Third Album Is Written, But Rogue Wave's Not Rushing

Indie rock act Rogue Wave's second Sub Pop album, "Descended Like Vultures," isn't even a year old, but frontman Zach Rogue is already bursting with new material.

Indie rock act Rogue Wave's second Sub Pop album, "Descended Like Vultures," isn't even a year old, but frontman Zach Rogue is already bursting with new material. The problem now: finding time to hit the studio amid a relentless tour schedule that stretches into August.

"I've written the next record, so it's already ready," Rogue told earlier this week en route to a show with the Stills in Louisville. "We just have to record. Touring has kind of decimated our ability to work on stuff. But before the band started, I was writing songs for years, and there's so many that the band has practiced or thought about over time that we wanted to record, plus the newer songs that have come about."

Of greater immediate concern to Rogue Wave is the health of drummer Pat Spurgeon, who is touring despite being on dialysis and is in need of a kidney transplant. A donor from within the band's inner circle has been identified, and it's possible the procedure could happen as early as September.

Rogue said Spurgeon's health situation has crystallized his own priorities about life in a touring band. "It's almost like you are stripped down to knowing the most important things in your life," he said. "It makes you understand who you are and what relationships matter to you. Maybe when you're 18, touring is a party on wheels. But when you're a little bit older, you do this for reasons of wanting to make music."

To that end, Rogue and Spurgeon recently spent time working at Rogue's parents' house on a host of new songs that had been written that same day. "The whole idea of song structure starts to be thrown into question because you're trying to arrive at the song while it's being written, and that really frees you up to go in totally different directions," Rogue said of the exercise.

"I think that the next record will be more rhythmic," he continued. "It will make you want to move around a little bit more. Not dance music or something, but there's going to be more primal, rhythmic things happening. Also, some of the other ones I've been working on are derived more from piano than guitar."

Rogue Wave's trek with the Stills wraps June 22 in Madison, Wis. The band will take most of July off before a run of dates late in the month and into early August with Guster.

In addition, the band's contract with Sub Pop is up, but Rogue said it was too early to predict if Rogue Wave would eventually find a new label home. "For us starting out, it was a great place, for sure," he said of Sub Pop. "I learned a lot from being there. But I'm perfectly happy to move on and try something new."

"It evolves just like the band," he added. "We want to challenge ourselves to have some vision. If people like our music, let's challenge them. The bands I fell in love with, I was excited for them to try something even more daring, like Yo La Tengo or the Flaming Lips. I couldn't wait to see what happened next. How will they go in some new direction? I aspire to push us as far as we can go."