We had the good fortune of connecting with Quitting Whitney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Quitting, what role has risk played in your life or career?
We think about risk as a necessity in creating anything worth value. For us, that’s creating music. Every artist that we gravitate towards has a story to tell, whether its Tame Impala and isolation, Twenty-One Pilots and mental-health, or Kid Cudi: loneliness and substance abuse moving toward strength. We try to recognize that what makes art so valuable IS the human element; the best artists are relatable because they experience the same success and failure as everyone else. In other words, they take a lot of risks. As songwriters, we really try to communicate our personal stories through our passionate instrumental songwriting as well as our lyrics. Our lyrics reflect not only our frustration with the slow-progress of our world, but also they communicate our personalities pretty well, whether it be our angst, sarcasm, or passion for anything that we work on. Within the project, besides the obvious risk of sacrificing time, money, and relationships in order to spend more time at the studio, our main risk is in just trying to remain authentic to ourselves and to our brand. Of course, being a duo really does reduce this risk! It is fairly easy to get together and talk about the direction we want Quitting Whitney to go in and it is usually easy to identify when we need to take on additional risk. A glaring example of this was when we were faced with a cancelled tour back in early-March. We had been on the road for 3 days before we realized the severity of COVID-19. We were faced with a difficult challenge of whether to risk driving straight back through a snowstorm from Denver to LA, or to continue writing music while quarantined in our hotel room. Luckily, we chose the latter and we were able to make up for our 10 cancelled tour dates by writing new songs, bonding with our tour partners Ships Have Sailed, and filming music videos (yup…plural). In short, we take risks because we want the art that we put out to be the best that it can be. We want to tell our fans a good story, one filled not only risks, failures, and a little success but also with foolishness, outrage, and angst. We aim to tell the story not just through our lyrics and music, but through our videos, pictures, and even social accounts. Make sure to check us out at Quitting Whitney on Instagram, Facebook, and Spotify!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Since our inception, our main focus has been to introduce something unique to the current music landscape. We definitely work out of the duo template established by artists like MGMT and Twenty-One Pilots but we strive to be above all high energy, vulnerable, and most importantly, super-collaborative We’re definitely tired of the whole “solo artist” aesthetic that is so prevalent in the industry right now. We wanted to make sure that our music truly communicated both of our ideas and influences. This ended up manifesting itself in a pretty interesting way. Through collaboration, our music took on a life of its own, individually we would never come up with Quitting Whitney’s material. Matt tends to write heavy groove songs with bedroom-pop guitar while Ryan leans toward hard-hitting rock and high energy live performance. Through collaboration we have also been able to largely stay clear of the cliche songwriting topics like “life sucks” and “I miss you” type-songs. We’ve really been able to explore more complex lyrics that give our listeners a more complete view of our message and brand. Even though we are still relatively young in the music industry, it was not easy to get here. Just finding each other, as dependable bandmates, friends, and collaborators is hard in itself. Of course, building a brand from scratch is no joke either: website, socials, writing, mixing, marketing, etc. But as we have felt out our style and workflow more, we’re really hitting our stride: writing faster, recording better, and dividing creative v business duties of the band pretty evenly. As far as lessons we have learned, the most important is a complete open flow of communication. As we have worked together more we have found that the most important part of collaboration is to not take anything personally. We both come up with ideas and often those ideas are BAD. It’s just super important to have another person within the band that isn’t afraid to shut your idea down and perhaps offer a better one. We want the world to know that we’re making music that accurately reflects us. If you relate to our music, its because you’re like us. We want people to know that it’s still ok to rock out to some electric guitar and drums even in 2020.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
This is a pretty hard one since we haven’t been outside of our houses or the studio since March BUT lets pretend its 2019 for a second. As a local band, our immediate suggestions are almost all going to be music related but we’ll do our best to throw in a few good food and hangout spots. First of all, if you’re visiting LA for a week we would highly recommend checking out School Night at Bardot on Mondays. They’re awesome free shows with talented bands from not only LA but from literally around the world. If you’re visiting LA and you want to see a band just about to break, School Night is probably where you’ll have some luck. Also, for music stuff definitely check out shows that WFNM (We Found New Music) puts on. They’re almost always free, they take place at awesome venues like Madame Siam and the Hi-Hat. Also a great way to check out new artists. If you want to do something other than music, Matt really likes to hike and would highly recommend Vital Link trail in Glendale for something to do in the early morning or early evening. It’s a short, steep 3 mile trail with sweeping views of Hollywood, Downtown, and much of LA. If you’re in the westside, almost any trail in the Santa Monica Mountains is pretty cool. LA has a ton of great places to grab a bite to eat but we personally love Barney’s Beanery and the 90 Lounge. Barney’s is where we came up with the name for our band, put together our whole strategy as a band, and hung out when we weren’t playing music. The 90 was our favorite spot to go to after a long rehearsal on the west-side. They’re a great, locally owned spot, perfect for a happy hour hangout.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We definitely have to thank Will Carpenter and Art Andranikyan of Ships Have Sailed who helped us get through our first tour as a band. We HAVE to thank Tyler Spratt who has mixed all of our songs since the beginning. He has really helped shape our sound into what we are today. Additionally, he catches all our mistakes that we don’t pick up on when we’re in the heat of writing music. We have also received a lot of support from the videography and photography community. Especially, Jess Linderman and Daniel Johnson who are currently helping us film a music video as well as Denis Marx who takes the best band pictures in all of LA.

Website: quittingwhitney.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quittingwhitney/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quittingwhitney/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaH7K_w0P_zsl1lUp6oPM6w?view_as=subscriber
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/04d3d4vr3AykwVRynNuDwn?si=VHBg2zSZQouT7yb39kPNPQ Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/quitting-whitney/1454746311

Image Credits
Jess Linderman Daniel Johnson Denis Marx

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