Pardon the analogy, but so far 2012 has been quite the ride for Big Wave. Based in Torquay – commonly known for its dangerous affiliation with alcohol, cliffs and Sixth Formers – their lo-fi pop is a breath of salty fresh air for anyone inclined to listen. Now armed with debut EP The Roots of Love (Come Tumbling Down), two homemade videos and blog mentions in abundance, the five piece are playing End of the Road festival in September. Not bad going for a band that weren’t even signed at the beginning of the year.
DrunkenWerewolf’s Tiffany Daniels meets up with the band to talk about finding a label viaJapan, throwing up in doorways and competing with the local metal scene.
How did Big Wave form?
We’re all friends in the same town, who like the same kind of music. It’s not often that happens in Torquay! Ella, Pete and Rik had been in a band together previously, then when that came to an end Matt joined on drums. Mel later replaced Mike (Ellas brosef) on keys when he left to be fabulous inMilan.
What inspires you to make music? Do your motivations differ or is there a general consensus in the band?
We all just enjoy hanging out and making noise. We’ve all been into music since we were kids so it was natural for [us] to get into bands. Everybody seems to suit the instrument they play too, so it’s a bit of an extension of [our] personalities. It’s also nice when other people enjoy what [we’re] doing.
Coming out of Torquay, how difficult has it been to move beyond playing local gigs?
We’ve only played a few local shows. Once we got some songs out on the internet we have been quite fortunate in getting shows outside the bright lights ofTorbay. A few nice people (yourself included) have just dropped us an email and we’ve turned up to play. We are always up for playing so feel free to drop us a line!
What’s the Devon music scene like? We can’t imagine it’s booming?
There are lots of bands locally but there isn’t much tying them together into any kind of scene. There are less people, but the same amount of musical differences as you’d find in the big cities. I’d say the metal kids probably have the biggest numbers. If this was the Warriors we’d definitely be dead.
Thanks mainly to neighbouring Plymouth a lot of new bands have emerged out of the ‘deep’ South. Do you feel part of that scene? Or is it so spread out it can’t really be considered a scene?
Yeah it’s pretty spread out but there are some good things happening inPlymouthandExeter. The internet helps though. David and Rich who run Art Is Hard records have been great for the area. Picking out good music that fits together, putting records out and bringing bands together for shows. We’ve played with a band called Fire Island Pines a several times and they’re brilliant.
Your artwork has a seaside theme, but does your music? How does your hometown affect your song writing?
Away from the glitz and glamour of teenage pregnancies, stag and hen parties, being sick in doorways and the young farmers ploughing each other Torquay has a pretty relaxed feel to it so maybe that rubs off on the music.
Your debut EP is out now on Soft Power Records. How did you get involved with the label and why did you decide to release on cassette?
A gentleman inJapancalled Teppei contacted us and asked if he could sell our record in his shop The Stone Records. We didn’t have anything physical to sell so he offered to help us find a label. Low and behold a couple days later we had a message from Soft Power who asked if we’d like to put a tape out with them. It was pretty crazy! Tapes have that nice homemade quality about them. It’s nice just to hold something that’s taken real effort to put together from both parties. Bek and Graeme at Soft Power are really good people and we’re real happy with the E.P.
Earlier in the year we hosted your video for ‘Circumstances’, which you filmed yourself. What’s the concept behind it and who came up with it?
We were thinking about making a video and it came up it conversation. If you had an old camcorder I’m sure most remember hooking up to the TV, flicking the camera on and getting that infinite effect on screen. So we thought we’d try it with a projector on the wall in our lounge and get our friend Helen to pull some specialist shapes in front of it. Just felt like it suited the vibe of the song.
Did you go DIY out of necessity or choice?
It’s a bit of both really. Getting the kind of visuals you have in mind is easier and cheaper to do yourself. So far we have spend about £10 quid on both our videos. Some confetti, a beer for Helen and the rest went on petrol to drive down the road (cheers George). It’s a pretty enjoyable process too although the editing takes tiiime.
You’re playing End of the Road this year – how did you get added to their line up?
We applied on their website at the beginning of the year but figured that all of the bands playing would have been notified by the start of the summer. We were getting ready to buy tickets (it was the only festival we all wanted to go to) then we got an email saying they wanted us to play. The line up is so good and the fact that Bella Union have helped curate is brilliant because we love that labels roster. Only problem is, two of us might have to quit jobs to play there. Ah well…
If you could play any other festival in the UK, which would you choose and why?
Glastonbury 2013, Park Stage please. It’s the best place in the world.
What does 2012 hold for Big Wave?
We’ve just been in the studio in the last few weeks with the aim to getting another release out at the end of the summer hopefully. Maybe a single this time round along with another cheap ass video. It would be nice to play some places we haven’t been before too.
Written by Tiffany Daniels