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Music |

Interview: Big Wave

Thursday 21 June 2012
Words Spindle

The English Riviera: an area that used to bloom in summer with British holiday makers building sand castles and eating fish & chips on the sea front. These days, thanks to package holidays and Ryanair, many Brits have opted for the Algarve. But that’s not to say that nothing good can ever come from the south coast. Big Wave, a five-piece lo-fi band, are solid proof of that; residing under the same roof in Torquay, bonding over a shared love of pop music, alcohol and its resulting effect- bad dancing.

With the recent release of their second EP The Roots Of Love (Come Tumbling Down), Spindle caught up with this bunch of boys & girls for an informal chat about such stuff as cleaning rotas, personal talents and for the gamblers amongst us, their tips for Euro 2012.

SP: Living in the English Riviera, are you summers full of surfing, beer and BBQ’s on the beach, or is it much less glamorous than that?

BW: Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, Torbay doesn’t have its own micro climate akin to that of a namesake in France.  If the sun is shining you’re not that far off (replace surfing with fishing and general mooching), but most summers here are filled with rain though, so its BBQs under cover and watching re-runs of Robson Green’s Extreme Fishing.  Always with a beer though…. always with a beer…

SP: What’s the local music scene like in Torquay?

BW: You really have to head up to Exeter to catch the good stuff.  The Cavern and The Phoenix are great venues. We’ve got good rapport with
Oxbow Lakes and Fire Island Pines who are both wicked South West bands.

SP: I’ve read that you originally bonded over such things like pop music. Do you have any pop favourites? Anything embarrassing in your playlists you’d care to share?

BW: We’ve all been into The Buzzcocks, Pulp, Blondie, B-52’s, The Vandellas, The Supremes, The Velvet Underground amongst others in the past. Those bands that most kids come across at some point when exploring pop music and local indie clubs. But nowadays we all like a lot of different stuff.  With regards to embarrassing songs, here is a direct quote from Rikki:  “I’m not really embarrassed by anything in my playlist but a real guilty pleasure is R Kelly – Remix. I go pretty mad when that one comes on anywhere.”  Trust me he does go mad. I’ve seen it…grinding and everything.

SP: You all seem to be a close knit group seeing as you all live under the same roof! How is that going? Have you had to resort to a cleaning rota yet?

BW: It’s something we cannot really discuss in depth at the moment due to the on going milk gate lawsuit. Na, it works pretty well actually…just a passive aggressive tension bubbling under the surface that tends to make each day a little more entertaining.

 

SP: Being obvious advocates of doing everything yourselves, besides contributing bits & pieces to the music itself, what else do each of you bring to the table?

BW: Pete cooks good scram.  Ella has a fantastic sense of direction when drunk (quite the contrast to when she is sober).  Rik is a driving machine from the future (always plays DES driver when we play further a field).  Mel cuts everybody’s hair (in her salon) and Matt can make the aerial work when everyone else fails.

SP: What do you all do away from the band?

BW: The lads like to catch tea by the sea and play cricket, Mel is the cake-baking queen and Ella is big into Game of Thrones at the moment. Despite her best efforts, the rest of us remain unconvinced. Other than that, working 9-5 and “what a way to make a living it is!”

SP: Having self-released your previous EP, has the release of Come Tumbling Down been a smoother journey now you have the backing of Soft Power Records?

BW: It was just great that someone wanted to put it out, especially a little label like Soft Power. They have put out some great stuff so it was nice to get their backing. Graeme & Bek have been really great throughout. Although we’ve never met them in person, it’s been a really easy and fun process.

SP: Boring question, but it’s always nice to know. What/Who do you feel
influences your music?

BW: As a band we’re all in to similar things like Belle and Sebastian, Pulp
and Blondie. As far as musical influences go I don’t think we have a conscious sound or style, the way we play the songs is just the way they come out. As far as possible we try to let the song lead the way rather than push a particular mood or style. As far as writing goes I (Ella) try to focus on melody and getting something that pulls at the heartstrings. I’m interested in simple, pure sounding songs that hit you for six, think Motown and Northern Soul records or country like Gram Parsons.

SP: And finally, are any of you watching the Euros? Who are your tips to win the tournament?

BW: We have all been enjoying the Euros apart from Mel. One of her most recent status updates was “Football is shit”…an opinion shared by over 20 of her friends on a popular social networking site.

Predictions:
Matt – I can’t see anybody stopping the Germans.
Rik – England – Germany final would be good. We’d probably lose though.
Ella –  The Germans look unstoppable, I had Russia in the sweepstakes so I can no longer wear my Fur hat.
Pete – When’s the cricket on?
Mel – Doesn’t give a hoot.

Words: Gavin Bevan