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Exclusive Ear Buds Interview : Wheatus

By Nunzio Moudatsos

Exclusive Ear Buds Interview : Wheatus

(photo courtesy of Danny Allen)


By: Nunzio Moudatsos, Head of Artist Services


Ahead of their annual fall tour to the UK/Europe (which is currently taking place), I sat down with Wheatus frontman Brendan B. Brown and bassist Matthew Milligan for a little chat.

Let me preface this with some backstory. I first met the Wheatus folks back around 2011 while living in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. There was a great little network of musicians in our neighborhood, and over the next few years we collaborated on a few musical projects. In 2014 the band was gracious enough to take my previous band on a 5+ week tour throughout the UK and Europe which was just a phenomenal experience.

Fast forward to today - I wanted to feature the band because they are fucking rockers. There's just so much more to the group than just 'Teenage Dirtbag' and I want y'all to know it. We can all learn a lot from these folks, and they're some of the hardest working musicians I've ever been around.  

Happy reading, kids.

-Nunzio

So, it’s almost time - you're embarking on yet another UK tour in a few days. Congrats on that! You guys have always had a great following in the UK, and your albums have done particularly well there. What do you find unique about music industry over there as opposed to here in the US? 

Matthew: In our experience, UK fans have SO much loyalty. In the States it seems like people tend to move on to the next thing enthusiastically, but in the UK when you make a fan, they become one for life.  We have some folks over there who have been seeing the band regularly since the very first tour back in 2001.

You’ve definitely spent a lot of time touring there. Tell us about some of your favorite past touring experiences.

Matthew: Oh man, so many things come to mind. We got to play Wembley Arena a couple years ago with Busted... that was especially surreal. We're not the most exciting folks on the road... most nights after the gig you can find us on the bus binge-watching various TV series in the lounge. LOST, The Sopranos, and Dexter have all had some serious marathons over the years. We can also tell you the best cup of coffee available in virtually every town in Britain. 

It’s so cool that you guys have found a “home” there in the UK. I feel like people here in the US have this weird perception of Wheatus. One thing I personally wish more people knew about you guys is how much you fucking RIP live. You’ve got a bunch of super talented musicians and vocalists in the band. Why do you think the band is perceived differently over in the UK as opposed to here in the US?

Matthew: Dirtbag was a MUCH bigger song in the UK than in the USA. Virtually everyone you encounter in the UK knows the name Wheatus. In the States, that's just not the case. It puts us in an interesting position actually... it's harder for us to tour in the States, but when we do, audiences have much less of an expectation of what we do. In the UK we've got a platinum album that people know well and expect to hear. In the States, we can play a wide variety of material plus Dirtbag and have people go "Wow that was a cool set... and I think I recognized that one song!"  

That’s very true. I mean, I saw it firsthand. The fans over in the UK are really so supportive of you guys and you give it back to them by regularly touring over there almost every year, it seems. How have you been able to maintain that great fanbase there in the UK, and elsewhere abroad, for such a long time? 

Matthew: To a certain extent, we're not sure! We've made a 4-6 week tour of the UK/EU sort of our annual tradition, and each time we go back we worry that THIS will be the time no one comes because people have grown tired of us... but it still hasn't happened. Maybe it's because it's been covered a few times over the years, but Teenage Dirtbag has remained a major part of the culture in a few countries, the UK especially. We're grateful, that's for sure. 

I’m glad you brought the covers thing up. There have been some awesome covers of Teenage Dirtbag throughout the years. Maybe most famously, One Direction covered the song and included it in their "This Is Us" concert documentary. More recently All Time Low covered Dirtbag as part of their Green Room Sessions series. What’s it like to hear these covers for the first time?

Brendan: I've really never failed to enjoy one. The 1D thing was cool, when they morphed into superheroes. ATL seem to be closer to me personally in their ideas about it... love those guys. Chris Carrabba has done a great version and asked me on stage to play it with him one time. That was super cool ‘cuz I'm very much a fan of his. 

Do you have any favorites of the bunch?

Matthew: I was floored the first time I heard Weezer and Dashboard Confessional do it. Those are two acts who meant the world to me as a young aspiring musician... hearing them cover our song still just seems like a dream.   

Brendan: The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain probably take the cake for favorite along with SCALA, who did the choir version for the film Bully. Phoebe Bridgers and Mary Lambert are tied for a close second. And then there's Amy Shark who very recently smashed it. I can't decide... it's that thing where they inject their own lives into it and it becomes a better song for it.   

And you guys have done a bunch of covers yourselves, from Erasure's "A Little Respect" to Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. I was also lucky enough to hear your ridiculously good renditions of “The Trees” by Rush and “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction each night on the 2014 UK/Europe tour. There’s a lot of pressure in putting a cover out since your version will always be compared to the originals, so how do you go about picking a cover to perform? 

Brendan: It has to be something that's meant a lot to me for some time, otherwise I can't do it justice. I liked “What Makes You Beautiful” the first time I heard it, so that was a no brainer. Rush songs are different though...very high stakes. There is no easy Rush song. Pat is also one of the best singers who's ever lived so the pressure is on. I enjoy the challenge of something I love and have to work very hard to accomplish. “A Little Respect” was a pretty big mountain to climb because of the bravery those guys exude and the challenge of migrating a synth track to a rock format. We did have to track it a few times before we got it right. Yeah, we take covers very seriously. 

Have you ever gotten any feedback of your covers from the original performers?

Brendan: Um, no. I'd be afraid to hear it honestly... especially from Rush. Oh my god, I'd die.  

Back to Teenage Dirtbag for a second - I mean it’s just such a timeless song. I really think that kids of any generation - back then, now, and in the future - can relate to the message and kind of claim it as their anthem. I love that the song enjoys these spikes in popularity every few years by each new generation of kids. So tell me, what's the true message behind the song?

Brendan: Wow...the real answer is: whatever it means to you. Obviously, when I made it, it came from my life as a kid. 1984, Long Island, Satanic cult murder and drugs, AC/DC and Iron Maiden being somewhat forbidden or very frowned upon, and finding my musical identity in that world. BUT, what it means to me isn't as important as what people make of it when they make it their own. The author is dead... that dirtbag poem survives only because people can make it their own story, that's the real message.   

Do you think the message of the song has a different impact now as opposed to back during the time you wrote it?

Brendan: Very much so. As I said, my contemporary identity as a fan of heavy music in 1984 put me into an exceptionally dark category. A “dirtbag” was decidedly NOT a good thing to be back then. Again, it doesn't really matter too much what I lived through and what made me write it. Everyone has their own struggle... everybody has to fight to be free, from bad ideas, or bad cultural pressure, or what have you. Mary Lambert's interpretation of it as a lesbian love story is particularly gratifying in that sense. I love that it can be taken that way.  

That is a really amazing interpretation, especially coming from someone like Mary. So why do you think the song is so relatable to people?

Brendan: Someone once said to me that everyone has to go through that first round of feeling like they don't belong to the rest of humanity, where their instincts about what kind of person to be, are at odds with norms or ideas of the herd. It can be terrifying. I looked to music back then to reassure me that my weird ideas about what kind of person to become were OK. I have Malcolm Young (RIP) and Neil Peart and Prince and Steve Harris to thank for the reassurance I needed through that time in my life, among others. 

You just named a few artists there who you admire, and I know that at least a few of them are former Columbia Records artists. Kind of goes to show just how much success you’ve had as a band, getting signed onto the same label as some of your heroes. Let’s chat about that because you’ve got an interesting story about being on a major label. Your self-titled debut album was released by Columbia Records [Sony] but despite its worldwide success, your relationship with the label ended on not-so-great terms when they unexpectedly shelved your second album. What was the major label experience like for you and what are some of the pitfalls?

Brendan: The Columbia Records thing was essentially a mismatch. Donnie Ienner [then chairman of Sony], Blair McDonald [then Director of A&R at Sony], and our A&R, Kevin Patrick, understood us and were cool with us producing our own records… but Donnie and Blair left before we finished album #2 and nobody else saw us the way Kevin did, so the relationship was over at that point. You'd think they'd find a way to keep a new band whose first record did well and cost next to nothing but, alas, that's not how it worked back then. It was all for the better though. There were tons of bad ideas thrown at us during that time. It was difficult in that regard, but we avoided most of them. Some of the people who work at labels do so for the wrong reasons. It can be an intensely political viper pit and the art sometimes doesn't survive the self-interest. I've seen some people manage it very well. I'm not one of those people. You have to be ready for that. It's not a situation where you can make of it what you can. A major label is a multi-national corporation; they're not interested in your art project. They're out to make money. 

Then once the Columbia deal ended, you began releasing everything else independently on your own label, Montauk Mantis. What do you like, or dislike, about being an independent artist?

Brendan: You get to craft your interactions and delivery of music to people who like it in your own way. That also means you have to do everything yourself. I've never really minded that, so it's a good fit. Sometimes things fall off the table. While I love making good records, I'm not a very ambitious person so I think the little ecosystem we have is designed from that energy. It's gonna be different for everyone, but that's what's cool about it... what works for us may not work for you, but you'll find your own ideas are better for you anyway. 

It’s a bit easier these days to release music independently, and here at INTHECLOUDS we work with a ton of those types of bands. We’re always trying to come up with ways to help bands do their own thing, get heard by some new ears, and continue to grow. What advice can you give to indie bands that don’t have label support?

Brendan: Always make your own records! Unique mistakes are better than copy-cat perfections. I love records that survive on their individualism. I think they last longer. Listen to EVERYTHING. There are good ideas everywhere. Also, make sure you have something to say; empathy and adversity can be renewable resources for humanity in your music.  That's why it connects, so do that! Listen and feel. 

Agreed, good advice! Once the music is created It’s super important that bands can get their tunes out there and get heard. That’s made a bit easier these days with streaming services. How do you feel about being an indie artist in this digital streaming era?

Matthew: As an artist it's definitely got its ups and downs. You can get your music out there so quickly and effortlessly that it's still a surreal process... but the competition to get the attention of listeners has never been more fierce.  You feel it as a listener too.  Unlimited access to everything is overwhelming, and I've usually got a huge backlog of new artists/albums I'm eager to check out but haven't had the time to sit down with yet. 

Yeah, that’s for sure. I think that’s why physical media is important these days. We’re in the midst of a vinyl resurgence that started a few years back and cassettes are starting to make their comeback too. It’s pretty essential to have a physical item for fans grab in this digital age. Thoughts?

Matthew: When I wasn't working with Wheatus I ran a record store for about 8 years... it's definitely been a wild time for physical media. I think it's a combination of things, including excellent marketing and creating a new collector's market. But more than that, I do believe that there's a whole younger generation of music fans who have grown up in the world of listening to music entirely on the computer, in the background, in a passive way. Actually playing a record demands your attention in a way that a Spotify link or YouTube clip just can't, in my opinion. It's an experience.  If you're a music fan, having that experience for the first time is really powerful.   

What platforms do you prefer to listen on, personally?

Matthew: I've got a pretty substantial vinyl collection at this point... in fact I've really got way more than my small apartment should have to handle. So, I always love getting to drop the needle on something. But when I'm out of the house I've got an Apple Music subscription that I've come to appreciate more than I originally expected.  

Completely random, but I have to bring this next topic up. We’re living in strange times and the political atmosphere is super volatile. Brendan, you’re a very active Twitter user and you certainly don't shy away from getting political on there. There’s a lot of discussion lately about artists/entertainers and their role in politics. How has the current, or past, political climate impacted your writing? 

Brendan: Well, I find myself illustrating the perils of monarchy more than I used to. It's too bad... that's not a joke. I'm also aware that there are a lot of people who are not benefiting at all from this nationalist populism asshattery we're in the middle of. I'm interested in those people, their view of things, and find myself writing on those narratives lately. Representative government is about maintaining a healthy argument, in the public sphere. Fugazi and Ani DiFranco, early, early examples for me and I feel obligated to speak. I also have a degree in history and find it impossible to ignore the re-emergence of deadly patterns from the 20th century. If you don't know your history, stick around and you'll get to learn by doing.

Right, and I personally admire that you use your platform to discuss these things. Just in general, I know there are people out there who hate when artists speak up about politics. So what do you say to those out there who believe that artists shouldn't voice their political opinions and just “stick to their art?”

Brendan: Fuck those people. Seriously, do I have to point out the idiocy of expressing the political view that someone else should keep their political views to themselves? Why don't those people keep THAT idea to THEMselves? Dingbats. But... in the interest of ending on a positive :) note...thank you very much for thinking of us and for reaching out. We do not take your attention for granted. Much love!

//end

I want to thank BBB and Matthew of Wheatus for taking the time to chat with me in the midst of their fall craziness. If you didn't already check it out, the band was awesome enough to curate our November Ear Buds cassette mixtape. Each song on the mixtape includes a solo or side project of each member of the band.

Wheatus is:
Brendan B Brown / Guitar & Vocal
Matthew Milligan / Bass
Brandon Ticer / Keyboards
Leo Freire / Drums
Joey Slater / Backing Vocal
Gabrielle Sterbenz / Backing Vocal
Karlie Bruce / Backing Vocal

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Meet the Team: Kevin

By Kristyn Potter

Meet the Team: Kevin
How you got started with IntheClouds
Dan and I have been friends since college. We were both in the music industry program. The first time I can remember meeting him was when he got kicked out of the department’s annual welcome meeting for new students. He was a character. Now they invite him back every year to inspire students - go figure.
I watched Dan slowly grow ITC into “a thing” over the years and really admired him for it. He was passionate about the bands and the music, he pursued it because he loved doing it. Total DIY mentality. I did my part to support the cause buying records, sending him opportunities, coming out to shows for new releases... but in 2016 he told me he wasn’t sure he could keep it going and I told him I wanted to do more. I put together a proposal to take some work off of Dan’s plate. It started with a relaunch of the website. I pulled in help from a former colleague from Sony, June Lim, to help with the redesign and asked my roommate Rich Chu to do the coding that was over my head. From there things just started to snowball. 
Favorite band of all time
Deftones
The band or artist you love that everyone else seems to hate (or a band you hate that everyone seems to love)
The band “issues”. I know they’re all the rage with the kids so I guess I’m officially old.
What you do for intheclouds
I focus on business growth. I’ve been pulling people in, adding processes and collaboration tools, doing SWOT analysis, and serving as product owner of the eCommerce systems.
What you do as a day job
Product Owner at NBC Universal and Principal of Profyts LLC.
Something very few people know about you
I listen to Jazz on Sunday mornings because it makes me feel like an adult... not sure why. It’s just background music for cooking breakfast or reading the news but it elicits a mood that I can’t reproduce on a weekday or even Saturday.
Last song you listened to
Post Malone “Congratulations”

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Ear Buds: Wilder Sons "In Between"

By Kristyn Potter

Ear Buds: Wilder Sons

We've got a very early Friday surprise for you from the homies Wilder Sons. Their new EP is hitting the interwebs and world tomorrow but in advance of that we've got the title track off the EP, and it's just dripping with nostalgia.

“In Between” is the kind of song you bump on repeat when the long drive home has you daydreaming of what was, is, or could have been. It’s sentimental, catchy, and elegantly performed.

The chorus blossoms while his melodic chant asks the age-old question if you can ever truly return “there again”? As your summer vacation comes to a close (RIP summer, what is life?), In Between fits cozy, nestled within your end of summer playlist. 

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Ear buds Interview: La Bête Blooms

By Kristyn Potter

Ear buds Interview: La Bête Blooms

La Bête Blooms’ single ‘Take Arms’ is a rallying cry to the world, delivered with northern wit, fizzing synths and scratchy feeding back guitars—and it was a no brainer to put it on our March cassette curated by Left Bank magazine. 

We chatted with the band on their v. punk track, what making music in Hull, England is like, their favorite band, and what's to come ... (p.s. they are giving away some cassettes for free, go to their FB page to get in on the action).

 

For all the northeners pretending to be southern - I'm from the U.S., so not entirely sure if this is a jab or just a general fact. Care to explain?

 

Haha yeah I guess that line won’t make any sense to anyone not from the UK!

When I was growing up, everyone would head down South in England, because it felt like the only way you could make a good career in anything creative, I’ve often been told to move to London if i want to take the band seriously. 

That line is to all the friends that realised down south isn’t the be all and end all and have come running back to us!

 

Ok, glad we got that cleared (sighs deeply) - how did you guys (and gal?) meet/form?

 

Every band member has their own projects and bands they’re a part of, I just nicked them and made them join mine too! We’ve had loads of different members over the years, and I’ve made some friends for life. this lineup though, I wouldn’t change for the world. 

 

Your favorite band(s)

Everyone likes completely different stuff but I’ve made the whole band agree to say we like Pixies, I might have to get us all matching pixies tattoos just to make sure.

 

Can't go wrong with Pixies tattoos ... So, whats it like making music in Hull? Any advantages or disadvantages that come to mind?

 

People’s perceptions of Hull in England is that we’re a dead end city.

But the past ten years has seen a massive renovation project in the area including Hull being given the City of Culture title.

We have some amazing venues, great sport, and Hull people are the sweetest in the world.

Hull has an amazing defiance, honesty and self deprecating humour which I hope sweeps through in our music.

 

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would you play? (including you know, like Outer Space)

I’m a scaredy cat so hate travelling anywhere without the band. But I’ve wanted to visit Tokyo all of my life, I’m hoping that opportunity to play there with the band is possible one day.

Having said that we’d all absolutely love to visit the states one day too.

 

Yes come visit us in NYC/NJ! Any recent videos/tracks/etc you want us to share?

If you could share our latest single ‘take arms’, which features on the cassette that’d be amazing!

 

 

Any upcoming shows?

We head to London’s Lock Tavern in July. We hope to tour England this September! 

 

Your favorite line of all time?

‘I’m hanging on a ledge and your fine spiderweb is fastening my ankle to a stone’

Leonard Cohen - So Long Marianne

 

What do you do when you're not making tunes?

Josh is an actor, Emily’s a student, Jack serves up burgers at McDonald’s, John DJ’s Beyoncé songs all night for money and I promote gigs in Hull, make hot chocolate for everyone in the office and Co-book a festival we have here called Humber Street Sesh!

 

 Have your parents been to a show/heard your music and what do they think?

My Mum and Dad come to a lot of hometown shows, before I could drive my Dad would drive us across the country for gigs! They’re the best parents in the world, and really supportive although I think my Mum would wish I’d tone down the crazy at some of our gigs sometimes.

 

Great segue ... any memorable fan moment or stories?

We’ve had an unbelievable response to Take Arms, and had some really amazing comments from people online and at shows who says the song resonates with them which is the most incredible feeling. 

 

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Feature / New Store: Bea

By Kristyn Potter

Feature / New Store: Bea

Happy International Women’s Day to all our women kicking ass out there! One of those women, the very talented Bea recently launched her online store with us and we are stoked to publish this interview that we did with her. Check it out!

How did you get your start/how long have you been doing music?

I've been playing music for longer than I haven't which is so weird to think about. I picked up the guitar the summer before my 8th grade year. I was stuck at home bored, because I was grounded for wearing eyeliner (strict parents). Of course, I'm thankful for that now.

Is music your full time gig or are you doing something else to "keep the lights on"

Other than being a mother to the raddest 8 year old boy named Brixton Mackaye (after The Clash song and Ian Mackaye), I'm a fashion designer and co-founder of an eco-conscious, luxury line of bags for modern, badass women/mamas (NONA). I'm also the lead creative at an event promotions and talent management company. 

 

Keeping busy I see! So, where are you from and how does that affect your music?

I guess I'd say I'm mostly from Dallas, although I've lived in San Francisco, Texas and NYC. My first job in music was a booking assistant for a couple of concert venues in Dallas, Texas. I think I saw over 200 shows my first year working there, and every night that I would get home from a show, I'd write. That was a super inspiring time for me. I moved to New York to pursue my music further and that was great for a lot of reasons, but definitely not what I was expecting. I got there just as the music landscape was shifting, and people started consuming music differently. Less CDs, more MP3s, less live music, more DJs. Tack that on to the all too familiar challenges working musicians face, and it was easy to find myself needing a change or a move. 

Alternatively, where do you live now and have you felt a change in your music since moving?

Currently, I'm in Syracuse, NY. I moved here and was really focused on being a mom. An old industry friend reached out to me about playing a show in SF some years ago. I hit the stage for the first time in five years and forget about it. I was hooked all over again. I started writing, recording, touring, and it has been nonstop ever since.  

 

Anything coming up that we should know about?

I'm going on tour with some of my favorite musician friends ever. Rhett Miller from the Old 97's, Chris Trapper and Emm Gryner. I'm also working on a new music video ... super psyched about that. 

Rad congrats on that! Tell us something your fans don't know about you ...

Not sure. I'm a pretty open book. I write just about everything I go through. I can't think of many questions I wouldn't answer.

Your go-to track that you always find yourself playing?

I know this is bizarre, but I totally have a thing for the star spangled banner. What other song can you pretty much hear infinite covers of? Honestly though, the stuff I listen to changes from week to week. It could be anything from St. Vincent to Tupac to Taylor Swift. 

Anything else you'd love to share?

Go see more live music! 

Thanks for stopping by to chat with us. Everyone, check out her new store here.

 

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FEBRUARY F*CK YEAH! Ditz Interview

By Kristyn Potter

FEBRUARY F*CK YEAH! Ditz Interview

We are closing out this awesome month with another interview from one of our February cassette all-stars — the post-emo band Ditz. The Wrightstown, NJ four piece chatted with us on how they met, how being bug boys led to their name, playing on cruise ships, and Aerosmiths CDs. Of course. Go on, check it out ... 

How did you guys meet/get started?

Todd and Luke played together in high school as  when Todd moved back to Jersey from California, they started playing together again. Soon after they recruited long time friend and door-to-door salesman, johnny, to join forces. We then asked Keith to design our logo, we thought it was cool so we just asked that cute art boy to hop on board.

 

What did you grow up listening to and how much would you say that influences your sound now?

Todd: growing up i was classic rocking boy, my dad gave me Pink Floyd and the Aerosmiths CDs. Steven Tyler is a huge influence on my voice as I’m sure you can tell. so from there it was game over as soon as i learned to “walk this way”

 

Johnny: I listened to me daddy’s music. then I really listened to Backstreet boys and that song “I’m blue abedebab di.” then i became able to pick my own music and i liked the get up kids and the fall of troy and all that stuff. yes i play exactly like that so yeah it influenced me style big time.

Luke: My dad told me to listen to Steve Vai and thats what I listened to.

Keith: My dad told me to listen to bluegrass and country so I listened to everything but that. 

 

Nice work Keith. So, the name Ditz … how did you land on that?

Well Todd was really pushing “bobby and the Menthols” for a while … that wasn’t cutting it. We then settled on the name Ditz because we’re bug boys and all of us are scared of bugs.

 

 

Any hilarious (or awkward) fan or show stories you want to share?

We have an on again off again Facebook relationship with a Nigerian woman named Goodluck who friended and messaged us. She’s been with us since the very beginning.

 

Your go-to snack/drink during band practice?

Bud light Limes, Ripits Energy and bugs.

 

Gotta have the bugs. If you could play anywhere in the world where would it be?

We wanna go on a cruise ship tour.

 

So, tell us, why do you make music (this might be a little heady, but what keeps you going?)

We make music because its good and fun. we all love each other and were all in love with each other.

 

What does success look like to you?

When the crowd goes “sing!”

 

Speaking of, what's your favorite track to play live/why?

The majority of the band prefers Spanish subtitles over the others because its a fun crowdpleaser.

Johnny is more of a Big Bug guy and Todd is more into Crudwieser. 

 

Your day jobs? 

Luke is a big daddy truck boy, he gets em greased up and back on the road. Johnny is a student who also cooks food at a place. Keith is a student and does video production. Todd is a mold remediation specialist.

 

Told you these guys were rad. Check out their music on our February cassette and stay tuned for some new music from them and a video. enjoy the last 2 hours of February guys.

 

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Ear buds Interview: latewaves

By Kristyn Potter

Ear buds Interview: latewaves

Success to me would be that all the work and suffering (yes as fun as trying to make it in a band is, suffering is a huge part of it) that we put ourselves through reaps happiness and an amazing journey that we’ll never forget.

So stoked to have so many awesome bands included in the February Ear buds Cassette mixtape, and in advance of the mixtape being released/shipped, we wanted to show some extra love to the bands--and also give you a chance to get closer to the bands, and discover some new things about them. 

First up, we've got this killer interview with Asbury Park band latewaves. Check it out below! 

latewaves - how did you come up with the name/what does it mean?

ah, the name is always the craziest thing. you have to name the band before you get to see what you become. we’re from Asbury Park, NJ (a beach town) and we enjoy hanging on the beach late at night. after a few variations we came up with “latewaves” as an ode to our favorite activity in our hometown.

How did you guys get your start?

I (Mikey / guitar, vocals) found myself in a bit of a rut. I had a few songs/ideas I wanted to hash out, and my fiancé’s sister (Shawna / drums) and I always had a pact that we’d start a band if we found ourselves in the right situation. I was free and waiting tables, she had just finished college, so she moved down to wait tables too and write a record with me. We rented a storage unit turned rehearsal space a few miles down the road and wrote our first EP Partied Out. We recorded it with our good friend John Ferrara (Trophy Scars) at Portrait Studios in North Jersey. Since there are at least 80 guitar tracks on each song on the record we decided we’d at least need a bass player. So our good friend Howie in a similar situation joined us on stage. Happy to say although we hold the storage unit dear, we’re in a climate controlled building now and really psyched on the new stuff we’ve been writing.

Who writes the lyrics or is it a collaborative effort?

For Partied Out, I (Mikey) wrote the lyrics- it was about trying to find a light at the end of the tunnel. The fun thing is that nothing on the record says I’ve found it yet, and actually ends on a somber note. Now that we have a full band we all build and collaborate off each other on our new stuff.

Something your fans don't know about you ...

Let’s see, Shawna started out playing in metal bands and although we’re on a single kick pedal for latewaves- if we gave her a double she could rip some dirty breakdowns.

Howie - after the first night of practice we hung out on the porch all night and he had just worked a 12 hour day at two different jobs prior so I woke up a text from his girlfriend with a picture of him literally passed out at his kitchen table with his head in a plate of food and her caption was “what did you do.”

Me (Mikey) - in my last band I had a pizza delivered to me on stage... I forgot I ordered it before I went on and my friend Nick, from Night Riots, went the guy on stage to bring me the pizza and I signed the receipt on the back of some kid in the audience.

That's hilarious! Speaking of, what's the best show you played?

It’s hard to say. I’d say when we co-headlined with Can’t Swim at the wonderbar in Asbury and capped out the venues capacity on a Monday it was absolutely thrilling as it was in the early stages of us playing live. But just recently we played Arlene’s Grocery in NYC and got an amazing response from the crowd. This is huge to me because NYC crowds are renowned to be tough as nails to win over. It’s no offense to them; they live in a city where something amazingly exciting is literally happening all the time so to get a reaction from them was huge to me.

What did you grow up listening to?

My holy grails were the first three records my older cousin gave me in 96': Weezer’s blue album, Green Day’s dookie, and Rancid’s and out come the wolves. They turned me into a little asshole running around screaming punk rock and gave me such a fun childhood. I didn’t get into the Beatles. Led Zep, or the Stones til college because my parents were never into music so I found what I could from my peers. 

What does success look like to you?

This is a fun question because I have been making, or at least trying to take, positive steps in my life, and that is a huge existential question I ask myself every day. I am trying not to hold up my expectations of success and accomplishment to other people’s accomplishments. I think success is a road and not a destination. Success to me would be that all the work and suffering (yes as fun as trying to make it in a band is, suffering is a huge part of it) that we put ourselves through reaps happiness and an amazing journey that we’ll never forget.

Any advice for other bands trying to get their music out there?

Songs come first. Keep it about the music and nothing else. Everything else will follow.

Finally, if you could play anywhere in the world, where would you and why?

I wanna play overseas; UK, Spain, places where I need to buy special adapters to plug my amp into. Simply put; because how exciting would it be to fly and travel to a place you’ve never been to and know barely anything about and play your music?

Thanks to latewaves for the sick interview!

Pick up their debut ep "Partied Out" Via Panic State Records

Check them on tour (dates below):

2.23 Tuscumbia, AL @ The Shed
2.24 Nashville, TN @ Beehive
2.25 Erie, PA @ Basement Transmissions
2.27 Tonawanda, NY @ Stamps 
2.28 Manchester, NH @ Bungalows
3.01 Taunton, MA @ The Shop Underground
3.02 Brooklyn, NY @ Gold Sounds
3.03 Amityville, NY @ Revolution Music Hall
3.04 Scranton, PA @ Levels
3.05 Asbury Park, NJ @ Wonder Bar

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6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY?!?!

By Dan Marter

6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY?!?!

can't believe we've been at it for six years already... Shit's BANANAS! i think i say this every year, but really, every year we get to continue to do this is awesome and makes us appreciate you all even more. we've logged a lot of hours over the years to get to this point so for anyone who's cared enough to buy a record, shared a link or gave a shit in some way.. THANK YOU! 

Anyways.. Happy 4.20 and welcome to our new website: INTHECLOUDS.io 

This site has been a few months in the making, but a long time coming. Everything we've ever done has pretty much been DIY including our websites, but after our old site crashed during the Rare Futures vinyl release from visitor overload we knew changes needed to be made. Luckily we know people that know more about that shit than we do and linked up with our buddies at Profyts, who (as you can see in the footer) helped augment the shit out of this.. it's still a work in progress so thanks for living with some bugs while we work them out, but i think life is about making shit happen, so we did... if you see something wack, let us know - or if you have any suggestions send them over too!

Well, counting this last one - i've successfully written "SHIT" 6 times in this blog post, 1 for each year. I think I've done my part. Take a look around, make yourself at home... throw your feet up on the couch. Enjoy.

 

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