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For their debut album, see Wavves (album).
Wavves at Sasquatch 2011.jpg
Wavves performing at Sasquatch in 2011.
Background information
Origin San Diego, California, United States
Years active 2008–present
Associated acts
Website www.wavves.net
  • Nathan Williams
  • Alex Gates
  • Stephen Pope
  • Brian Hill
Past members

Wavves is an American rock band, based in San Diego, California. Formed in 2008 by singer-songwriter Nathan Williams (born June 12, 1986) the band also features Alex Gates (guitar, backing vocals), Stephen Pope (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Brian Hill (drums).


Formation and early days (2008)[edit]

Wavves started in 2008 as the recording project of Nathan Williams. Wavves released several 7"s as well as a cassette leading up to the first release, Wavves. After gaining recognition, Ryan Ulsh was enlisted as a touring drummer and Wavves embarked on their first US and European tours. Wavves released their self-titled debut album in 2008, subsequently drawing the attention of Pitchfork Media.[6][7] At the time, the band consisted of guitarist Nathan Williams and drummer Ryan Ulsh.

Wavvves (2009–2010)[edit]

Their second full-length album, Wavvves, was released on February 3, 2009,[8] and was well received by outlets such as Spin,[9] A.V. Club,[10] and Pitchfork.[11]

Singer Nathan Williams experienced a public breakdown as the band was unable to complete their set at the 2009 Barcelona Primavera Sound Festival. Williams, who admitted he had taken a cocktail of ecstasy and Valium, fought with drummer Ryan Ulsh and insulted the Spanish crowd, who then pelted him with bottles and a green shoe. Apologizing for their performance, Williams admitted the next day that he was addicted to alcohol. As a result, the band canceled the remainder of their European tour.[12] When Ulsh quit the band, Zach Hill replaced him as the drummer for Wavves for a brief time. Two members formerly of the late Jay Reatard's band, drummer Billy Hayes and bassist Stephen Pope, joined Wavves in November 2009.[13] Williams also reported that an album featuring Zach Hill on drums was to be expected towards the end of 2010 along with a possible EP featuring Hayes and Pope.[14]

King of the Beach (2010–2011)[edit]

The third Wavves album, titled King of the Beach, was released on August 3, 2010, by Fat Possum Records, and featured the new lineup of Nathan Williams, Billy Hayes, and Stephen Pope. Produced by Grammy-winning producer Dennis Herring at Sweet Tea in Mississippi, the album received generally positive reviews from the likes of Paste Magazine,[15] Dusted Magazine,[16] and The Onion's A.V. Club.[17] The album received an average of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic,[18] based on 26 critics reviews. The album was named the 24th-best album of the year by Spin, and the 50th best album of the year by Pitchfork. The group's single "Post Acid" was featured in a 3-minute and fifty second promotional cartoon called: "Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation"[19]

Wavves released a new EP, Life Sux, in September 2011. It consisted of six tracks, including cameos from Bethany Cosentino and Bob Bruno from Best Coast, also Damian Abraham from Fucked Up. The album also contains a live track "In the Sand".

Billy Hayes left Wavves in November 2010 and was replaced by Jacob Cooper, formerly of The Mae Shi.

In 2011, Wavves made a guest appearance in the short-lived MTV animated series Good Vibes, performing their songs "King of the Beach," "Bug," and "I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl".[20]

Afraid of Heights (2012–2014)[edit]

Wavves appeared on Big Boi's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, on the song "Shoes for Running," which was released December 11, 2012.

On December 12, 2012 Wavves released a music video for the song "Sail to the Sun." Nathan Williams announced the release on his Twitter.[21]

Wavves released their fourth studio album, Afraid of Heights on March 26, 2013 on Mom + Pop Music. The album peaked at #81 on the Billboard 200, the band's highest charting album to date. Still in Rock ranked the album third best of 2013.[22] The second single from the album, "Demon to Lean On" reached #36 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart. The band also made their network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman, performing "Demon to Lean On".[23]

Their song "Nine Is God" is exclusive to the video game Grand Theft Auto V, where band members Nathan and Stephen host Vinewood Boulevard Radio, the station which plays the track. The band performed the song on Conan in support of the game.[24] The opening notes to the track "Dog" can be also be heard in the game during the introduction of the "Third Way" ending.

V and No Life For Me (2015–present)[edit]

In early January 2015, Nathan Williams had announced that Wavves would be releasing both a fifth studio album and a collaboration album with Cloud Nothings during summer of 2015.

In April 2015, Wavves contributed to Welcome to Los Santos, a collaboration album consisting of musicians featured in Grand Theft Auto V. The album was later added to the soundtrack of the game.[25] Wavves' collaboration album with Cloud Nothings titled No Life for Me was released on June 28th in Europe and was released worldwide the next day through Ghost Ramp.[26] Apparently; the song heavy metal detox was supposed to be called Heavy "Mental" Detox[27]

On July 16, 2015, "Way Too Much", the first single from Wavves' fifth studio album, V was released.[28] On July 31, "Flamezesz", the second single from the album was released and on August 12 the third single was released, called "Heavy Metal Detox". One August 31, Wavves released their fourth glimpse into their upcoming album, with "My Head Hurts" via Beats 1 webcast. V was released on October 2, 2015, to generally positive reviews. V scored a 6.5 on the music site Pitchfork.[29] The album received a score of 78 on Metacritic , based on 11 reviews, which is the highest score the band has received on the site.

Still in Rock notes that "the music of Wavves also contains something very universal, something close to concept of collective unconscious. The music of Wavves has indeed this ability to remind us of the common part of our adolescence as if the band manages to bring us back those old feelings of our 15-18."[30]


  • Nathan Williams - vocals, lead and rhythm guitar (2008 - present)
  • Stephen 'Stevie' Pope - backing vocals, bass guitar (2009 - present)
  • Alex Gates - backing vocals, lead and rhythm guitar (2012 - present)
  • Brian Hill - drums (2013 - present)

Former members[edit]

  • Ryan Ulsh - drums (2008-2009)
  • Zach Hill - drums (2009)
  • Billy Hayes - drums, backing vocals (2010)
  • Jacob Cooper - drums (2010-2012)


Main article: Wavves discography
Studio albums


  1. ^ Cohen, Ian (July 20, 2015). "Wavves X Cloud Nothings - No Life For Me". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 2, 2015. 
  2. ^ Dolan, Jon (October 1, 2015). "Wavves - V". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  3. ^ Hughes, Josiah (September 23, 2015). "Wavves - "Pony"". Exclaim!. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Brown, Harley (September 23, 2015). "Wavves – Life Sux EP". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ Westhoff, Ben (August 23, 2012). "The 20 Worst Hipster Bands: The Complete List". LA Weekly. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ Hogan, Marc, "On Repeat: Wavves: "Wavves"", Pitchfork Media, December 8, 2008.
  7. ^ New Music Monday, "Hot Indie Albums for 2009", ABC News, January 12, 2009.
  8. ^ Fat Possum Records, "Wavves: Wavvves, fatpossumrecords.com, retrieved February 11, 2009.
  9. ^ Kornharber, Spencer, "Wavves, "Wavvves" (Fat Possum)", February 28, 2009.
  10. ^ Martins, Chris, "Wavvves", The A.V. Club, March 17, 2009.
  11. ^ Bevan, David, "Wavves: Wavvves", March 4, 2009.
  12. ^ "Bigger Than the Basement: Wavves, 'King of the Beach,' at Rock and Roll Hotel". The Washington Post. June 23, 2010. Archived from the original on June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Jay Reatard's Old Band Joins Wavves | News". Pitchfork. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  14. ^ Carlick, Stephen (2010-08-03). "Nathan Williams Talks More 2010 Releases as Wavves Hit the Road • News •". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  15. ^ Cummings, Raymond, "Wavves: King of the Beach [Fat Possum]", Paste Magazine, August 5, 2010.
  16. ^ Donnelly, Ben "Dusted Reviews: Wavves - King of the Beach", Dusted Magazine, August 3, 2010.
  17. ^ Williams, Christian "King Of The Beach", The A.V. Club, August 3, 2010.
  18. ^ "King of the Beach - Wavves", Metacritic, retrieved August 13, 2010.
  19. ^ "Scott Pilgrim vs The Animation (complete short from [adult swim])". YouTube. 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  20. ^ "Music from the Season Finale of Good Vibes". Soundtrack.mtv.com. 2011-12-29. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  21. ^ "Wavves: "Sail to the Sun" | Tracks". Pitchfork. 2012-12-12. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  22. ^ "Brooklyn based Music Blog: Classement 2013 : Meilleurs opus du n°10 à 1 (Best LPs)". Still in Rock. 2004-02-26. Retrieved 2015-11-22. 
  23. ^ "Wavves - Demon To Lean On". YouTube.com. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  24. ^ "Wavves - Nine Is God". YouTube.com. 2013-09-12. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  25. ^ "Ariel Pink, Danny Brown, Killer Mike, Wavves, Earl Sweatshirt, More on The Alchemist and Oh No's Grand Theft Auto V Comp - Leave". Pitchfork. 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2015-04-14. 
  26. ^ Coughlan, Jamie. "Cloud Nothings + Wavves Release Collab LP 'No Life For Me'". Overblown. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  27. ^ according to magazine NME (interview given July 2015)
  28. ^ Brennan, Collin (2015-07-16). "Wavves premiere new song “Way Too Much” — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2015-11-22. 
  29. ^ "Wavves: V". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2015-10-09. 
  30. ^ "Brooklyn based Music Blog: Album Review : Wavves - V (Surf Punk)". Still in Rock. 2004-02-26. Retrieved 2015-11-22. 

External links[edit]