Whilst the concept, and the dream, of being a music polymath sounds interesting; the reality of writing, producing and recording music, let alone running your own social media campaigns, releasing your own material and managing your own career, may well be something very different. Especially if you are a perfectionist.
How exactly can you find time to develop the level of diverse skills needed in order to satisfy your perfectionism?
Three-piece North Eastern indie outfit Whale Hill may well be having those thoughts at the minute. In the process of promoting new single ‘Vertigo’, and working on finding venues for a series of shows in the summer, they find that their music video shoot has just fallen through. “I’m trying to pull something new together as we speak” says main songwriter and vocalist Reece Mallett “the concept is going to stay the same but the difficulty we’re having at the minute is the scheduling. We’re often in different places”.
Coming off the back of first release ‘Broken Rose’, ‘Vertigo’ seems like a natural follow up with its post punk rumbling basslines, claustrophobic feel, and knowing punk glare. It’s refrain “I’ve got this feeling I don’t belong, I’ve got this feeling vertigo” suggests that they’ve looked over the edge. “Vertigo tends to be one of our most fun songs to play live but its subject matter is quite the opposite as it’s about anxiety and mental health and things falling apart. Originally I talked too much about girls but I try to speak from personal experience and about mental health”.
Happy to talk about his own mental health, Mallett talks openly about his own challenges with perfectionism, particularly in his song writing “I do feel pressure with my own work, and I’m never satisfied with the material I write but that’s possibly a good thing in a way as it keeps me motivated to not settle for anything less than my best. I tend to think the same when we play live and I’ll keep any mistakes we’ve made in my head for about 3 weeks after a show.” Pushed into talking about how that perfectionism affects the band’s dynamic and again Mallet is completely open “I’m very particular and that means that I tend to manage the band. I can be my own worst enemy, but I can also sometimes be the bands closet ally”.
With the current challenges on Mallett’s to-do list being diverse (pulling the art work together for Vertigo, talking to local promoters about future gigs, “doing admin, which I hate”) there’s still a lot for Mallett to try and perfect; “there’s a lot happening for us at the minute, we’ve had a great response to Vertigo and the plan is to tour that at the end of the summer, then release it’s follow up ‘Bloom’, and then work on new material. Our aim is to build on the great reception we’ve had at our lives shows and convert that into festival appearances and plays of our music. We need to work more, keep our momentum going, and write more great songs. We take this stuff seriously”.
Indeed they do. The work of a polymath, it seems, is never done.