In The Whale

(Photo: CPR / Daniel Mescher)

We've had In The Whale in our CPR Performance Studio before, but never quite like this. The Denver rock duo of Nate Valdez and Eric Riley typically rock out with electric guitar riffs and heavy drum beats, though their session this month was acoustic -- but by no means laid back.

The performance demonstrated that Valdez and Riley's music is captivating with or without electricity. The setlist included songs from the new "Neighbor" EP, produced by the Los Angeles experimental duo No Age.

In addition to performing, Valdez and Riley spoke with Alisha Sweeney about their relentless touring schedule, getting together with No Age and hitting the road with Toadies.

Stream the session above and read interview highlights below.

Riley on agreeing to play acoustic shows on tour with Toadies:

"We've been talking on and off with them for a while now about playing with them. We were on the docket for a tour with them and they announced their tour. We were like: 'Hey can we get on this tour?' And they were like: 'Well, this is our acoustic tour, so I don't know if you guys will be into that, but if you want to, you got the gig. But you can't do your regular schtick.' 

"We took it as a welcome challenge. We don't want to be a one-trick pony."

Riley on touring with classic '90s artists like Jane's Addiction, Slash and Toadies:

"Right now, rock 'n' roll isn't a hip thing. Those bands, the punk bands and the '90s bands get it right away. They hear us and they're like, 'Oh I get this!' We get picked first by them because it's like, 'Boom! I know what this is.' It's raw, dirty rock 'n' roll."

Songs performed:

  • "Radio"
  • "Mail"
  • "Wedding Bells"
  • "Lake of Fire"

OpenAir hosts In the Whale in the CPR Performance Studio on October 28, 2015.

Watch more videos from the session.