As I bundle into the back of The Ninth Wave’s tour bus, I’m offered the driver’s seat for optimal centrality for the interview.
Our chat begins with discussing Glasgow’s tight music scene, and ends with watching videos of Haydn in a loft wearing a spikey choker and a single leather glove. It was as weird as it was fabulous. As are The Ninth Wave.
The band have been through an “intense” time this past year as their line up has evolved into what it is now, of Elina, Haydn, Lewis and Louise. The Glaswegian band have just finished their first tour, launched their debut EP, Reformation, and admit to me they’ve gone in pretty hard with the celebrations. But who wouldn’t on their first tour?
Elina tells me how the band grew up in Glasgow’s music scene. “There’s not that many venues, there’s only a few good ones. You kind of don’t have a choice.” Lewis continued. “That’s how everyone knows who each other is.” Louise explains, how her and Lewis met Haydn going to the same gigs.
At the beginning, Haydn said the band used to play a lot of gigs in their hometown. “But now we don’t actually play that many. We tend to play a lot of gigs in between, so every time we come back it’s like a progression.” Elina explains how “You cant message your pal like ‘Hey, I know you came to see us last week, but do you want to come and see us again this week?’
“That’s where you need to start, but I feel like it’s really good now that every time we play in Glasgow it feels like a homecoming.”
Lewis used to love Paramore, Louise was a “wee emo” in High School, Haydn consistently loves ACDC and Elina is into post-punk 80s stuff – with all these influences, when it comes to writing, Elina says, “When we’ve tried to write songs from scratch it goes in to too many directions. It needs to have a core idea first where it can then evolve to other things, but it needs to have a focus because otherwise we all want to be so different it just doesn’t work.”
Talking about the debut EP, Elina explained, “I think overall all our songs have a similar slightly depressing theme. I feel it’s easier to put real emotions in to songs when you’re writing about something sadder than to write happy songs. I don’t like happy music. The EP is just us.”
Working with producer, Dan Austin massively changed the EP. “When we went in to the studio we didn’t really have a clue how we wanted it to sound.” Lewis said, “In the end it was these mad songs.” And that’s mad in a good way…
Speaking about the industry and their mixed gender band, Elina says, “Obviously girls and boys have different kinds of voices, I think it’s really cool to have those two voices together. It’s just sonically nice to have, it’s not ‘Oh we have females in the band because we want females in the band’. The industry is very unbalanced. Maybe females don’t get as many opportunities which is why there aren’t that many female bands, but it shouldn’t be about what gender the band is, it should be about whether they’re good or not.”
“This is just who we are and this is how we work. It’s nice to have a thing that not that many bands have though.”
Going back to Haydn’s spikey choker and one leather glove, the story began when the band had a three-story house all to themselves in Inverness post-gig. Lewis was directing Haydn’s videos, “He’s hearing people in the loft and weird stuff keeps happening. They’re all a joke, but Haydn got a text off his mum saying his Grandpa went to his mum’s door asking if Haydn had sold his car for drugs.”
“She said that his bottom lip was quivering because he was so worried. I’ve still got my car.” Haydn confirmed.
Before I hopped out of the van, I just had to ask, is the name The Ninth Wave based on the Kate Bush song? “No. But we change it every time.” Says Haydn, deciding that this time it can be the Russian painting. “It’s been a thing for so long nobody even knows where it came from. Only Haydn was in the band when they came up with the name…” And he admits that he can’t remember the reason.
Well, that cleared that up.
Photo by Andrew McCormack
Words by Eliza Frost