Whales in Cubicles are a band founded by singer-songwriter Stef Bernardi. Although only releasing their debut single last year, Whales In Cubicles’ history stretches way back beyond their first few rehearsals...
Having dropped out of school in Italy, Stef chose to follow his ambitions of becoming a musician and bought a one-way ticket to America. There he spent a few years on the West Coast couch surfing around hostels and strangers living rooms.
Stef met Alex and Jamie in D.C. at a Dismemberment Plan show. They all exchanged emails, and when Stef’s visa expired he was forced to leave, and decided on a move to London to form the band with Alex and Jamie.
Taking of his time in America, Stef says: "It was hard at first, not knowing anybody. But I joined this band and then that band, which led to another and another; eventually everyone you know is in a band. A couple of years in I decided I wanted to start my own band and began writing material for it". This shaped the beginnings of Whales In Cubicles.
On the band name, Stef talks of how he "used to work in this coffee shop and the other baristas would be bringing CDs in to work, one of them was Andrew Bird's. I saw him gig in Austin back then and I loved that line about the whale in a cubicle." It's a fit image for the paradoxes at the heart of the human condition: desire and restraint, harmony and dissonance, irony and sincerity, nostalgia and a longing for the future. These themes, filtered through the prism of Stef’s American indie rock influences, has led to songs that are at once reticent and raging, dragging the listener through a sonic landscape which switches from explosive riffs to introverted verses in the blink of an eye.
The first single, ‘Disappear’, from their eagerly anticipated debut album (set for release in the autumn), is a song about the fragility and fleeting nature of identity. Set against a riotous backdrop of Smashing Pumpkins-esque guitars and driving drums. ‘Disappear’ is a statement of intent from Whales In Cubicles.
With live dates under their belt that include supporting Tribes, Turbowolf and Dinosaur Pile-Up, as well as heading out on their own UK headline tour last October; Whales In Cubicles consistently deliver an explosive live show.