By Gabrielle Fellows
What started out as just a few childhood pals making harmonies in the basement of an Austintown home ended up morphing into the alt-indie band that is gaining momentum across the state.
Jake Capezzuto (vocals, guitar, keys), Brandon Fisher (guitars) and Jake Stephens (bass and keyboards) began the group around four years ago when the friends were just hanging out one afternoon.
“Myself, Jake and Brandon started the group together about four years ago, and it just came together,” Stephens said. “We were playing around one day and decided to become a band. When we first started, we didn’t have a clue what this entailed.”
The group added friend Scott Davis on drums around one year ago, after the initial drummer had decided to pursue other venues. Even though Davis has only been with the group for a short amount of time, he and the other members agree that if the band shows promise, they’ll devote their time and money to the cause.
“We want to get the band as big as we can. I’m prepared to drop what I’m doing and go as far as we can with this, and I know the other members feel the same way,” Davis said. “But if not, and it flops, it all started as something fun, so it won’t destroy us if Northern Whale doesn’t go all the way.”
The group gained popularity in the last few years, developing a following in northeast Ohio, parts of Pennsylvania and Columbus. Northern Whale even played a few shows at the House of Blues and Whiskey A Go-Go in California. The fame and recognition that comes with being a part of a touring band is something that the members say they are still not used to.
“Last month I saw Twenty One Pilots in Cleveland. We were passing out fliers for our band, which we usually do, and one girl saw the flier and was like ‘wait, Northern Whale?’ She recognized us,” Davis said. “It was really strange — a great feeling though.”
Stephens said he had overwhelming feelings of success when he looked back on all the things the band has accomplished over the last few years.
“We played at the House of Blues in Los Angeles and the Whiskey A Go-Go, opening up for Machine Gun Kelly and the guitar player from Shinedown,” Stephens said. “That isn’t really our style, but it’s still really amazing.”
Northern Whale said they are excited to continue making music. As of right now, the group is working on a new EP set for release late this year that will include three new songs and one remastered song.
Stephens said the band isn’t sure what the future will bring, but that in itself is alright.
“We didn’t know what to sound like when we started,” he said. “Or know that we’d ever try to take it this far. We want to push the band as far as we can and try to grow, but whatever happens with it, we’re happy. And in the end, we’re doing it because it’s fun and it’s what we like to do.”