Auckland, New Zealand 5-piece Ghost Wave visited NYC to be a part of the glorious debacle that is CMJ Music Marathon. Touring in support of their debut LP, Ages, on Flying Nun Records, I caught up with the band prior to their performance at Le Poisson Rouge during New Zealand @ CMJ 2013 to discuss Ages, a dream billing they’d love to be a part of, and some words of wisdom to bands even younger than themselves.
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today! How’s everything going?
Mike – It’s going good. We just trained into Manhattan from Ridgewood, Queens where we’re staying, and yeah.
G- How was the travel getting into the states?
Mike – It was pretty smooth, actually. We came on different flights. 2 of us came a couple of days earlier, and 3 of us took a plane 2 days later, but there were no hitches in the trip, so it went pretty smooth.
G- Alright. Well, let’s introduce everybody here for our readers. I’ll get the 3 of you and you guys can shout out the other 2 who couldn’t be here right now because they’re hopefully loading in all the gear for you. Your name, sir?
Mike- My name is Mike and I play the bass guitar.
Matt- My name is Matt and play the guitar and vocals and organs and all that.
Andy- I’m Andy and I play tambourine and shaker.
G- And how about the other guys who didn’t make the interview today?
Mike- We’ve got Jamie who plays the guitar as well, and we’ve got Amon who plays the drums.
Matt- We probably realized pretty young in life, and about 20 years later, we all met up and it clicked. Everyone had a common interest in the sound and decided to put some kind of thing together.
G- Right on. Now, you are currently touring in support of your latest album, Ages, so I’d want to talk about that… Can you tell us about the recording process for the album? Where did you record it, who produced it, and how are you feeling about the final product?
Matt- Well, it’s produced by us, and we had an engineer on board who came into the studio who knew what he was doing with recording… Tom Bell.
The songs were written a long time ago… I guess it’s a little pun on Ages, because it took ages to come out. But more than that, it’s sort of a tips of the hat to the people we were listening to when we were young, at least what I was listening to anyways.
G- Ok. And you’ve been playing a lot of the sons out live obviously… Have you noticed any fan favorites at this time?
Mike – They’re all favorites.
Mike- They all go off. (giggles)
G- (laughs) Good! So how are you liking the states so far since you’ve been here? What’s your favorite part about NYC that you’ve seen so far?
Mike- One of my favorite things about NYC so far is the pizza…
G- That’s a good answer!
Mike- We went to Central Park the other day and I’d never been there before, so that was cool.
G- Did you happen to walk by the Banksy exhibit that was there, by chance?
Mike- We did, actually. 2 of the doors had been ripped off, but we saw a photo of the original one in full form, and it looked a little bit different, but it was really cool to see that in the flesh.
G- You never know what you’re gonna get in NYC. And what about you, Andy?
Andy – While they were doing that, I went off by myself and got really lost for 6 hours.
G- And where did you get lost?
Andy- I don’t know exactly, but I found myself in Tribeca. So yeah, I had a minor sort of panic.
G- As long as you didn’t get too drunk and end up in Coney Island someplace, I’d say you did pretty good.
Now, do you, individually or collectively, have a favorite song you have ever written as a band or one that is most fun to perform, or if you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of Ghost Wave before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
Matt- We have a new song called “Who’s Doing The Talking” that I think everyone agrees on, in terms of enjoying at the time.
Mike- Yeah definitely. It’s a fresh song.
Matt- And we’ve got a lot of new material that we haven’t really gotten around to getting the songs together live, so to speak, so we’ve got a lot of material to cover.
Andy just joined the band, so we haven’t had much time to get to a lot of the new material live, so to speak. We’re just teaching him things, learning the song titles like. (laughs)
G- It helps. It definitely helps the cause.
Now let’s talk about a dream bill. If you could put together your dream lineup, who would you want to tour with?
Mike- Maybe Yo La Tengo. I’ve seen them once before.
G- Great band! Let’s do one from each of you… Yo La Tengo…
Mike- I would say Primal Scream.
G- Good one!
Matt- how about you, Andy?
Andy- A favorite?
Matt- Just one you’d like to play with.
Andy- My Bloody Valentine.
G- That’d be a great show! I’d just like to be able to see them… Just getting inside the venue would be great.
So you guys are young, on the road, and playing shows… For the younger kids, what advice can you give to the up and coming bands who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
Matt- Just set your goal and do it.
Andy- Don’t stress out.
Mike- Don’t let any little set backs put you off from what you want to be doing. Just persevere. I got here with shit-all money, so I’m sure other people can do it to.
G- Busk it! Set up in Central Park and busk it, as long as they don’t arrest you for doing so.
Well, I want to thank you guys for speaking with Live High Five today. I’m excited about the set tonight. Enjoy yourselves while you’re here, play well, and travel safe!
Mike- Thank you very much!