The Tide Bends Talk Indian Summer, Surf Movies, & The Joy of Playing Together

The Tide Bends
Photo Credit: Jeff Crespi/JeffCrespiRocks

If there’s one thing I love about music festivals is that I can discover a great band. When checking out a curated playlist for this weekend’s Indian Summer fest in Asbury Park, I discovered The Tide Bends. I had heard the name kicked about the Asbury scene, but I had never put ears on any of their music. The band’s song “Where Are My Friends” grabbed me, and mesmerizing me with their sound. I knew instantly that I needed to hear all their music.

And if you’re heading out to Indian Summer this weekend, or if you see the band’s name on any bill — run don’t walk to catch this Neptune-based band out.

I caught up with Dave Hough, who plays guitar and sings, to talk about wild times with the band, being included in a surf film, and more.

Who Are The Tide Bends (Band Members & What Instruments They Play): Gary Zampini (Fender Bass), Dan Nolan (Drums), Dave Hough (Guitar/Vocals)

We became a band in (the year): Dan and I first jammed in early winter 2015, and we started putting songs together right away. We had some people float in and out, but we were playing out as a three-piece by fall 2015.  Gary joined the band in August 2016.

Here’s The Story Behind Our Name: Funny thing about band names is that everyone has a million good ones until you actually need one… and then you’re just voice memo-ing words, thoughts and phrases that you heard somewhere in your daily routine so you don’t forget them (I have an awful memory).  In the end, I think I wrote down a few names, closed my eyes and pointed at one of them.  And there you have it.

We’re Based Out Of: Neptune, New Jersey.

You’ve Seen Us Perform in Other Bands Such As: Dan and Gary have been in a bunch of bands, but I haven’t been a part of anything real in almost a decade. Dan was in a couple of bands that were in the North Jersey post-hardcore scene in the early 2000s; his band Elemae played that New Brunswick circuit a bunch.  Gary was in a great band in the late ‘90s called the Selzers… and he’s still fairly active in his punk band, the Groucho Marxists as well as an instrumental band called Gringo Motel (check them, seriously).

Our Sound Has to Been Likened to: Geez, depends on who’s doing the likening I guess… But I’ve heard a bunch of obvious ones and a few out-there ones, depending on how late we’re playing and how watered down the bar crowd is. I get a lot of 90s and early 2000s bands like Pavement, the Stone Roses, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, QOTSA (whaaat?) and the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Our biggest musical influences: The full list would be too long. But randomly, I’d say Sonic Youth, Ride, the Smiths, Joy Division, Neil Young, Buddy Rich Big Band, the Descendents, BRMC (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) and no shortage of Brit Rock. I also really like a lot of the bands over at Castle Face Records.

Any New Music Coming Out: Yes, we’re working on a few new tunes at the moment.  I think with Gary joining last summer, there’s definitely been an a push as far as how things move along within the songs, and that makes me want to put together better and better songs.  I’m not really into more of the same, and I get kind of bothered, or anxious when there isn’t something new being worked on or worked out. But the new songs sound really good; I can’t wait to lay them down. We play a couple new ones out now.

We had a killer experience recording our EP Greened with Paul Ritchie (GODS, Parlor Mob) and we were just really happy with how Greened turned out. So now we just have to finish up and get back in there for these new ones.

Cool/Famous Bands We’ve Performed With Before: Just last month, White Denim turned up at a show we played with Gods and Sun Voyager at the AP Moto Club. It was ridiculous – when Gods finished, White Denim stepped up and just picked the place apart. Definitely one of those spur of the moment happenings that makes you feel incredible to be a part of this small scene.  Other touring bands were good friends, the Lonely Biscuits this summer, Repeat Repeat, the Jigsaw Seen (Burger Records) and Magnet School. But I think some of the bands we share bills with around here are excellent, so we don’t have to go far to play with bands who rip.  This weekend we share a bill with the Parlor Mob, so that’ll be pretty insane for sure.

If someone was going to Indian Summer this weekend, and wanted to check you out, what song would of yours would you recommend they listen to, and why?

Tough to say because I really like all of our songs.  Biased, I guess. ‘Where are my Friends’ is song that really cranks along so maybe that one to get going. I can tell you that probably my favorite song to play is ‘Feather’ into ‘Thrust’ which is super fast and up tempo.  The new song ‘Shade’ is a jam too.  So, yeah, all of them.

What’s been your favorite moment as a member of the band? What’s been the craziest?

In June, we played an overnight gig for the North Face at a campground in upstate NY. They bussed 250 people from NYC and set them loose on the field and river with tons of beer and booze. Place was incredible – next to a distillery and there were tents everywhere. We set up in a field in front of a big rock and played with bonfires all over the place.  About twenty-five minutes into the set, the skies opened up and we had to stop… but the campers took it to another level and everyone just got hammered.

After a few hours we were pretty lit up and decided to walk back to the small dam upstream. You could sit under the water that came over the dam, and when someone shined their headlight in through the water it looked really distorted and beautiful.  Yeah… drinking. So I was hanging under the small waterfall coming over the small concrete dam, and I shook my head to get the hair out of my face but misjudged how close I was to the dam and cracked my head so hard on the dam that I saw stars and actually lost it for a few seconds until I saw the headlamps moving around.  Had a good reminder for a week after… coulda been bad, haha.

Some of your songs are featured in the surf film Ripple. 1.) How cool was it to have your music in a movie? 2.) How much does surfing/living and/or playing by the beach/ocean influence your sound?

It was really awesome, and hearing it really crank at the premiere inside the House of Independents was absolutely killer.  Having grown up around here in this beach community, surf and skate movies were huge to us. We still talk about the music that was in the early Lost? films or even the older George Greenough movies like Crystal Voyager.  So we were psyched Corey Frank (Summer Rental Studios) used our song, ‘Thrust’ and to have it as a backdrop for some insane surfing from young, local talent.

I think the area itself and the amount of time spent in the water comes through as an influence for sure.  I couldn’t tell you how much though.

What do you love about being in the The Tide Bends?

I just really enjoy playing music with these guys. They aren’t the type to creatively mail-it-in… we all want to make good songs. Making good music is the right thing to do.

What do you guys have planned for the rest of 2017?

We have a few fun shows coming up, after Indian Summer we are playing a Happy Mondays at the Wonder Bar  October 9th with Lyons and Levy and the Oaks. That’ll be our first Happy Mondays and Angie [Sugrim]’s going a great job over there so we’re pumped for it.

The Tide Bends perform at 2:15pm on Saturday at Indian Summer. Click here for tickets.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites