HomeInterviewsTide Bends on Their New Lineup, Their New EP 'Say Yeah' &...

Tide Bends on Their New Lineup, Their New EP ‘Say Yeah’ & More

The Tide Bends
Photo Credit: Nick Cucci

Ever get worried when a band you really like has a lineup change? Do thoughts of Gary Cherrone joining Van Halen bounce throughout your brain?

This is exactly what happened to this writer when it was revealed that Tide Bends — an excellent band from the Asbury Park scene — announced their lineup change. Yet, when listening to the band’s new EP Say Yeah all those fears were assuaged. This new incarnation of The Tide Bends delivers a new vibe and fluidity with vocals being more of an emphasis but never sacrificing that terrific groove and guitar work.

Recently, Pop Break caught up with David Hough of Tide Bends to discuss the new lineup, new music and more.

Tide Bends Are (Band Members + Instruments They Play):
David Hough (guitar, vocals)
Dan Nolan (drums)
Rudy Meier (guitar, keys, vocals)
MJ Hancock (bass guitar, keys, vocals)

We’re Based Out Of: Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Year We Were Formed: 2015 or 2016.

Story Behind Our Name: Funny thing about band names — everyone thinks they’ve got a great one until they need it. There’s a nod to Radiohead and some oceanic vibes mixed in, I guess. It’s polysemous.

Our Sound Has Been Likened To:  “You guys sound like ___________, and a bit like ___________, you know?” I’ve heard plenty, but Oasis, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Brian Jonestown Massacre stand out. Their words, not mine.

Famous/Awesome Bands We’ve Shared the Stage With: 
A bunch of years ago, we were playing with Gods at AP Moto Club (RIP) and White Denim came through after their summer stage gig and played for a while.  Pretty incredible musicians, truly.

The first time we spoke withTide Bends was back in 2018, and there’s been a lot of lineup changes since then. Can you talk about how adding new players such as Rudy Meier and MJ Hancock has impacted the band?

Say Yeah by The Tide Bends

Since Rudy joined in August 2022 and MJ a year ago, The Tide Bends have naturally shifted towards a more traditional song structure, letting vocals and instrumentation shape the music. We still embrace extended jams to tell stories, but the move to a traditional framework has been a positive evolution. We have more songs lined up after this five-track EP.

Again, throwing it back to our first conversation — you guys were dropping the Greened EP and that included the song “Where Are My Friends” — which was one of my personal favorite songs from that  year. Can you talk about how the new EP, Say Yeah is different — both sonically and lyrically — from Greened?

Throwing it back to our first chat—thanks for that. ‘Where Are My Friends’ started from a riff I brought in, just jamming with Dan and another guy. Same vibe with ‘Glass Jaw’ and ‘Grasshopper’ on Say Yeah—they were riffs we didn’t overthink or beat to death in rehearsal. This time, we let things flow, tweaking here and there with everyone’s input. Lyrics are still very anecdotal, but now we’ve definitely filled out the sound with more vocals and guitars taking charge.

Rudy Meier also mixed and engineered the new album. Can you talk about how it is having someone in-house doing the production on the music differs from having someone outside the band doing it? Does that lend to crafting a song more towards the band’s creative vision?

We’ve had great experiences with Paul Ritchie and Chris Badami before, but Rudy’s work in our own space felt like the natural choice this time. Feel like I’d been living under a rock because Rudy’s talent behind the board is truly impressive; his editing is clean and his approach is gentle … tender, when he needs to be. Having a band member handle production definitely helped us stay true to our vision. It wasn’t solely about budget — it was about ensuring the songs sounded just right, and Rudy really delivered on that.

The EP drops this week on Mint 400 Records, can you discuss why you went with this label, and what it has afforded you.

Biff Swenson (Yawn Mower, Grasser) suggested Mint 400 Records for our next EP and after talking with Neil and hearing how hard he worked with bands, it felt like the right move. Personally, life’s ramping up—new baby, more responsibilities (duh). Partnering with Mint 400 feels like the right step to get these songs to reach their potential.

Are there any plans for playing shows to promote the EP, and if so where can we see you?

We played Upstate NY recently and have a few other out of town dates but we’ll be keeping it very light for local shows this summer. Can’t say much more than that at this time.

For those who’d be stoked to see you live, can you talk about the experience of a Tide Bends show — especially if they haven’t seen the band since pre-pandemic?

The goal is to draw a powerful line between us and the audience.  I don’t care if it’s 500 people or five, often it’s the latter. I think people can tell really quick when a band isn’t connected with each other and it’s tough to come back from that. The band’s gotta be connected and it should translate outward. At least that’s how I am — I don’t need theatrics but I want a meaningful performance and that’s what we go for.

What is it that you love about being in Tide Bends?

Especially with this latest line up, I really love playing with these guys and seeing how the ideas take shape and get this shot of life.  There’s a lot of honesty in the room now and that’s served the band really well.

Finally, outside of the EP release, what are you most excited about for 2024?

A couple shows that are on the horizon, a short tour hopefully abroad and the next batch of songs is going to be fucking sick.  Honestly, the best stuff we’ve ever done and we haven’t even played most of them yet.

Tide Bends new EP Say Yeah can be streamed on Spotify.

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, Disney+ shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.
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