Rock band Whitcomb is back in action with last week’s Record Store Day-release of its new record, “The Amber Tide,” a follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed “Crown Park.” Whitcomb takes its name and draws many lyrics from 19th-century poet James Whitcomb Riley, but its influences run the gamut from The Deftones and Faith No More to Queens of the Stone Age and Radiohead.

The lineup consists of vocalist Brant Dadaleares, guitarist Andy Beavis, guitarist/vocalist Sean Libby, bassist Ryan Fleming and drummer/vocalist Mark Sayer. GO asked them to put their heads together and respond to a pile of questions we hurled at them. Here’s what came back.

When did Whitcomb become a band?

Sean, Ryan, and Mark started in June of 2008, and Andy joined within a couple months. We tried out singers and wrote songs for a while, finally finding Brant and settling on our current incarnation in spring of 2009.

How did you come to learn about James Whitcomb Riley?

Brant started reading Riley in high school when he went to Indiana to visit James Dean’s hometown of Fairmount for a sophomore project. When he joined the band, we kicked around names for a while, and Brant had the idea of using Riley’s poems as lyrics. We liked that and it seemed to work well, so we decided to use the name Whitcomb as well. There are some tens of thousands of Riley poems for us to draw from, so we can sustain the idea as long as we’d like.

Why is the new album called “The Amber Tide?”

“The Amber Tide” is part of a line in the poem “Dream.” We had other ideas for titles at first, but then that line sort of just popped out there after we finished recording, and it just kind of stuck.

Any plans for a regional tour or other plans now that “The Amber Tide” is out in the world?

We’d love to do a regional tour at first; make a circuit and repeat it, adding new stops along the way. A national tour is definitely a goal, but perhaps a little too ambitious at the present time without some form of tour support. Perhaps within the year we’d like to get out to Austin, maybe in time for SXSW next year, and make an actual tour designed around it. All options are on the table.

What are some of the big differences between the new record and your last one, “Crown Park,” and how has the band changed?

One of the big differences on “The Amber Tide” is that all of the songs were created as a whole band, as opposed to us having them written before Brant joined the band. As an example, there’s a lot more vocal harmonies that we were able to build into this one organically, as opposed to trying to force things. We learned a lot from recording “Crown Park,” and we think the song writing has matured as a result.

Also, being more comfortable in the studio setting allowed us to try a lot of different things on the new record. Some of them made it and some didn’t, but it’s good to know you have that freedom to create on the fly. As good as you think something is, or as complete as it seems before you go to record it, there’s always that chance that new inspiration will hit when you’re in the studio setting, and it’s great to be able to take advantage of that while in there.

The CD-release party is May 12 at Asylum with Dirty White Hats and GOZU. Can you tell us a little bit about what people can expect?

The Dirty White Hats are a DIY explosion of talent and fun. They’ve been able to pack rooms in less time than some of the most seasoned bands around, on top of putting on some of the most enjoyable shows around. GOZU is a kick-ass rock band from Boston on Small Stone records.

We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves for this show. We really wanted to play a lot of songs this time and not be limited by a shorter set time. Plus, we plan on having some guests on stage with us for some different parts. It should be a lot of fun.

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

[email protected]