Overboard has a musical energy that can’t be beat. The harmonies and jaw-dropping amazingly brilliant music that emerges from this group is indeed incomparable. Audiences from all across the country are continually awestruck by the talent they witness when they attend a show by Overboard.
Caleb Whelden took some time to answer some questions about the group.
For more information about Overboard, visit their website.
Here is a video that gives you a great idea about what a live Overboard show is like!
Overboard has been around since 2006. Has your repertoire changed a lot since you started?
Overboard’s repertoire is constantly changing for many reasons. In order to stay relevant with younger audiences, we have to continue to cover modern day music. Additionally, as the group has gone through membership changes over the years, we’ve had to find and establish a new “identity” for the group. Recently, the group has been doing quite a few corporate gigs. Our clients choose specific songs/styles for us to perform in and we have to arrange new material for those specific gigs. Often times we continue to keep those songs in our repertoire.
You’ve recently added two new members, Sam Fischer and Tracy Robertson, both Berklee grads. How did you discover them and what persuaded you to ask them to join the group?
Sam and Tracy were on our radar the moment we began looking for new members. They were both members of Berklee’s “Pitch Slapped,” which is one of Boston’s premiere college a cappella groups. We auditioned and accepted them a month (or so) before Pitch Slapped won ICCA (very popular college a cappella competition) finals last year. Tracy was awarded best Vocal Percussion and Sam was awarded best solo. It was evident at that point we had made the right decision in bringing them into the group.
Word has it that you’ll be recording a new EP. Any big surprises on it or do you want to keep the song titles a secret?
We’re planning on releasing this month (January). There are four tracks to the EP. Three covers and one original. I suppose I shouldn’t release track titles before I check with the other members.
Your bio states that Overboard was on American Idol. Were you competing or did you participate as guest stars?
We actually were featured performers at American Idol summer camp, which if I remember was a FOX-sponsored camp for kids who wanted to sing. We never actually performed on the show.
Are you still involved with doing production work for other a accapella groups? Is it challenging to take unknown (to you) musicians and know how best to highlight the strengths of the group or do they have a general feel for how each song should sound before you even arrive to help?
There was a time when four of the members of Overboard did a cappella production. Now, none of us currently do it for a living. We still get many inquiries for production work and we forward the inquiries on to those former members.
The list of awards for Overboard is quite impressive. Are there any that are more memorable than others?
I think winning Harmony Sweepstakes was something we’ll never forget. We received runner-up the year before. I think it meant a lot to us that we were able to finally overcome the challenge. The trip to San Francisco that year was a whole lot of fun. We met many amazing people and groups out there.