GreenNotes artist River Whyless spent five days at Seedskadee creating an original song and filming a music video to encourage support of National Wildlife Refuges and all public lands.
Halli from River Whyless and Scott from the GreenNotes team sat down to talk about about the band’s experience and what they are hoping people will take away from watching this video.
S: For those that might be new to River Whyless, could you tell them a little bit about what you guys do?
H: So the band is called River Whyless, we’re a four-piece, we play songs, we tour, and we’ve got a new record out called “We All The Light“. This year we’re really trying push the concept “We all deserve the light”, it’s a line that’s in the album, and it’s in response to the new political changeover and the unrest in the country- we’re trying to push a positive message. We’re all in this together, and that includes the environment.”
S: So it sounds like from what you said, you guys consider the environment to be a part of your community, is that accurate?
H: Absolutely. As much as we might be inspired to write a song about a person, if we look at the environment as a whole, as a giant organism, it’s equally inspirational. You want to be at peace with other humans, but you also want to be at peace with the ground you walk on.
S: I think that’s a super cool philosophy! To bring people into this most recent project, you guys spent five days in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. How did this come about?
H: There’s an organization called Sustain Music and Nature. Their mission is to pair musicians with nature. The artists go into nature, get inspired by the place, then they create a song about the experience. Sustain suggested Seedskadee for us. When we first heard it, we had not idea where it was or anything about it.
S: Tell us about being out at Seedskadee- was it weird for a group of touring musicians to be out in the wilderness?
H: Being out in nature is actually quite normal for River Whyless. We spend alot of time camping on tour and we all love the outdoors. We were chomping at the bit to do something like this. I could see how it could be a funny scenario for musicians who aren’t outside all the time…
S: The song and video talks a little about the Sage Grouse, why was that so important to include?
H: When we view the Sage Grouse, we see it as something special that needs to be protected. The reason that Seedskadee is important is because its a piece of ground that’s battled over between the ranchers, the grouse, the invasive species, dams were built above and below Seedskadee. After being there we understood why it was preserved, why it’s so important, and we saw how alive it was.
S: Going one step further here, for those who see this video, what are you hoping they will take away?
H: If you look through a microscope, the smallest thing you can do is go to Seedskadee or a place like Seedskadee. Go to a wildlife refuge, go to a state park or a national park- A place that we’ve made a point of protecting. Visit, learn, protect, donate, understand the environment you live in. You don’t have to go for five days, just visit for an hour if you can.