HomeInterviewsHappy Mondays with The Tide Bends

Happy Mondays with The Tide Bends

The Tide Bends enlighten listeners with their unique blend of psychedelia, shoegaze, garage and surf rock. Their live performance is a series of build-ups and breakdowns that keep listeners captivated and wondering what will come next.

The Pop Break had the opportunity to interview The Tide Bends to find out more about their sound, the inspiration behind their band name, details about their recent releases and a sneak peak at what’s to come this summer—lots of shows and new music.

Who is The Tide Bends? (Names of your band members and the instruments you play): The Tide Bends is Dan Nolan on drums, Gary Zampini on bass guitar, and Dave Hough on guitar and vocals.

I see that you guys are from Asbury Park—where do you tend to play? Where are some of your favorite places to perform in the area and why do you like them: Most of the clubs and bars here in Asbury Park, and we get out to Brooklyn and Philadelphia, upstate NY. We’re lucky to have a bunch of great places to hold live music right here in town. It’s always fun to play APYC, especially in the summer when it’s hot and everything spills out onto the boardwalk. Bond Street Basement has been incredible- there’s so much energy down there, and the same goes for the Saint.

How did you decide on the nautical name of The Tide Bends? I feel like it fits well with the pyschedelic shoegaze vibes of your music as it’s always flowing and changing shape, and it just sounds so fluid–if that makes sense. How does this name reflect the sound of your music: Haha, yeah that makes sense to me. I mean, I think growing up here at the beach and in a marine setting definitely had some play in the name. We’re all in the water quite a bit, surfing, swimming, floating, so it felt applicable. But I think it’s funny how everyone has the most killer band names—until you actually need one, and that’s why they created the Notes app on the iPhone.

From psychedelia to shoegaze, surf rock, indie and garage rock, what sound elements or genres stand out the most to listeners in your songs: Would definitely say that we don’t aim or try to write songs into one area or genre; wherever the next song or jam lands is where it lands. The songs are kinda all over the place and diverse but I like that. The idea of music that is psychedelic is more interesting to us than psychedelic music as a genre. Does that make sense? It’s a little tough for me because psych and garage rock genres are so wide and far-reaching and there’s so much lumped into those categories so I don’t know where we stand with them nor do we really care too much. Surf rock to me is more ‪Dick Dale‬ and ‪Gary Hoey‬.

How do you create such a spacey, dreamy atmosphere with your music: Space is good, we could all use a lot more of it. We’ve been recording with Paul Ritchie and have been fortunate because he really gets the vibe of each song, and he’ll give us his thoughts on a layer or something that could make a particular song float or move a little more. The recording process with him is very collaborative and we’ve been really pleased with everything coming out. None of us in the band are gear heads or anything, but I definitely use a good amount of delay and reverb to fill things out, and sometimes I go a little overboard with it.

While you’re up on stage performing, what do you want show-goers to be feeling during your high-energy set: I’m not sure our whole set is high-energy- because we like to kinda ramp things up and then back them off and then back up. Varying tempos and taking space breaks in songs when it feels like that’s what needs to happen for the mood of that song. I hope people are feeling ‘something’ when they listen or come to a show and whatever that something is, is what it’s supposed to be, as long as it’s not furious (ha). It’d be nice if people were able move away from thinking or feeling the other heavier, pressing elements of their days or lives while they were at a show.

From your first EP Greened to your most recent single, “Thrust,” how do you think your music has evolved over the past year and a half: When Gary joined the band the song writing took a turn for the better, I think, and we all had this unspoken understanding that we want to take the songs- writing, structure, etc- further and spend time on each one to make it the best it can be, and I think that’s yielded songs that feel good to play. That’s not to say we don’t have a bunch of ideas that we’ve thrown away or put aside for later, but when we listen to a rehearsal recording afterwards and it sticks in your head through the day and everyone starts coming up with different ideas, that’s when we know it’s something to develop and let open up. All the newer songs we’re recording and working on are just diverse, one song from the next, which is a lot of fun creatively.

As far as the Greened EP, is there any main theme or idea that stands out in these songs? What does this EP mean to you? What is your favorite part about this collection of songs: I don’t see a true theme so much through the EP, because I think we had seven or eight songs and we picked the five we liked best at the time. The EP means a lot just in that it was our first push into playing these songs live and then laying them down and seeing how they developed from demos to finished songs. When Dan and I started jamming together I wanted to have something to work off of and before I left to meet up with him I just messed with a riff, which became “Where are my friends” and that kind of unfolded really easily into a fleshed out song. For me it’s hard to say I have a favorite part of it, but the song-writing process- how Dan and I worked on those songs- that would’ve been be my favorite part.

So your last release was with the single “Thrust” back in November. What is this track about? How does the album art play into the song’s meaning? Was there a specific sound or feeling you wanted to convey to listeners with this track? If so, what is it: It may be less what it’s about and more what it feels like. “Thrust” is more driving, in-your-face than our other tunes. Paul did a great job capturing what we were going for with “Thrust.” I did the artwork for the single kinda crudely in something a step up from paint shop 2.0 haha, but I think it turned out ok. Our friend Corey Frank (Summer Rental Studios) is a talented photo and videographer and used that song in his latest surf movie ‘Ripple.’ There’s definitely a surge of energy behind that song so hopefully someone listening feels a bit of that.

How would you describe the lyrical style of your music: Probably honest and slightly cerebral, mostly experience-based. It’s very song-to-song, sometimes I go into it with a thought in my head and other times I listen to the song and then see what kind of feelings or thoughts it evokes and then try (hard) to expand on that as much as I can.

Do you have new music in the works? What can you tell listeners regarding upcoming music or other exciting news: Yeah, we just finished up three songs this spring, which we are really happy with and will probably release a couple as singles this summer. Then we have more songs in the works, so our plan right now is to put together another four or five songs and release a full album. Basically, the new songs are a progression and we are continuing to mix it up and bring in other influences and ideas.

What song should someone listen to in order to get a sense of what you guys are all about? How does this song convey your collective sound: “Told You I’m Fine” is a good entry into the general atmosphere of this band, I think. The way that song kinda varies in its mood could be a theme for how we look at putting things together.

What’s in store for The Tide Bends this summer and for the rest of 2018: We’re playing the Wonder Bar for ‪Happy Mondays‬ today (6/4) with our good friends Lyons and Renee Maskin – that’s going to be a lot of fun. ‪Happy Mondays‬ is such a good thing to have going on. There are a bunch of local shows coming up in town at Bond Street Basement in June and The Saint in early July–the summers in Asbury Park are always insane and packed with things going on. We’re out of town for a few shows as well which is nice to run out and come back. The rest of this year is going to be busy with recording more songs and hopefully getting them out in the Fall sometime. And we’re looking to get out on the road for a few trips for sure.


Laura Curry
Laura Curry
Laura Curry is a Rutgers University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Interviewing bands and writing about music is her passion. She is a frequent concert-goer, whether they’re happening in New Brunswick basements, Asbury Park venues, concert halls in NYC and anywhere in between. Alternative rock is her go-to genre (i.e. Kings of Leon, Cage the Elephant, Foals, The Maine and lots more). When she isn’t writing for The Pop Break, she works at the North Brunswick Public Library, which offers plenty of Fantasy/Adventure novels to quench her love of reading. Additionally, she takes on creative projects from dream catchers and scrapbooks to paintings and jewelry making. She’s always happy to talk about her furry Maine Coon cat Austen and his knack for playing fetch and hide and seek. Just try not to ask about her next career move, because trust me, she’s working on it.

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