Asbury Park’s Well Wisher weaves together the genres of indie, pop and alternative, all with a retro flair. Their songs feature catchy choruses, fresh guitar riffs, and Natalie Newbold’s candid lyrics and true-to-heart vocals. The Pop Break had the opportunity to interview lead singer, Natalie Newbold, all about Well Wisher’s origins, how they’ve grown as musicians, their two singles “Rumours” and “I’ll Go,” and news of upcoming music and shows.
Who is Well Wisher? (Names of your band members and the instruments you play): Well Wisher is currently myself (Natalie Newbold) on guitar and vocals, Lucas Dalakian on bass and vocals and Biff Swenson on drums. We’ve gone through a couple line-up changes and have previously played with Erik Kase Romero, Michael Linardi, Kwame Korkor and Chris Loporto.
What year did you form: Well Wisher started in 2016 as a project for some of my songs that didn’t fit with dollys’ sound. At first it was Erik Kase Romero, Michael Linardi and myself jamming out some of the tunes at home (we were all living together at Erik and his wife Lisa’s house). Now that dollys has ended, it has become my main focus so I’ve been working on getting a permanent line up!
I know that you are based out of Asbury Park, so I’m wondering, what is your favorite part about its music scene: I really enjoy how diverse and supportive the scene is. Friends in other projects and bands always seem to go out of their way to go to shows, buy music and generally be appreciative of what you do even if it’s vastly different than what they do. So many people here are connected by the common element of music and what it means to be a musician in 2017.
What influences do each of you bring into the band? Collectively, how would you describe the sound of Well Wisher? Ah, that’s a tough one. I think we are still discovering ‘our’ sound because the project is so new. I am a huge fan of classic songwriters like the Beatles, Brian Wilson and Elliot Smith, but have always been captivated sonically by bands like Built to Spill, Superchunk and the Pixies.
How has being a part of Well Wisher helped you grow as musicians: I think that being in Well Wisher has helped me write songs more efficiently and more diversely. The couple weeks after dollys broke up, I started each day by writing for an hour. I felt like I was able to see a completed idea from start to finish every couple of days by working that way and it made me feel great!
After a couple listens, I feel like the song “Rumours” is a little more bittersweet and contemplative, because you’re wondering about rumors that you’re hearing from someone who meant so much to you, but is no longer a major part of your life. And then “I’ll Go” is more about someone making the final decision to “just go” and being very definitive about it. Does this ring true with these tracks? How would you explain what these songs are about and what they mean to you: Yes! What an accurate description! I had been hearing some talk that a close, old friend of mine had been spreading gossip. I was upset and talking about it to my ex-boyfriend’s mom while driving my car when a little bird flew into my windshield. It was really startling and I think I went home and wrote the lyrics that day. I wrote “I’ll go” thinking about an old friend of mine who I felt like never tried to help himself. Sometimes it felt like it was just easier to leave situations with him rather then try to mend them.
What would you like listeners to know about upcoming music and shows? What are you looking forward to the most in the next couple of months: Over the next two weeks, we’ll be traveling a bit playing a couple dates in the northeast and then we’ll be back working on new songs for recording in December and January. I am really looking forward to our show at The Saint on November 6th with Mom Jeans, Prince Daddy and the Hyena, Kississippi and Toy Cars!
What would you say is your favorite song to perform during a show? What is it about that song that you like so much: My favorite song to perform right now is a new one called “All My Love.” I really like the arrangement that we worked out and I like singing the chorus a lot. It has a high part that has been pretty challenging, but really fun!
What does creating and performing music mean to you? For you, what is the purpose of music? How do you want your songs to connect to listeners: Creating and performing music means so much to me. It has been a means of escape. It has helped me focus and understand my thoughts and feelings and how to articulate them through creativity, perseverance and art. Just like so many others, I’ve had a fair amount of struggles throughout my life with mental illness and music has been one of the major things in my life that has helped me through that.
If there’s one thing that I’d like listeners to take away from our music it’s that bad relationships and hard times come and go. Sometimes you have no control over the things that affect us negatively. The only thing you can control is how you interpret that information and how you reflect that on the people you love. Life is too short to punish the people we love because of how we are feeling.