Asbury Surf Interview: Blue Wave Theory


We’re proud to be one of the sponsors of the second annual Asbury Park Surf Music Festival. The fest will be taking place on Saturday July 11th at the world famous Asbury Lanes in, you guessed it, Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Returning to the festival this year is Blue Wave Theory. The band is absolutely fantastic – their intricate guitar work and fabulous drum work make them a music lover’s (and surf rock lover’s) dream. We recently caught up with BWT’s Steve Rabeler to talk about the wildest thing that’s happened during one of their gigs, the ultimate surf anthem, and why they’re coming back to Asbury Park this summer.

Blue Wave Theory Is (Members & Instruments They Play): Steve Rabeler – guitar, Bob Trimble – guitar, Kevin Stamper – bass, Rob Wolleben – drums

We Formed In: 2007

We’re Based Out Of: South Jersey, near Philadelphia

The Story Behind Our Name: One of the original goals of Blue Wave Theory was to create a fusion of instrumental surf and progressive rock, and the name of the band was intended to reflect that. The name is a combination of “Blue Wave” (representing surf music) and “Wave Theory” (representing prog rock….wave theory is the physics term where light is transmitted as a wave). The fusion of surf and prog was not entirely successful, although certain prog elements, like odd time signatures and freeform space rock, occasionally appear in our music.

Our Sound Has Been Likened To: Dick Dale, Laika & The Cosmonauts, The Mermen and others. It depends on a person’s points of reference.


What’s been your proudest accomplishment as a member of Blue Wave Theory?

We’ve opened shows for Dick Dale twice, which was really fun. And thanks to digital distribution, we’ve been able to share our music with surf music fans from all over the world.

What’s been one of the most outrageous things that’s happened during one of your shows?

A strange thing happened at a show where we performing outdoors on the sidewalk in Flemington, NJ. A somewhat psychotic looking individual came up to us and yelled “What’s your favorite Zeppelin song?” I mentioned some random Zeppelin song, but apparently it wasn’t the “right” answer….but fortunately he just walked away in disappointment.

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What do you love about being in Blue Wave Theory?

I enjoy the abstract nature of instrumental music, and it’s fun and challenging to create and perform original rock music where vocals are not a concern.

There’s an endless sea of surf bands, and bands influenced by the surf sound — what separates you guys from everyone else?

If nothing else, our song titles are longer! (laughs) For example, two original songs in our current set list have excessively long titles: “Suddenly It Occurred To Me There’s No Ocean Here (Part 2)”, and “Haile Selassie Hits The Beach.”

You’ll be performing at The Asbury Surf Music Festival this year, which will be your second year doing so. Can you talk about the experience of performing at the very first ever, and why did you want to come back?

Asbury Park has such a rich musical history, and it’s also a very cool beach community. Last year was the first time Blue Wave Theory had the opportunity to perform in Asbury Park, and we were excited to be part of the 1st annual surf fest. There are a lot of excellent surf bands in the northeast, and having a surf music festival in this area to showcase the bands was long overdue…so our thanks go out to Vincent Minervino, who does a terrific job in creating, developing and curating the festival. The annual event now adds to the musical legacy and cultural fabric of Asbury Park.

What is it about surf music that inspired you to form a band and play this type of music?


I’ve always enjoyed the beach, the ocean, and the feeling of an endless summer. Instrumental surf music reflects those feelings in a distinct non-verbal way. And like the ocean, surf music can be both thrilling and calming.

What is the ultimate surf rock anthem of all-time, and why?

“Miserlou” and “Wipe Out” are probably the most influential and recognizable instrumental surf rock anthems. Both songs are extremely catchy and feature musical elements that pretty much define the genre. Also, both songs continue to inspire and influence countless musicians.

What is your ultimate go-to surf-inspired/beachy style drink (e.g. Mai-Tai, Zombie, Margarita, a specific beer, etc.)?

I’m always happy with an iced tea…it’s cool and summery.

What are you most excited about for the band for the rest of 2015?

We’re really looking forward to playing the Asbury Park Surf Music Festival again this year! Another cool beach event we’ll be peforming at this summer is The Art Of Surfing Festival in Ocean City at the end of July. We also have some music featured on the soundtrack to an independent short film from the UK, which will be released later this summer.

Blue Wave Theory performs this Saturday at The Asbury Park Surf Music Festival at 1:45pm


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