Bong passers: Wavves the new John Williams?
Wavves is the brainchild of Nathan Williams, a San Diego stoner specializing in punk rock best suited for smoking and skateboarding. His first two albums were buzzed-about solo records put together at his parents house to combat fits of boredom. But then Williams recruited the backing band of the late punk legend Jay Reatard to record his third album King of the Beach, a much more accessible record thanks to its significantly cleaner and catchier pop sound. Now, the band is busier than ever, between releasing their new EP Life Sux, rearing up for a tour with Toronto punks F*cked Up, and guest composing music for MTV's new hipster-centered comedy "I Just Want My Pants Back." Williams and bandmate Stephen Pope took turns answering questions over the phone as they passed a bong back and forth.
The Hook: How was recording Life Sux different from recording King Of The Beach?
Nathan Williams: There was no label involved with it, so there was a lot less pressure. It was a lot more of Stephen and I working together than King of the Beach.
Stephen Pope: There was no pressure from another producer. There were no outside opinions from a 60-year-old Christian.
Nathan Williams: We had the freedom to do whatever we wanted.
The Hook: So if this was a more comfortable process why did you choose to name it Life Sux?
Nathan Williams: It was called that before the process. Five of the six songs written were just about characters. Not about my life, but life does suck sometimes. And sometimes it's cool. There wasn't enough room for "sometimes" on the cover. If the next record does well, we'll call it Life Is Cool.
The Hook: Where do these characters come from?
Nathan Williams: From the environment or what I read, or the music I listen to.
The Hook: Why do you think people still call you a lo-fi band if your sound has cleaned up?
Stephen Pope: It started as a lo-fi band during that whole craze, so we'll always be stuck there. Times New Viking could record in a studio, and people would still call them lo-fi.
The Hook: You guys are working as guest composers for an MTV show right now. What does that entail?
Nathan Williams: They asked us for a bunch of songs, and we gave it to them, and I composed some music for certain scenes. Steven and I just went into a studio and just played and smoked weed and recorded it.
The Hook: Is it fair to say the band is becoming more of a duo?
Stephen Pope: I still have to call Nathan daddy.
Nathan Williams: It's definitely Stephen and I now.
Stephen Pope: You will never hear me singing the main vocals on a track, don't worry about that.
The Hook: You guys are primarily known as a punk band, but do you ever think about translating some of your more abstract songs for a show?
Stephen Pope: We've attempted sometimes to do a few different songs, I guess less rock songs, and right now–
Nathan Williams: We just need more hands to do things.
Wavves and F*cked Up perform at the Jefferson Theater on 9/26. $15-$17, 8pm.