Following the recent announcement of their new album You’re Welcome, Wavves is back to share a new single, Animal, which starts in a measured cadence before escalating into familiarly frantic territory.
You’re Welcome is set for release on Friday May 19 via Wavves’ own Ghost Ramp label via Inertia Music. The band has already shared two singles, Daisy and the album’s title track, You’re Welcome.
The word “brat” has followed Nathan Williams around for almost a decade, but at the age of 30, with a fully-fledged business to his name as well as the ongoing success of Wavves, his rebellious streak has proven not just purposeful but pretty damn inspiring. The San Diego native knows how to play the system, so when the major labels came knocking a few years ago looking to turn Wavves into the next so-called saviours of radio rock’n’roll, Williams and bassist Stephen Pope made sure they used it to their advantage.
“We were just trying to go to eat at nice places in LA,” he laughs. “There were a few people from majors who would not stop reaching out to us. They were obsessed. They thought we had heat and they needed an edgy big rock band like they used to have in the 90s.”
When Warners came along and offered them a cash advance too good to refuse, they accepted while being shrewdly aware of what they were getting themselves into. “We still owned all of our shit, which was the most important part for us. For them it was a shot in the dark.”
The day to day of being signed to a major, however, was unpredictable and beyond their wildest nightmares. “I figured it would run the same as [prior label] Fat Possum, just with more people. I was wrong.” By the time they were readying to release their second Warners album – 2015’s V – shots were fired. Williams released single Way Too Much on Soundcloud before the label had approved it, the label forgot to sign off on the artwork and, in the end, Wavves felt swept under the rug. Ultimately it felt like a career backwards step.
“I’d never come in contact with such a poorly run company in my life,” says Williams. “It was anarchy. Nobody knew what they were doing. Turnover rate was like an American Apparel. It was really all cons – unless you’re a cash cow. For everyone else, major labels can’t help you. Maybe at one time they could, but that time is dead.”
The birds-eye view on Warners’ inner mess wound up pushing Williams to legitimise his own business – Ghost Ramp. “I figured if these idiots could get by, we could do it a hundred times better.”
You’re Welcome is out Friday May 19.