There’s a whole lotta cuteness enveloping Noah and the Whale – their animated Web site, the way they tug on an umbrella in their publicity pic and, yeah, the foursome themselves. They’ve definitely got the Teddy Bear Effect going for them, but the English folk-pop group is more than dapper and dorm-wall worthy; their debut, “Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down,” is an emotional tapestry of dreamy soundscapes, cheery love odes and heart-piercing laments. And the coolest part? They’re down with the queers, according to drummer Doug Fink. The modest lad broke up his day – which involved a show rehearsal and sophomore album planning – to chat with BTL about taking Teen Culture 101 and why people might think they’re gay. We say it’s just wishful thinking.
Just before you called I was reading an interview you did with CosmoGirl! –
Oh, gosh, that was myself and Urby (bass player; real name: Matt Owens). That was last October. Wow. I don’t know when it got published. But, yeah, that was an interesting experience.
And you found out who the actress – America Ferrera – in ‘Ugly Betty’ is.
(Laughs) Yeah, my awareness has approved significantly since that interview on global teen culture, as seeing we’ve sort of become part of it on some level anyway.
Now I have to say after reading that, I realize that the girls are all over you, but are you aware that lots of gay guys fawn over you?
(Laughs) I remember there was one – ’cause occasionally we do Google-type searches – and I do remember seeing Charlie (the lead singer/songwriter and Doug’s brother) in some sort of (gay) poll. I can’t remember what it was, but I think once in a while we get reminded. But it’s always nice to get attention. It’s generally flattering. It’s much better than criticism, I think.
I’ve seen a couple of blogs and message board posts where people think you guys are gay or your sound is ‘gay.’ What do you think about that?
Well, it’s interesting. I mean in terms of our sexuality, none of us are gay, but we’ve got some quite close friends who are gay. But it’s interesting how people describe us – what would you see (about us) as specifically gay?
‘Cause some of your music is cute. It’s not necessarily macho.
Often, people – when they listen to some of our music the first time – they hear some of the brightness of it, some of the kind of upbeat melodies but a lot of it is kind of more melancholy. There are songs on the record that, although they might have funny, upbeat tempos, they aren’t necessarily meant to be sort of – the message isn’t meant to be taken that way. But no, it’s interesting. It just reinforces to me that people will hear what they want to hear in a song – and that’s a really good and a really bad thing sometimes.
You mention none of you guys are gay. But you’ve got to have at least one gay characteristic – maybe you watch ‘Ugly Betty.’
Certainly I am very body conscious in terms of going to the gym and stuff. Urby probably pays more attention to his clothes than he should. What else? Charlie moisturizes his face once in a while. Does that count? (Laughs)
Noah and the Whale
8 p.m. April 26
22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale