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Interview: Cody Simpson And The Tide Release ‘Wave One EP’

After a summer of early-morning surf sessions, reading, writing, and jamming for friends and passersby at midnight rooftop gatherings, California-based Cody Simpson & the Tide have released their new EP, Wave One, via eOne Music. Pulling inspiration from surf music, rock music, and psychedelia to provide a vivid snapshot of a carefree summer, the EP perfectly encapsulates Venice Beach and the sun-kissed streets of Southern California where it was penned. Jonathan Matthews had a laid back chat with Simpson about the EP, and the possibility of an Oz tour in the New Year!

So tell me about the Wave One EP

Well what would you like me to tell you about it *laughs*

Well I understand you had a summer filled with “revelatory experiences” what kind of stuff did you get up to in the summer, it sounds pretty full on?

(Laughs), mate just a lot of reading, a lot of writing, you know… practicing guitar, a lot of growth personally… I spent a little while living down in Venice Beach where I took some time to really take a step back and evaluate my, uh, work and the kinds of things I would want to do moving forward. That coincided conveniently by me meeting these guys who are now in my band with me. We started out writing all this music and sort of ended up creating this sound as a trio together by writing and producing songs and ,uh, kind of conceiving this band and coming to the realisation we wanted to move forward as a group. That has really given me a lot of time and a lot of freedom to explore my guitar playing and different styles of music.

You said you met these new guys this summer, did that really help with finding this new sound we hear on the EP.

Yeah, about 2 years ago I met my drummer Adrian who I met through a couple of friends here in Los Angeles, I’d known of him previously because he’s quite well known in the musical realm over here. He’s quite a prominent jazz drummer and quite a prodigy being so young and having toured with some very prestigious jazz musicians we kind of bonded over that. When we were touring we met our bass player who was performing with a band he was in. We watched his band every night and eventually poached him..haha. We were all living down at Venice and doing like weekly gigs near this spot I was living at with a couple of mates, inviting people in off the street and developing ourselves and working on this sound together.

So after this release are you going to be having some time off now or going on tour after – whats the plan?

We’ve actually gone straight back into the studio to work on recording as much as we possibly can lining up some singles and new material for next year. We’ve got a couple of singles we plan on releasing next year. We’ll be out doing gigs after that. But we’re just focusing on developing new music. We have about 30 or 40 song ideas we’re currently working with.

Will new releases carry on with this new raw, authentic sound, or be more produced versus having the sound you want personally.

Umm yeah, I think, It will be an extension and a step forward from the four tracks we released. We have some more valid kind of style tracks but we also have a lot of up tempo ones from a similar kind of vein to others on the EP. But I do think we certainly held back on our strongest stuff, just because we wanted to.

So we will probably see some of these better, stronger songs on the next release then.

Yeah, we chose these 4 songs as examples and a first step to get our feet wet. I’m very, very proud of it but I do think we held back our biggest stuff, just for the sake of releasing them next year.

You can really pick up on the surf influences in your music, particular in the guitar riffs. Is this more so inspired by the local surf, or old school musical influences such as the Beach Boys and surf punk bands

Umm yeah I mean, the range of influence goes I guess from sort of more 50’s groups, me personally, my all time favourite entertainers and vocalists are Elvis Presley and others from the 50’s, rock and roll guys, into the Beach Boys and like the 60’s more psychedelic and more modern pop sensibilities which we direct throughout it. So yeah, It’s a range of influences. We’re just trying to develop something modern and unique also…

What song out of the 4 tracks on the Wave One EP means the most to you personally

They all do. But I’d have to say I guess what means the most to me on a more personal level would probably be “Waiting for the Tide” the first track because of the lyrical content extended from a poem I wrote. Because often times if you write poetry and you have to convert it into lyrics theres certain conversions and adjustments you have to make to make it work and translate it into song. When you turn a poem into a song it can be quite tricky. That one kind of remained original. Or “Tell me Why” the third track.

I was going to ask you about that track actually, You describe “Tell me Why” as the song on the EP which makes you feel the most vulnerable. I think it is one of the best songs, as do many other fans. Can you elaborate on your feelings as to why it makes you feel most vulnerable.

Yeah, I think I don’t mean vulnerable as much as it is “revealing”, which I guess can kind of conjure up a certain vulnerability in me, knowing that it is revealing. I guess because a lot of the other stuff is more open to interpretation. But those are the most direct lyrics I have written, and probably ever will write. So just because I thought that the things that I wanted to get across and the kind of lyrics I wanted to get across could only work by it being straight to the point and direct about it. You know I touch on a certain range of topics of a personal nature… That song overall and as a composition is probably my favourite out of those 4 as well.

You’ve certainly come a long way since being picked up on YouTube and signed, do you have any plans to come to Australia and tour the new works in the new year

Yeah yeah I’d be very, very eager to, we just sort of need to get out some more stuff and continue to establish ourselves further. I’d like to come back with as much material as possible and I’m really pushing to come back and tour. I will definitely be returning as frequent as possible. No rough dates as yet though..

Is there any thing you would like to say to your fans back home

Umm… I MISS YOU.

And a message to the people of Australia:

I’m really loving here so far but I really look forward to coming back and playing gigs. I do want to end up back there eventually anyway once it’s possible for me to do that.

Now there’s something to look forward to in 2018! Meanwhile, get on the EP! https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/wave-one-ep/1290760635

Interview by Jonathan Matthews

 

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