Last updated
Wavves at Sasquatch 2011.jpg
Wavves performing at Sasquatch in 2011.
Background information
Origin San Diego, California, United States
Years active2008–present
Associated acts
Website www.wavves.net
  • Nathan Williams
  • Alex Gates
  • Stephen Pope
Past members

Wavves is an American rock band based in Kentucky. Formed in 2008 by singer-songwriter Nathan Williams (born June 12, 1986), the band also features Alex Gates (guitar, backing vocals), Stephen Pope (bass guitar, backing vocals) and formerly Brian Hill (drums and backing vocals).

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.



Early years and early releases (2008–2009)

Wavves started in 2008 as the recording project of Nathan Williams. Wavves released several 7"s as well as a cassette leading up to the first release, Wavves . After gaining recognition, Ryan Ulsh was enlisted as a touring drummer and Wavves embarked on their first US and European tours. Wavves released their self-titled debut album in 2008, subsequently drawing the attention of Pitchfork Media. [1] [2] At the time, the band consisted of guitarist Nathan Williams and drummer Ryan Ulsh, who replaced Baby Animal during production. Their second full-length album, Wavvves , was released on February 3, 2009, [3] and was well received by outlets such as Spin, [4] The A.V. Club, [5] and Pitchfork. [6]

<i>Wavves</i> (album) 2008 studio album by Wavves

Wavves is the debut studio album by the American band Wavves. It was originally released on cassette format in September before being re-released on LP/CD formats.

<i>Wavvves</i> 2009 studio album by Wavves

Wavvves is the second album by the American band Wavves.

<i>The A.V. Club</i> Online newspaper and entertainment website

The A.V. Club is an online newspaper and entertainment website featuring reviews, interviews, and other articles that examine films, music, television, books, games, and other elements of pop culture media. The A.V. Club was created in 1993 as a supplement to The Onion. In the early years after that was established on the Internet in 1996, the supplement had minimal presence on the website.

Singer Nathan Williams experienced a public breakdown as the band was unable to complete their set at the 2009 Barcelona Primavera Sound Festival. Williams, who admitted he had taken a cocktail of ecstasy and Valium, fought with drummer Ryan Ulsh and insulted the Spanish crowd, who then pelted him with bottles. Apologizing for their performance, Williams admitted the next day that he was addicted to alcohol. As a result, the band cancelled the remainder of their European tour. [7] When Ulsh quit the band, Zach Hill replaced him as the drummer of Wavves for a brief time. Two members formerly of the late Jay Reatard's band, drummer Billy Hayes and bassist Stephen Pope, joined Wavves in November 2009. [8] Williams also reported that an album featuring Zach Hill on drums was to be expected towards the end of 2010, along with a possible EP featuring Hayes and Pope. [9]

MDMA Psychoactive drug

3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as ecstasy (E), is a psychoactive drug primarily used as a recreational drug. The desired effects include altered sensations, increased energy, empathy, and pleasure. When taken by mouth, effects begin in 30 to 45 minutes and last 3 to 6 hours.

Diazepam benzodiazepine family medication

Diazepam, first marketed as Valium, is a medicine of the benzodiazepine family that typically produces a calming effect. It is commonly used to treat a range of conditions, including anxiety, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome, muscle spasms, seizures, trouble sleeping, and restless legs syndrome. It may also be used to cause memory loss during certain medical procedures. It can be taken by mouth, inserted into the rectum, injected into muscle, or injected into a vein. When given into a vein, effects begin in one to five minutes and last up to an hour. By mouth, effects may take 40 minutes to begin.

Alcoholism Broad term for problems with alcohol

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a broad term for any drinking of alcohol that results in mental or physical health problems. The disorder was previously divided into two types: alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. In a medical context, alcoholism is said to exist when two or more of the following conditions are present: a person drinks large amounts of alcohol over a long time period, has difficulty cutting down, acquiring and drinking alcohol takes up a great deal of time, alcohol is strongly desired, usage results in not fulfilling responsibilities, usage results in social problems, usage results in health problems, usage results in risky situations, withdrawal occurs when stopping, and alcohol tolerance has occurred with use. Risky situations include drinking and driving or having unsafe sex, among other things. Alcohol use can affect all parts of the body, but it particularly affects the brain, heart, liver, pancreas and immune system. This can result in mental illness, Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome, irregular heartbeat, an impaired immune response, liver cirrhosis and increased cancer risk, among other diseases. Drinking during pregnancy can cause damage to the baby resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Women are generally more sensitive than men to the harmful physical and mental effects of alcohol.

King of the Beach, Life Sux (2010–2011)

The third Wavves album, titled King of the Beach , was released on August 3, 2010, by Fat Possum Records. It featured the new lineup of Nathan Williams, Billy Hayes, and Stephen Pope. Produced by Grammy-winning producer Dennis Herring at Sweet Tea in Mississippi, the album received generally positive reviews from the likes of Paste Magazine, [10] Dusted Magazine, [11] and The Onion's A.V. Club. [12] The album received an average of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic, [13] based on 26 critics reviews. The album was named the 24th-best album of the year by Spin, and the 50th best album of the year by Pitchfork. The group's single "Post Acid" was featured in a 3-minute and fifty second promotional cartoon called: "Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation" [14]

<i>King of the Beach</i> (Wavves album) 2010 studio album by Wavves

King of the Beach is the third studio album by the American band Wavves. It was set to be released in the USA by Fat Possum Records and in the UK by Bella Union Records on August 3, 2010, but digital copies became available July 1 as a result of early leaks. Pitchfork Media placed it at number 50 on its list "The Top 50 Albums of 2010". Nathan Williams on Twitter has confirmed that most of the material from the album was originally demos that he had written with drummer Zach Hill of Hella and Death Grips.

Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of films, TV shows, music albums, video games, and formerly, books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged. Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, and Julie Doyle Roberts in 1999. The site provides an excerpt from each review and hyperlinks to its source. A color of green, yellow or red summarizes the critics' recommendations. It is regarded as the foremost online review aggregation site for the video game industry.

Post Acid 2010 single by Wavves

"Post-Acid" is the lead single from Wavves' album King of the Beach. It was made available digitally June 9, 2010 by Mountain Dew's label, Green Label Sound. Patrick O' Dell directed a video for the song, featuring an introduction by John Norris and a cameo by skateboarder Kevin Long as an alien. The video premiered on the Green Label Sound website August 26, 2010. The song is also used in the short film Scott Pilgrim vs. The Animation. Pitchfork placed "Post Acid" at number 85 on their Top 100 Tracks of 2010.

Wavves released a new EP, Life Sux, in September 2011. It consisted of six tracks, including cameos from Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno from Best Coast, as well as Damian Abraham from Fucked Up. The album also contains a live track "In the Sand". Billy Hayes left Wavves in November 2010 and was replaced by Jacob Cooper, formerly of The Mae Shi. This is the first album the band had released on its own label, Ghost Ramp.

<i>Life Sux</i> 2011 EP by Wavves

Life Sux is an EP by the artist Wavves released September 20, 2011 on the record label Ghost Ramp. It features collaborations with Best Coast and Fucked Up.

Best Coast American surf pop band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2009

Best Coast is an American rock duo formed in Los Angeles, California in 2009. The band consists of songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino and guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. Cosentino, a former child actress, began writing music as a teenager and was formerly a member of the experimentalist drone group Pocahaunted. After a brief tenure at college in New York City, Cosentino returned to the West Coast and began recording lo-fi demos with Bruno, whom she met in the Los Angeles music scene.

Fucked Up Canadian hardcore punk band

Fucked Up is a Canadian hardcore punk band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 2001. The band consists of Damian Abraham (vocals), Mike Haliechuk, Josh Zucker (guitar), Ben Cook, Sandy Miranda (bass) and Jonah Falco.

In 2011, Wavves made a guest appearance in the short-lived MTV animated series, Good Vibes , performing their songs "King of the Beach," "Bug," and "I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl". [15]

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel launched on August 1, 1981 based in New York City that serves as the flagship property of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom headquartered in New York City.

Afraid of Heights (2012–2014)

Wavves appeared on Big Boi's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors , on the song "Shoes for Running," which was released December 11, 2012.

On December 12, 2012, Wavves released a music video for their song "Sail to the Sun." Nathan Williams announced the release on his Twitter. [16] Wavves released their fourth studio album, Afraid of Heights , on March 26, 2013, on Mom + Pop Music. The album peaked at #81 on the Billboard 200, the band's highest charting album to date. Still in Rock ranked the album third best of 2013. [17] The second single from the album, "Demon to Lean On", reached #36 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart. The band also made their network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman, performing "Demon to Lean On". [18]

Their song "Nine Is God" is exclusive to the video game Grand Theft Auto V , where band members Nathan and Stephen host Vinewood Boulevard Radio, the station which plays the track. The band performed the song on Conan in support of the game. [19] The opening notes to the track "Dog" can also be heard in the game during the introduction of the "Third Way" ending.

No Life For Me and V (2015–2016)

In early January 2015, Nathan Williams had announced that Wavves would be releasing both a fifth studio album and a collaboration album with Cloud Nothings during summer of 2015.

In April 2015, Wavves contributed the song "Leave" on Welcome to Los Santos , a collaboration album consisting of musicians featured in Grand Theft Auto V. The album was later added to the soundtrack of the game. [20] Wavves' collaboration album with Cloud Nothings titled No Life for Me was released on June 28 in Europe and was released worldwide the next day through Ghost Ramp. [21]

On July 16, 2015, "Way Too Much", the first single from Wavves' fifth studio album, V , was released. [22] On July 31, "Flamezesz", the second single from the album was released; on August 12, the third single was released, called "Heavy Metal Detox"; on August 31, Wavves released their fourth glimpse into their upcoming album, with "My Head Hurts" via Beats 1 webcast. After a turbulent production, V was released on October 2, 2015, to generally positive reviews. V scored a 6.5 on the music site Pitchfork. [23] The album received a score of 78 on Metacritic , based on 11 reviews, which is the highest score the band has received on the site. Still in Rock ranked it as the 5th best album of 2015. [24]

In December 2015, Wavves announced that they would embark on another North American tour with Best Coast and Cherry Glazerr, titled the Summer is Forever II Tour, in support of V, in February and March 2016. [25]

You're Welcome (2017–present)

In late December 2016, Wavves announced via Twitter a new album due on May 19, 2017. [26] [27] The band is also set to perform as opening acts, alongside The Naked and Famous, in Blink-182's 2017 spring tour which would visit mostly the southern United States. [28] The band released the album, titled You’re Welcome , early on May 19, 2017 for free streaming. They toured with Dune Rats in Australia in September 2017 and continued on a headlining tour to promote the new album in North America in October.

On December 13, 2018, Nathan Williams posted on his instagram that Brian Hill was playing his last show with Wavves that night at the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Musical style

Since the band's third album King of the Beach , Wavves' style has primarily been described as indie rock [29] [30] [31] [32] and pop punk, [33] [34] [35] [36] [31] the band has also been described as alternative rock, [32] [37] [38] and punk rock [36] and surf rock. [39] [40]


Current members

Former and touring members




Studio albums

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