Los Angeles rockers, Naked Walrus, initially started the band as a side passion project, yet have shifted their focus due to the reception that they received and continues to catch the attention of new fans across the country. Naked Walrus has one EP under their belt and are gearing up to release new material in the near future. I caught up with all of the guys to discuss the follow-up to ‘Simple’, their favorite venues to play across the country, tattoos and more.
First and foremost, introduce yourself to our readers. Who is Naked Walrus? Tell us about how you guys have come together as a band.
Hey everyone! I’m Dakota and I play rhythm guitar and sing. Hayden plays lead guitar and Taylor play the drums. We are a band from Los Angeles, California that try to showcase a lifestyle of creativity and pure rock and roll through our music and actions. We all met while living in a big house full of musicians in Santa Barbara in our college days. At that time, all of us were in different and more serious bands but decided to start a side project, Naked Walrus, as a joke. After about a year, all of our serious projects started dissolving and Naked Walrus was now our serious band. We debated and debated on changing the name and ended up keeping it because, who cares right? We realized that Naked Walrus was about being creative, funny, sexy and most importantly being comfortable in your own skin.
Are you currently working on any new material or the follow-up to your 2016 EP, ‘Simple’? Fill us in.
Yes we are! So far we have two songs completely done. Get ready for a little darker and heavier Walrus tunes. We plan to have a single out by early next year.
What has been the ultimate dose of wisdom that you have carried with you as musician and who or what did you receive it from?
Three things that we hear consistently are; Patience, motivation and humility. All of the bands that we really look up to did not have instant success. They were motivated to keep going and never thought they were better than anyone.
Photo Credit: James Reichert
Tell us about the backstory behind covering your faces with a variety of black material in many of your band photos.
We all got really tired of doing the same serious faced, arm crossed band photos, so we decided to try something different by covering our faces with random objects. Dakota coined this term as “anti boy band marketing”. This puts more focus on the art of the music and not our looks.
Photo Credit: A Study In Black Photography
Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of your favorite personal pieces and the artists that you have collaborated with to bring the pieces to life.
Hayden: Dakota and I have been going to our artist out of Tempe, Arizona. His name is David Noggle and we’ve been going to him for almost ten years. He is an awesome tattoo artist and painter. My favorite tattoo of mine that I have got to collaborate on with him is my owl on my forearm dedicated to my grandmother who passed in 2005.
Dakota: David has essentially done most of my sleeve on my right arm which goes from an underwater setting to space. But my favorite piece is probably my jellyfish.
Taylor: My favorite piece is probably the tarot card on my right shoulder. It was done by my friend Corey at a shop back home. Corey sadly passed before we could finish it, but I’m going to leave it like it is.
What have been some of your favorite venues to play in across the states? Have you played any venues in your current hometown, LA?
Some of our favorite venues we have played are Rebel Lounge in Phoenix,AZ, Moon Room in Denver,CO, FunHouse in Seattle, Velvet Jones, in Santa Barbara and The Roxy in Hollywood. We have played every major venue on the Sunset Strip and surrounding areas, but try to only play a couple times a year in LA to make sure we have a good crowd and have a fun time.
If you could have a drink with any musician either dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Hayden: John Mayer, because he is my favorite modern blues guitar player and awesome songwriter, plus he seems like a funny dude.
Taylor: This is an easy question to answer…John Bonham. Why? Because it’s Bonham! Aside from him being the best rock drummer ever, he was also a really cool down to earth, family man that also loved his cars and outdoors.
Dakota: There are quite a few, but if I had to choose one it would probably be Dave Grohl because he is the singer of the biggest band in the world and an awesome performer.
What is your perception of the artistic benefit of tattoos as means of expression within society?
Taylor: I think that tattoos are one of the best forms of self expression and I’m glad to see them becoming more acceptable in social settings. Having tattoos is merely a fascination with art and self expression. They have no bearing on who you are as person, but they can say a lot about you and I think it’s important to feel like you are being perceived in a way that gets your point across.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
We want to give a big thanks to all of our fans, friends and family who have supported and keep supporting us along the way. None of this would be possible without you! And lastly, Tusks Up!
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