story / Mary Lynn Ritch
photos / Alexandra Gavillet
I was obsessed with Jay Reatard, his band, and all his projects in college. So after he passed away I didn’t know how I’d ever move on to another obsession. Then my friend handed me a burnt CD of King of the Beach by Wavves. After listening to that amazing fuzzy surf rock gem—I spent close to $100 to purchase the entire Wavves discography (for a new journalist $100 is like close to $1,000,000 just saying). Admittedly late in the game, I realized Stephen Pope who was in Reartard’s band joined Wavves. I guess I never stray far from an obsession. Pope is like home ha ha.
For those of you that don’t know– Wavves are a San Diego based indie rock band formed by Nathan Williams in the basement of his parents’ house in 2008 as a project. He started the recording project not thinking his idea would go very far. Then, after releasing a bunch of cassettes and getting positive recognition he released his self-titled debut album in 2008 and the rest is history.
Jump to 2015 and Williams and the members of his band have had a busy year. Williams released music from his side band Spirit Club as well as the Wavves/Cloud Nothings “No Life for Me” joint project earlier this year. While bassist Stephen Pope and guitarist Alex Gates formed Authority Figure and played some shows over the summer. Currently Williams and company are on tour promoting their up and coming and best album yet (according to critics) V set to release Oct. 2 and I got to speak with bassist Stephen Pope over the phone before he hit the road.
How are you doing?
Well we’ve been doing this adult thing called practicing and I just got back from practice. So, I’m good. How are you doing?
I’m good, thanks. I heard you had more creative involvement in the latest album. Are you guys proud of the finished product?
I definitely am proud of this album. We worked pretty hard on this and it’s already cool to see the fans singing along to the new songs.
Are you surprised with your growing fan base?
Honestly, I’m always surprised people want to come out and hear us play and buy our albums and merch. It’s such a huge compliment and I’m so thankful for them.
If you weren’t playing music what would you be doing?
I didn’t go to college so I’m not particularly skilled in anything. I’d like to work in a museum or something easy that’s actually fun. Also, I’d probably clean houses or something because that is quick and easy money.
What artists are you influenced by?
I listen to all kinds of music but I always go back to Total Control. I love that band.
You have any advice for people wanting to play music or pursue art related dreams?
You should just do it. I know that sounds Nike but you don’t have to go to school to play music or anything like that. Just pick up an instrument and start playing.
You’re known for partying and I’m pretty sure you’re approaching 30. Do you have any advice for getting over a hangover in their late 20’s and 30’s?
I can definitely help with that one. For one, hydrate to feel great. Drink a lot of water. As much as you want that Waffle House or greasy burger at 4 a.m. it feels good in the moment, but it’s not. Don’t do it. Just say no.
I know you and the rest of the band probably get this a lot but I have to know. Wavves has a song called “I wanna meet Dave Grohl” have you guys met him yet and if not, do you still want to meet him?
No, we haven’t and not really.
To preorder and stream V and buy concert tickets visit http://wavves.net/
Fall-Tour Dates with Twin Peaks and supporting acts Swimmers and Steep-Leans
Sept. 27 Opera House— Toronto, ON
Sept. 29 Newport— Columbus OH
Sept. 30 TLA— Philadelphia, PA
Oct. 2 St. Vitus—Brooklyn, NY
Oct. 3 College Street Music Hall— New Haven, CT
Oct. 5 Paradise— Boston, MA
Oct. 6 Irving— New York, NY
Oct. 7 930 Club— Washington DC
Oct. 8 Local 506—Chapel Hill, NC
Oct. 9 40 Watt—Athens, Georgia
10/11 HOB Peacock—Houston Texas