Frederick Breedon IV, Getty Images Hank Williams Jr. has revealed his summer…
- Posted on Mar 8th 2010 8:10AM by Linda Laban
In between these two records, though, the band weathered personal tragedy on a grand scale as Spurgeon's kidney disorder – he was born with only one and his first transplant was rejected -- took a turn for the worse. In addition, in 2007, bassist Evan Farrell died in a house fire. The incredible events are documented in 'D Tour,' a film the band made that was picked up by the IFC channel for the Independent Lens series.
"His body is still accepting the organ, but for now he's doing great," Rogue tells Spinner. "Really, the movie is more about him than our band. It expands quite a bit into what it means to need an organ and what it means when no one in your family can donate. Also, organ donation and how it affects people's lives." Spinner caught up with Rogue Wave one day before the band (which includes tour members: keyboard player Steve Taylor and guitarist Dominick East) headed out of Oakland to start a North American tour that begins in Canada, and winds its way down to SXSW.
Describe your sound in your own words.
We are definitely children of the British invasion and the American underground rock scene of the late '90s and early 2000s. That's our world. Melodic rock music, whether it's piano or drum machines. Melodic music.
How did your band form?
It formed when I lost my job many years ago. 2001, I think it was. I started recording music; I recorded our first album, 'Out of the Shadow,' then I recruited a band through Craigslist and we started playing together. We were fortunate to get a lot of shows in the Bay Area, before we knew it we were playing all over and were signed by Sub Pop.
What are your musical influences?
The Who, Guided By Voices, Neutral Milk Hotel, Simon and Garfunkel, Elliott Smith, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Harry Nilsson, so many. A lot of film music, too. I think Pat likes the soundtrack of 'The Terminator' more than anything else.
How did you come up with the band name?
I was working on the first album by myself and I really wanted to restart my life. I realized I like making music more than sitting behind a desk. When I finished the album, I wanted to have a project name. I'd been reading this Neal Stephenson book 'Cryptonomicon.' It's about natural calamities and he mentioned rogue waves. I looked it up, it turns out they are these massive waves that are inexplicable and come on suddenly. Scientists are mystified why they happen. At the time, I thought that was a great metaphor for artistic endeavors. Music can hit you on an emotional level and in mysterious way. Music works for me that way. I also thought I'd attach my name to it; be my own Ramone. By myself, at the time. Sometimes something as superficial as changing your name pushes you in another direction.
Do you use your real last name, Schwartz?
If there's a check to cash, yes. When I go to the dentist.
What's your biggest vice?
Coffee in the morning, whiskey in the evening.
What's in your festival survival kit?
That depends on the city and the time of year. For summer festivals its always my recyclable water bottle and my trucker hat, and my ironically neon sunglasses.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Erik Estrada from that TV show, 'Chips.'
Beatles or Stones?
I have to be a Beatles person. I thought they were my family when I was a little kid. I thought my parents knew them because we listened to them so much. There pictures of them on the walls. I couldn't really differentiate. The day John Lennon died, it was like someone in my family died.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
One crazy thing was at a show we played in San Francisco when I electrocuted my former guitarist, Graham. I thought he was joking around. His facial expression was so extreme that I thought he was joking, but I was really electrocuting him. Something was wrong with one of our amplifiers and I was handing him a guitar and I don't know how it happened. That was pretty shocking.
No pun intended.
Oh, and one show we played opening for Death Cab For Cutie, in Brooklyn, New York, the entire scaffolding collapsed. It could have killed a hundred people. Tthey scampered away at the last second. Now, that was shocking.