he was started to play guitar he was also “listening to a lot of bands on Discord Records, like Nation of Ulysses, Minor Threat, and Fugazi.” He also claimed that The Specials have had a large influence on the band’s sound. When it comes to music he’s listening to right now, he mentioned to me that he’s been listening to a lot of Elvis Costello lately and that he enjoys Atlas Sound, Glass Ghost, and Animal Collective’s.
Quite a bit changed with the band between their debut, Fort Nightly, and their new record, It’s Frightening. They moved from Say Hey Records to TBD Records (with label mates Radiohead, Underworld, and Other Lives) and had Britt Daniel, influential member of Spoon, produce their newest record. When Even described the recording process of their first album, he confessed “we didn’t have any money to be recording so it was a situation where we just had to sneak in at night.” The main difference in their recording process between their two albums was that “[we were] recording the first record with only a vague sense of how to make a record.” Well, no one told that to critics who praised the band’s catchy tunes. Britt Daniel made recording “a pretty streamlined process so it went relatively quickly and it was a lot of fun.”
White Rabbits’ songwriting process “changes from song to song because we have six people in the band who all kinda write individually, which doesn’t really work with the spirit of cooperation of other bands,” said Even. As far as a new record goes, he informed me that they “started the writing process of it, but always at first it comes a little slowly.” The White Rabbits’ touring schedule is running through next spring, so fans shouldn’t expect anything until they get off the road.
The band’s exhaustive touring schedule may mean that the band can’t focus their efforts on a new record, but it also means that fans will be able to see White Rabbits perform as they hit fans’ local venues. “It seems like one of the last ways to connect to your sense of community. It’s like to bring a lot of different people together even if it’s just for the night.”