The angry and honest songs of latewaves remind listeners that with whatever painful struggles they might be going through, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Drawing from indie, alternative and rock, this Asbury Park based trio provides aggressive music with catchy riffs and chords that really make an impact. The Pop Break had the opportunity to interview latewaves about their beginnings, the Asbury Park music scene, their sound and upcoming music.
Who is latewaves (Names of your band members and the instruments you play): Hello!! latewaves is Shawna Grabowski on drums, Howie Cohen on bass and vocals, and Mikey Pellegrino on vocals and guitar.
What year did you form as a band: This is loaded. Shawna and I (Mikey) started booking daytime practices during the summer of 2016. We experimented with many genres over these sessions but really started the latewaves “brand” in the winter of 2017 when we decided this was going to be something we really wanted to do.
You are based out of Asbury Park, right? How would you describe the music scene there? Where is your number one place to play in Asbury Park: To answer the first question; the scene down here is eclectic and communal. One day we will go see a surf rock band. Another day, we will catch an instrumental band with musicians that make you want to give up based on how good they are. Another day, we can ride our bikes to go see one of our favorite popular bands like The Flatliners when they played at Wonder Bar last week. Basically, the music scene can literally be whatever you want to make it down here. There is something in it for everyone. Minus the try-hard pop scene of course. However, our number one place to play has yet to be decided. We are fairly new and so far we have loved playing whoever will have us. The support is wild for a band with no released music (there will be soon). Basically, we will just agree that our favorite place to play at the moment is whoever gives us the most drink tickets.
How did you form as a band? At what point did you decide that you wanted to be in a band together? Was there a moment where everything just “clicked:” Shawna and I (Mikey) had been talking about playing for years. Seeing as Shawna was a captain on her collegiate soccer team that she took to the NCAA’s and I (Mikey) had been touring with my old band, it was just a happy thought. After both of those life events had ended, we decided to get some sessions at a storage unit turned rehearsal space in Long Branch and hashed out some stuff. We then decided this should be a basket we should put our eggs into and we recorded the upcoming EP at Portrait Studios. Then we decided we needed a bassist. We knew Howie as a close friend and fellow musician in Asbury; the first night we all practiced together, we finished a bottle of Jameson afterwards and we received a picture from his girlfriend, Maddy, the next day of Howie passed out at the kitchen table with his face in a plate of food with the caption “I woke up like dis.” That was when we decided we finally had a band.
What inspired your band name? What is its significance: We went through a lot of names. We started off liking “dirty blondes”—turned out being some mall metal band from Sweden. We liked “morro castle,” which was the name of a ship that crashed on the beaches of Asbury Park a long time ago and hundreds of people died, but there was a God-damn cover band with the same name from a town over. I (Mikey) personally messaged and told them to just give me their band name because cover bands aren’t real bands, and I didn’t get a response on that one. We always wanted to name the first EP “partied out” as an homage to Wayne’s World, so we thought we’d just name the band “partied out” too, but it just seemed too cheesy.
Then we finally thought of themes and we all agreed we love the summer in Asbury and getting out of the bars and ripping our clothes off to jump in the ocean late at night. So then we thought of “Night Swim.” But we’re close friends with the bands Can’t Swim and Night Riots so it wasn’t working in our heads. I (Mikey) thought of “midnightbeach” and Shawna said it sounded like a Yankee Candle, which it turns out it actually was. We were sitting in the car taking my dog to his vet appointment and Shawna said “latewaves.” I looked it up and no bands have ever been named that and @latewaves was available on all social media outlets, so I made the profiles and that was that.
I see that you consider yourself as an Indie/Rock/Alt band. Besides genre, how would you describe the sound of your music? What elements stand out the most to listeners when they hear your music: The genre question is very hard. We hate the term “pop punk” because most people deem any kind of aggressive rock with actual choruses and decent song writing as “pop punk,” because people tend to suck. “Indie rock” also kind of sucks because “indie” doesn’t even exist anymore. Now, “indie” refers to bands that try and fail to make the top 40 list. We personally couldn’t give a fraction of a shit about the top 40 and think we can fit in a lot of spots. The whole genre thing is terrible.
If you could create your own genre name, what would it be: “Aggressive indie rock, but not current indie rock. Think like high fidelity indie rock with a classic Beatles song structure and angry, honest words over catchy riffs and chords.” I can see it on the iTunes and Spotify genre pages now.
Do you have any upcoming music releases? If so, will it be a single, an EP or an album? How many songs do you expect to put out: YES. Early August we will be releasing our first single as well as who we will be releasing it with. Our first EP will be coming shortly after, and we are stoked.
If you do have music that will be released soon, what are those songs about? How do they reflect who you are as a band: The general theme at the moment in our music is really just about getting kicked while you’re down and being told you’re worthless—and the response to those situations, which is a middle finger, a sassy response and a tinge of a light at the end of the tunnel. Basically, the same shit every one goes through, just without the whole facade of the “keep calm and keep on” memes and just admitting things can suck and you have to toughen up and work it out. It’ll be fine.
What does music mean to you: That’s sort of like a blind person asking someone with the gift of sight to describe the sun to them. But I mean, everything. It’s definitely always on our minds. It’s just everything, to the point where you don’t really even think about what it means to you.
What is your favorite memory so far from your time spent together as latewaves: Honestly, I’d say walking on stage and looking each other in the eyes before the curtain at The Saint in Asbury Park, our hometown, opened up to show us a full-on packed show for our first ever performance. Then we walked off stage, having received a text from our manager with even better news—news we are excited to share soon.
LATEWAVES PLAYS TONIGHT AT WONDER BAR AT 7 P.M. WITH CAN’T SWIM, MILLY AND THE GREATER VICTORY.