San Diego’s Nathan Williams started Wavves as a recording project in 2008, releasing several confusing 7” and cassettes over the next couple of years. Mostly due to his inexperience with the recording software, the tracks were mangled. Rather than abandon them, he chose to promote the work, accompanied by simple artwork or scanned photos. The press praised the immediacy and DIY nature of the work.
After gaining some traction, the band had a setback when Williams suffered a public meltdown, fighting with a bandmate on stage, insulting the audience and ultimately was pelted with bottles by the angry crowd. By 2010 the band rebooted and released a surprisingly polished and successful record, King of the Beach.
In the early 2010s Williams spent time with Wavves and several collaborative projects involving his brother Joel, the band Best Coast and a new group, Spirit Club.
The pandemic threw the band out of their normal routine of non-stop touring. Like most of the indie music world—those acclaimed and well-known acts who don’t need day jobs if they’re touring regularly—bassist Stephen Pope had to get a “day job” as an Amazon delivery driver. Even Wavves’ frontman Nathan Williams had to move in with his folks in San Diego.
“I felt out of my element a lot of the time,” Pope says. “I don’t thrive on routine. I was thankful I was able to land a job during that time, but at the same time, it was driving me crazy.”