I brushed my teeth with piss accidentally in Sacramento last U.S. tour. The story isn’t as interesting as it seems, but the anecdote is at least amusing.
story by Garin Pirnia
photo by Melissa Stetten
Southern California one-man band Wavves is fronted by mercurial early twenty-something Nathan Williams. Since the release of his venerable self-titled lo-fi/garage rock record (comprised of infectious songs like “So Bored” and “No Hope Kids”), he’s experienced quite the roller coaster ride. As quickly as Wavves rose to premium buzz band status earlier this year, the backlash set in. Those who read any sort of music journalism probably already know about his recently misfired Barcelona appearance, resulting in the band canceling their European tour this summer. The bad luck kept coming for Wavves when, right before his Pitchfork Music Festival appearance this July, Williams broke his wrist during a skateboard accident.
Williams previously collaborated with drummer Ryan Ulsh as Wavves, but these days Williams is working with Hella drummer Zach Hill — and two of their new songs have already leaked over the internet. Some critics might dismiss Wavves as just another flash in the pan, but Williams does have the ardor, the spirit, and the talent to keep this whole Wavves thing going for quite some time — as long as he stays out of trouble…
Chicago Innerview: How’s the wrist healing?
Nathan Williams: My wrist is fucked up.
Chicago Innerview: Do you prefer to play festivals or smaller clubs?
Nathan Williams: Smaller venues. The only reason bands play festivals is for money — and anyone who tells you different is a liar.
CI: Lo-fi music is really hot right now with Vivian Girls, Blank Dogs and No Age. Are you friends with all of these guys? And is there a competitive nature amongst the bands?
NW: No, I’m friends with all of the aforementioned people/groups. There is a rivalry or a competitive nature with some people, but I just try and ignore it and do my thing. I’m not running a race here. I’m just trying to have fun and record good records.
CI: What are your audiences like? Has anyone done anything or gone completely crazy?
NW: I got heckled by some 35 year-old gremlin who looked like he just huffed a bunch of paint at a show I played in Portland. It was pretty grim. He was talking about how I signed a deal with Pepsi or something. Yeah right pal, I wish.
CI: How influential is living in San Diego on your music?
NW: It all coincides with the songs, as they are all about personally growing up or whatever…Southern California, especially, has vibes on most of my material.
CI: Do you feel a lot of pressure to live up to all the hype surrounding the band?
NW: Yeah, sometimes. Other times I just say ‘fuck it’, but I can’t pretend I don’t know what’s going on around me.
CI: How are you dealing with this newfound fame?
NW: I wouldn’t say ‘newfound fame’…I’m still just some dude.
CI: Any funny anecdotes that you’d like to share?
NW: I brushed my teeth with piss accidentally in Sacramento last U.S. tour. The story isn’t as interesting as it seems, but the anecdote is at least amusing.
Wavves :: at The Chopin Theater for the early show and at The Empty Bottle for the late show :: September 20.