Channeling demons: interview with indie band War Waves

The indie band, War Waves, seemed to come out of nowhere in 2015. Their self-titled record created a modest local buzz and also reached listeners all over the world who were looking for a record just like it.

War Waves dropped the follow-up single ‘Horses’ in July of 2016 and it was a statement of intent. The full-length “All That We Lack” arrived shortly afterward and confirmed that this was a band who had lofty goals for their sound and were absolutely capable of reaching them.

Which brings us to now. ‘Sleep’ - the first single lifted from War Wave’s upcoming EP ‘Be Well’ - shows even more maturity from a band that already seemed to bypass a few grades in school.

I caught up with lead singer and songwriter, Marc Newby, to get the story behind the music.

Ok Marc, so let's start with the basics. Who is in the band. Where are you based and what sort of music do you belt out?

So, there's me (Marc Newby - songwriting, vocals, and guitar), Andrew (lead guitar), David (bass, vocals) and Dan (drums). We're based in Suffolk and write melancholic, but occasionally happy indie music.


Do you see yourselves as a studio band or a touring band?

I would say more of a studio band with ambitions to tour more. Songwriting to me is to serve a purpose - to channel whatever demons are currently hiding away. Once those are released (usually via recording), I have a habit of moving on to the next! The other guys keep me in check and ensure that we actually get out there and play live to other people.


Where (in cyberspace or real, geographical space) have you found your audience connects with you most strongly?

We've found Twitter to be a real haven for finding new fans and friends. In fact, a lot of our fanbase has been won online. Geographically, I would say it varies. We've sold CDs from Japan to America to, I suppose, anywhere!


Your second album, All That We Lack, has been available since 2016, have you been happy with how it was received?

I would say so. As a band who are approaching (or have reached) their thirties, we are just grateful for any sort of recognition we receive. In an ideal world, we would have put together a tour for it, but lives get in the way. We were very humbled by the reviews and radio play we received for it though.

What has been the best song to perform from that album?

I always love playing Spine.

What is it that drives you as a band?

The aforementioned demons, a desire to see my friends, to feel better and to achieve something.


How did you all meet?

I've known Andrew and David for many years through music - Dan works with Andrew, so that's how he became our new drummer last year.


Your new single is called Sleep. Can you tell us a bit about the story behind that song?

Without getting too sullen (and I do struggle to describe the songs in a coherent way sometimes), Sleep is about wanting things to get better and coming to terms with the fact they may not.

indie band War Waves new single Sleep

Where will it be available for purchase?

It's available for radio play now and will be available digitally everywhere on the 29th of June 2018.


What life experiences feed into your songwriting as a band?

I struggle to not show exactly how I'm feeling in a song, or on stage for that matter (for better or for worse). It's a cliche, but if I'm in a good place, my writing will suffer. If I'm in a bad place, I'll be more productive and eat more pizza.

indie band War Waves live


What was the first song you ever learned how to play? Did you always see yourself as 'musical'?

I can barely play guitar other than the songs I've written! I learned the solo from Otherside by RHCP when I was 13. That was pretty good.


Are your lyrics based on real events in your life?

Yes, absolutely.


Do you have plans to tour your upcoming release? How far would you like to take it?

Our next full release will be the EP 'Be Well' in December 2018. We have a few shows lined up around that time.

War Waves - indie band in full flight

The process of putting together an album is always fraught. What challenges did you have to overcome to finish this one?

There was quite a relaxing process with this recording - we rented out a large theatre space, moved all of our (and Steve's - Backwater Records Label Owner) equipment in and just played for 3 days.


When can people expect the EP to be available?

'Be Well' will be released on the 7th December 2018.

Listen to War Waves on Bandcamp or stay in touch via Twitter and Instagram