4

Surf's Up: Wavves Goes to a Brighter Place on Its New Album

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Don't let the catchy melodies fool you — Wavves is anything but happy. Well, the California band is happier now than it has been since it began juicing — kind of.

"I mean a little bit — I have a blender," says Wavves bassist Stephen Pope about his NutriBullet. "I get some chia seeds for some fiber and healthy fats."

Before adopting a healthier lifestyle, Wavves' previous studio album, Afraid of Heights, was darker than its previous full-lengths.

Info

Wavves is scheduled to perform Wednesday, September 16, at Crescent Ballroom.

"Maybe we were just worn down, but I feel like we were both in darker places than where we are now," he says. "That entire time, we were drinking too much and not being productive."

Afraid of Heights took more than a year of studio time to complete.

"We weren't necessarily in bad moods, but we weren't hyper and excited. We were just kind of doing it," Pope says. "I think maybe you can hear that on the songs. I'm proud of Afraid of Heights, but I think you can tell it's a much more depressing album than the one that's coming out now."

Having not released new music for two years, 2015 is an aggressive year for the band. It's on tour, released a collaboration album with Cloud Nothings called No Life for Me, and is set to release V in October.

No Life For Me is a bit more emo than Wavves' defining sunny sound. Bipolar verses and choruses accompanied by nasally voice are reminiscent of pop-punk from the early 2000s, while the distorted, muffled production style adds attitude.

"A lot of the darker stuff is probably Dylan's [Baldi, of Cloud Nothings] influence," Pope says.

Wavves toured with the Cloud Nothings years before the collaboration, which came from boredom and a text message conversation between Wavves frontman Nathan Williams and Baldi, singer/guitarist for Cloud Nothings.

No Life For Me allowed both Pope and Williams to step outside the boundaries of Wavves. "Such a Drag" is a track on No Life For Me that started as a "Wavves thing," but something didn't turn out "quite right about it," Pope says.

As for the upcoming Wavves album, four singles already have leaked: "My Head Hurts," "Flamezesz," "Way Too Much," and "Heavy Metal Detox."

So far, V's tracks revert to the more upbeat style of previous albums, though its lyrics are laced with melancholia.

"They sound like happy songs, but you listen to the lyrics and realize they're not too happy," Pope says.

All four Wavves members "collaborated a lot more on this one" than previous albums, he says. The band wrote every song together. "We all contributed different parts and either got together and wrote the songs together, or recorded a verse on our phones and sent it to each other."

Excited to be touring again, Pope says he would appreciate it if people would drop the surf-rock label.

"I don't think [the music] really had a lot of surf in it for a while. I know that's the association, I think, since Nathan is from San Diego and band's name is Wavves . . . I guess there's some surf elements here and there on some of the older stuff."

Pope refers to the music as alternative rock in its broadest definition and says the new album is more pop-punk and almost power-pop, whereas Afraid of Heights was almost grunge with the undertone of a depressed teenager in the '90s.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.