Interview Wavves: ‘I Get Drunk And Say Stupid Things’

Everyone’s favourite slackers plan their first trip to Reading & Leeds.

Before we can even sit down, Wavves frontman Nathan Williams fires off the first question. As someone whose merchandise has included weed grinders, and who recently partook in a feature for Rolling Stone trying marijuana edibles with Wiz Khalifa – it’s no surprise that it concerns exactly that. Situated in a dressing room right at the back of Camden venue The Underworld, Wavves are getting ready to play a sold out show in the sweaty, tiny venue just a couple of hours later. Playing just a few big cities and occasional one-off dates such as tonight, as Williams states, is mostly to do with financial reasons.

“I would love to tour more,” he says, “but for some reason the UK pays everyone less – every band and every hip hop artist.” Bassist Stephen Pope adds, “All the shows are fun in the UK, the people who come to the shows are fun – it’s just usually the venues. I mean this one [The Underworld] is actually treating us well.” The subject of finance in relation to live shows is something that’s starting to become painfully familiar, with DIIV being a recent example – their trip to Europe not being worth the money that they would have lost in the process. However, Wavves are hopeful that a full European tour could become reality in 2014.



They mention Reading & Leeds, a first for them. “I’ve never been before but I’m definitely excited to be able to play,” Williams enthuses. “I’m surprised that anybody cares, even at small shows, so it’s always exciting.” As their new album ‘Afraid Of Heights’ has a recurring theme of depression, is this something that affects their live show? “I’m not crying or anything, I don’t think so; it’s still pretty lively and energetic. I think there’s probably more people now jumping on stage. There were points in the process of making the album where I thought about how I’d have to sing every night, holding a gun to my head or stuff like that.”

The lyrics on ‘Afraid Of Heights’ are very personal and, as Williams’ personal life has become quite public, it’s not just the music that people care about. When it comes to listners prying into his personal life, he’s unsurprisingly not too fond of it. “That’s extremely annoying, but it’s part of it and I’m pretty active on Twitter. I get drunk and say stupid things – it’s really my own fault. [Twitter] is like a massive drunk text that I go on every night. I hope my mum hasn’t seen them yet, but she’s doesn’t care anymore.”

When it comes to technology, it’s clear that Williams has a love/hate relationship with it. Not too long ago, his laptop was stolen from his mother’s house – containing a fair amount of potential Wavves material. “Before my computer got stolen, I had probably 250 demos on there and we’d pick and choose from little parts.” Losing that much work was something that hit him hard. “It sucked. It was really, really shitty. The thing is, I actually backed up the computer and the drive broke too.” It was incredibly bad luck but they’ve been able to move forward from it.

Getting closer to tonight’s show at The Underworld, Nathan talks about the reception they sometimes get to their shows. “We get a lot of people saying afterwards, ‘That was my first show’, or ‘That was my first punk show’, and that’s a pretty cool thing.” It’s funny for Williams and Pope because the first shows they went to were far from punk. “I think about my first show, it was Everclear – not as cool,” says Williams. “Mine was Alanis Morissette,” adds Pope. They’re a world away from their beginnings; selling out shows, playing major festivals, working with major pop producers – as Nathan sang on ‘King Of The Beach’, “It would be something, to take on the world.” Whilst they’re not just yet, they’re certainly one step closer.



Wavves play the NME/Radio 1 Stage at Leeds (23rd August) and Reading Fest (25th August).

Tags: Wavves, Features

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

February 2024

Featuring The Last Dinner Party, IDLES, Yard Act, Crawlers, Remi Wolf and more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY