A Conversation With James Petralli of White Denim


Sometimes a name can be an accurate way to describe a band. But with White Denim, it is not. Something as simple as, well, white denim, doesn’t do the band’s eclectic combination of garage rock, dub soul, alt-rock, country and blues justice. Since its beginnings in 2006, the Austin-based outfit has been dazzling crowds with its brand of music. On September 23, the band self-released Last Day of Summer, under the Radiohead, pay what you want model. The collection featured a selection of 12 songs that the band had floating around since its beginning and served as an appetizer as they put the finishing touches on its soon to be completed new album. Bestnewbands.com caught up with White Denim’s James Petralli to talk about the band’s name, its upcoming tour of Portugal. The Man and what city the band is looking forward to playing.

DK: How did you come up with the name White Denim? Are you guys fond of white denim or is there another intrinsic value to the name?

JP: The name White Denim is pretty arbitrary really. It was a name that came up in the early stages of working on the band that made us laugh. We never had any idea that we would eventually have the opportunity to do interviews like this one, so we didn’t give it much thought. It’s a name for a rock band. There is something intrinsically hilarious about adults having that conversation in the first place.

DK: Are you guys excited to be touring with Portugal The Man? How did the tour come to fruition?

JP: Sure. We are always excited to play. I am not exactly sure how it came up. I think it was an agent on agent kind of thing. We were of course totally open and enthused to play some shows in front of their folks. I think we are really going to vibe out for a couple of weeks with them and hopefully become faithful pen pals afterwards.


DK: What city is the band looking forward to playing on the tour?

JP: Albuquerque and Boulder. We have never been. Oh, and Santa Barbara.


DK: What are the band’s plans for the remainder of 2010? Are you going to continue writing and recording?

JP Yes, we are going to finish mixing a new record and then start another one soon thereafter.


DK: When do you expect the new album to be done? How many songs have been recorded and how does the general sound of the new album compare to the earlier material?

JP: It should be complete by the middle of November. We tracked 13 tunes for it over the summer, but it is super long so we will probably cut one or two tunes. I think it sounds pretty much just like us. There are some intense instrumental passages throughout the record, some tender moments. We expanded the stylistic palette a bit, and we also brought a few talented folks in to the studio with us. I am excited to share the record. I hope it comes out soon after we finish it.


With a new album and a tour, the remainder of 2010 is going to very busy for White Denim. They wouldn’t have it any other way.