With three albums out in just two years’ time, San Diego surf-rock trio Wavves has quickly made a name for itself beyond mere hype. While blink-182‘s Mark Hoppus is just one of the band’s growing number of fans, our guest editor had some burning questions for the man behind Wavves, singer and guitarist Nathan Williams. The two talked changing times in the music industry, So-Cal bands and the potential of performing together.
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Mark Hoppus: Was your first album actually recorded on a laptop computer?
Nathan Williams: Yes, it was recorded on the trial version of Garage Band on a Macbook through the internal mic, in my parent’s garage. I dropped out of college and lost my job and lived in my parents’ house. But it turned out okay.
The whole southern California scene surf-rock scene, bands like Wavves and Best Coast and Crocodiles, has been doing well now. Why do you think it’s catching on?
I think that the Internet is such an easy tool to launch your band. That’s probably why. It’s more about the technology.
What kind of advantages does that technology give an up-and-coming band?
I think that the advantages are the same as the challenges. Everything is at your fingertips basically, so if you have a bad show it’s immediately uploaded to YouTube because someone was in the crowd filming it that night. Stories can get skewed and passed over the Internet so quickly. I think the advantages far outweigh that so it really doesn’t matter. The accessibility – anyone can do it. Me and a lot of these bands are proof of that.
Does getting your song on the radio or having your video played become a factor at all?
I don’t know because that doesn’t happen to me. A group like Insane Clown Posse doesn’t really get so much TV or radio play, but they have a shitload of Juggalos going to their concerts. I think it just depends on what type of group you are and what you’re trying to get at. I personally want to be ICP.
In that case, how important is honing your stage presence?
I think it’s important. You don’t want to go see a band with no stage presence. That’s boring. We bring excitement and family fun. We bring gambling between the songs: whoever messes up the most takes a shot.
What about the backing of a major label? Does that matter in today’s music scene?
You know, I don’t know how important it is any more. I think it’s easier now to break through without the help of a major label. I don’t really see too much of a difference between majors and indies these days, except for the money aspect of it. The reach of some of these majors is pretty similar, as far as distribution and stuff, to some of the bigger indies.
How much competition is there between Wavves and your special lady friend [Bethany Cosentino]’s band, Best Coast?
No competition, just good times. I think we’re both just so excited. It’s kind of been a whirlwind, sexual snowball since it started. She’ll be really excited I said this.
If you ever make an album together, can it be called “Sexual Snowball”?
Yeah, definitely. I’m sure our parents would love that too.
What are your ultimate ambitions as a band?
To tour with blink-182. Headlining. You would open for me. My second ultimate ambition is to open for you. My third ultimate ambition is to play on a professional NHL hockey team. I’ve never played hockey before but I’d like to try it out.
I’m out of questions. Is there anything else you want to say?
I love you.