Beach. Rock. Reggae. Those are the three words that describe southern California based band, Wheeland Brothers. Nate and Travis Wheeland grew up surfing together all over the coastline, playing music, and eating the best mexican food they could find. Today, the musical duo combines the golden state vibe of California, Mexico’s laid back lifestyle, and a blend of Aloha spirit from Hawai’i to create their newest albums titled Muchos Mahalos and Toast to the Coast.
Wheeland Brothers officially released their newest music video today titled ‘Like You Do’ featuring professional Reef surfer Tia Blanco. After living in Puerto Rico, Hawai’i, and California, Tia is no stranger to the many beach lifestyles the world has to offer. Her easy-going spirit and incredible talent as a surfer made her a perfect fit in creating the video.
How does surfing influence your music?
Nate Wheeland (NW): Being that we are third generation surfers who grew up in Southern California, surfing has always been a part of our lives. I can still remember the first time my dad took me out on a longboard at Doheny. About three waves into the paddle out a huge wave pulled my trunks clear down to my ankles. I was horrified, but the stoke still got me. It’s in our blood. Bonding with family & friends, exercise, meditation, positive lifestyle, and of course having fun. Surfing has it all. How could it not influence us? Our music has always been about being true to ourselves and sharing the wisdom, adventure, and good vibes that come from real inspiration. We love to camp out at the beach and jam around the fire, so naturally surfing is a big part of what fuels and influences what comes out. I don’t know what we’d do without it!
Travis Wheeland (NW): Our idea of surfing is a burrito and a cerveza on a deserted beach with our tent set up in the bushes, sharing waves with close friends, free-styling songs around a bonfire in the sand until 2am, and then heading out for a moonlight surf sesh. That is a regular occurrence year-round and it blows my mind that we can get away with living so free in a place as crowded and as regulated and controlled as Southern California. It’s fair to say that surfing and beach camping influence our music as much or more than other artists or genres. It fuels us and gives us something to sing about.
What are your favorite SoCal breaks to surf?
NW: It’s varied over the years. San Onofre, Newport, Trestles, Huntington Cliffs, T-Street, Cardiff, love ’em all! Lately our favorite spot has been a place we call the Hideaway. It’s like our home-away-from-home. We filmed part of the “Like You Do” music video there (as well as Trestles). With no one in sight usually, the Hideaway is like our own secret surf spot and private beach right here in crowded Southern California. Nothing fancy, just a little bamboo hut and mellow waves at the bottom of an eroding closed trail. It’s a great spot to be free, relax, and get centered. Always nice to get away from the crowds.
Tell us more about your new music video.
NW: We had a blast making it. One of my favorite scenes from the music video is Tia on the train tracks down at Trestles playing with the cattails. While crossing, Trav noticed the fluffy seeds blowing in the wind. Spontaneously, all three of us started dancing around knocking the cattail sticks together. The result looks rad on film– especially in slow motion. That’s how a lot of the best parts were filmed– just improvised stuff. There’s no substitute for having a good time. We’re not actors. Ha! Most of the music video was filmed at Trestles, Salt Creek, and San O. Reef was gracious enough to give us a few shots of Tia shredding in Ecuador too. Chaz Curry and Mon Villacorta helped us film a bunch of it. Trav did all the editing himself. Stoked to share the music video stoke.
TW: We wanted to make a video that captures Tia’s fun, playful side, her serious surfing, and her beauty.
What was it like working with Tia?
TW: Fun, easy to work with, she was down for any ridiculous idea we could come up with. Dare. This was our second time working with Tia, she’s also in our music video for “In With the Newport.”
NW: Tia as you might have guessed is pretty awesome. She’s a great surfer obviously, but she’s also just a genuinely cool person to hang with. Fun, dedicated, easy going, makes everything look good on camera, the perfect surfer to make a music video with. We knew she’d be big from the time we first met her over 2 years ago. One of these days we gotta get in on one of her surfing adventures around the world. Pro surfers have got it made!
What do you think your greatest strengths are as a duo?
NW: We compliment each other well. Songwriting, vocals, personality, vibe, hairstyle, we are different enough to create balance, but similar enough to have it all make sense. We’ve been writing songs together since the very beginning, being that we are brothers and all.
What genre is your music?
NW: Depends on my mood.
TW: Our music is better defined by who we are as people, and by a general quest for freedom, than by a specific genre, but most often it takes the label “Cali Reggae” with some splashes of acoustic rock.
Do you have any funny/crazy stories from the adventures you’ve had together?
NW: One that comes to mind is from when we were filming the “Like You Do” music video at the Hideaway. On our way up the trail, Trav and I were discussing the need to get funny blooper shots of Tia behind the scenes. Before I could get the camera out, I hear a loud scream. Tia managed to run into a HUGE snake. She did what any brave surfer would do and jumped about 10 feet in the air! Almost stepped on the poor thing. Ha! The best stuff always happens when the cameras are off, right?
Tell us about your newest album titled Muchos Mahalos.
TW: Mexico plus Hawaii equals California.
What other artists inspire you?
NW: Jack Johnson has got to be one of my favorite artists — plus he’s a surfer which is cool. I love putting on his music and singing along in the car. Jack is so down to earth, chill, and writes really amazing songs. Sublime has also been a big influence. They are the epitome of modern coastal California music in my mind. On any summer day, you’re guaranteed to hear Bradley Nowell’s voice and a phat bass line blasting out of a beach-bound vehicle cruising PCH.
What are some of your goals as artists?
NW: To connect with people. To spread a positive message that will improve people’s lives. That’s what it’s all about. We love to make music and perform for fans. The more we can do that the better. We just had our first west coast to east coast tour this summer. My goal is to go even bigger next summer.
For more information on The Wheeland Brothers, check out their website.