words by liz
Michael + Matt | photo by: Leighton HoEy
We've been listening to this band for a while now and we are so feelin' it- really. We've had the Jacksonville based band Faze Wave on our radar since the birth of Honey Punch, so we were super stoked to hop on Facetime with Matt and get to know him a bit! These sweet tunes will definitely become a regular listen, trust us.
How did Faze Wave begin?
I was a junior in high school, I hadn’t written songs or anything- I just really liked music. I had two friends who wanted to make music so I asked if they wanted to get together and jam. We did that and started to play in my friend’s living room and after about two weeks we were like “We should book a show!” It wasn’t for another 4 or 5 months that we actually played a show though because we got so caught up in writing. We didn’t really want to do covers- we did that very rarely because we almost immediately agreed that we wanted to write all our own music.
How would you describe your music to new listeners?
That’s a hard question! I’m really into upbeat music, but a lot of what I listen to and inspired by is really slow and relaxed and soulful- it’s really driven by vocals. I don’t really know how to explain it because there are some songs that are super relaxed and then some that are kinda eighties pop. I guess I’d just say indie alternative!
On Spotify, you guys have over 70,000 streams of your song Makeout. How did you get that exposure?
In January we got put on burp.fm which is like an indie blog and they’re really cool. After being on their playlist for a while we got 5,000 plays but as soon as we were off the playlist it declined. Randomly I checked one day and it had gotten like 4,000 overnight! About half way through February, Make Out had like 30,000 plays and we had no idea why! Spotify kept getting us new listeners even when we were off the playlist- maybe through discover weekly or things like that. Spotify has so much exposure but zero money!
Are you pursing music as your career- are you putting all your energy and effort into Faze Wave?
Definitely. Faze Wave has always been me writing music and then friends playing and wanting to be in the band and help out. It’s funny because people quickly realize that you don’t just sit down and try to write a song- it’s booking all the shows and putting three days a week into practice and just doing everything. So yes, it’s my main priority and it’s me and my drummer Michael at this point. Overtime, people had weeded themselves out but I’ve at least found a band member that’s excited about doing this full time.
Has there been any significant advice you’ve gotten from other musicians in regards to a career in music?
Kyle from DBMK and I are friends and he’s talked to me about simple advice. Also talking to Broncho when we opened for them- they’re super nice people and they’re not like major celebrities or anything but they have really inspiring music and I would almost expect them to have a chip on the shoulder. But, they’ve been really down to earth. I guess the best advice I’ve gotten from other musicians is to be honest.
Tell us about opening for Broncho!
I saw them open up for Portugal the Man and Cage the Elephant and that was crazy! I’d never heard of Broncho before and I saw them and was like “This band is sick!” That was August, so come November one of my really good friends, Leighton, was like “Hey Broncho is coming to Jacksonville, you should try opening for them!” We ended up getting the show and it was really cool. It wasn’t the biggest show we’ve ever played, but it was surreal because it was with one of my favorite bands of all time!
Do you guys do everything independently?
Everything. We go to a studio and get help recording but we fund it all, book all our shows, and do all our own promoting, and stuff like that.
Do you plan to stay on that solely independent route? Do you think that signing with a label would hinder any creative control?
We were asked a while ago if we could sign to any label, what it would be. There are massive labels that I think are sick, but I don’t care if I’m on a label or not. If one could give us representation and put Faze Wave’s name everywhere and put us in front of people without robbing us of everything we own, I think that’d be perfect! If there’s an outlet, I’m not necessarily gonna say no just because they’re a label.
Since you’re doing every independently, have you had to learn a lot about the business side of the music industry? Do you like it?
Yes I really enjoy it! I’ve booked almost every show. We started when I was 18 so I was super young and I was talking to promoters that were between their 30's and 50's and trying to book a show. I know there’s a lot of other kids in bands doing this, but it taught me a lot about communicating maturely. It’s not a majority of trial and error, it is one hundred percent trial and error with this. Everything I’ve done that has benefited Faze Wave, I’ve done before and failed. So like trying to get on a blog or book a show- everything I’ve done has been at least a third try. We had our slip ups but I’ve met a lot of people and spread our music just because we failed then I found a way that will actually work.
Does Faze Wave have anything coming up, release wise?
We released an album last year and then released Chemistry in March, but we are always writing! If I write a song and I’m excited then I don’t care about anything else! I hate waiting and hyping it up, I just want people to hear it. We are hoping to have another full album before this year is over and release three or four more singles. I have no one to answer to and I think that’s a good a thing.
Make sure to keep up with the guys + check out the playlist we put together that will give you all those Faze Wave feels.
INSTAGRAM + TWITTER @fazewavemusic