Written by Christina Bowman. Media by Momoka Murata.
Said the Walrus is an indie/rock on-campus band at Greenville University. They just performed their debut show last month on Tuesday, October 17 in the Blackroom. Ben Isaacs (guitar/vocals), Noah Bassett (bassist/vocals), and Jon (Jofi) Friedman (drums) began playing music together their freshman year with the idea of forming a band. Utilizing the summer to write more, they had more material the following year and began to execute their ideas. The name did not come until later when they were brainstorming through a list of band names and had it narrowed down to Sunny in Switzerland or Said the Walrus.
Some of their musical influences include bands like Modern Baseball, the Cardboard Swords, the Hotelier, and the Wonder Years. They describe themselves as indie/rock or indie/alternative but have also had a slight emo influence lyrically. Ben Isaacs and Noah Bassett, both songwriters, have slightly different methods when it comes to writing.
“It depends a lot of times, it will start with a lyric idea or a song topic idea and I just write like a few lines and then I’ll put it off to the side for a little bit and come back to it later,” Isaacs continued, “I’ll write the music around it and then continue to write the lyrics around it.”
Bassett, on the other hand, says, “I play something I like, then I’ll write the words to it, and then the other parts of the song just come to me.”
Their top performance strengths include their stage presence and high energy. Their first show had about sixty-five students in attendance, a good amount for a mid-week Blackroom show. Their set list was formed from originals and two covers – one from the Hotelier and one from Jank — both of which really drew the crowd in with the upbeat atmosphere. “I thought it went really well,” said Isaacs, “we played well and were together; our practice has really paid off. More importantly, people started to get into it and have fun with us and I think we all had a great time.”
Said the Walrus recently signed onto the GU’s own on-campus record label, ENTco. “ENTco. reached out to us,” Isaacs explained, “at first we were hesitant because we didn’t want to be underneath anyone because we like doing things on our own, but after talking with them, we kind of realized that they are exactly what we need to put all of our ideas together and play shows.”
Besides helping them get practice times and shows, ENTco. gives them feedback on their music and performances, helps with merchandise and advertising, and encourages them all around with their music.
They are currently talking with another on-campus band, SideQuest, about being an opener for a show in St. Louis in the upcoming months. Additionally, Said the Walrus is preparing for another Blackroom show at the end of the semester with ENTco. The band hopes to record and release their debut album by the end of the fall semester.
To stay updated on all things Said the Walrus, follow them on Instagram at said.the.walrus, on Snapchat at said.thewalrus, and on Facebook at Said The Walrus.