It has been written that the beer goes down a little faster and tastes a little better at a Winter Wave show. Granted, that comes from their own bio, but it does sound like fun, and by a listen to their latest release, Paranoia, it sounds like it could be legit. Winter Wave music sounds like great ’90s alternative music, à la Weezer, Wheatus and maybe even the Pixies. Despite the name, listening to the album reminds me of summers in Jax Beach, bar-hopping on bikes, getting dangerously close to sunstrokes and being over-served. The boys — Josh Cobb on guitar and vocals, Alex Dumas on drums, and Mark Daley on bass — put together an album that relies on guitars, hooks, and fun vocals, as opposed to programmed beats and synthesized filler. I think that’s why it reminds me of ’90s alt-rock.
Folio Weekly Magazine recently spoke with Winter Wave about that particular decade, our fair state and milking cows. Nothing is more emo than milking cows.
Folio Weekly Magazine: Can you talk about the influences in your new album, Paranoia? I hear a lot of ’90s alt influence in there.
Josh Cobb: Yeah, that’s probably the biggest influence. As we played more and more it grew on the sound. It started really with sort of a surf-garage kind of sound, but it evolved.
How did Winter Wave form?
We were in a touring band [My Getaway] out of Palm Coast. We had some success with the whole emo scene there, and toured with some bands like Brand New and The Starting Line. After we disbanded, I started working on these surf-y sorts of songs. Now we’re a three-piece, and I’m doing the singing. The sound is completely different and it’s a different dynamic. We are trying to be stress-free. We wanted to make it fun and have fun doing it.
Is “Destination Florida” an ode to our home state, or a recap of how messed up we are?
It’s definitely an ode. We get a bad rap; I don’t think we need any more bad press. I grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York, and when I moved to Florida, it was a huge culture shock for me. Florida was like a big city to me.
I thought it was the big time. I wanted to be in a metropolitan area, and I came to Jacksonville. I fell in love with Riverside and Avondale, and the culture and the emergence of all these new businesses and music.
Did growing up on a farm have any influence on your choice to pursue music?
It was brutal waking up at 4 a.m. to milk cows, then go to school and then, as soon as you get home from school, you have to milk the cows again. I spent a lot of time making mix-tapes from the radio and learning guitar. That was in the ’90s, and that music has never gotten old to me. I still listen to the Pixies and Nirvana and all those great bands.
The song “This Is Me” has some real teen angst and identity-conflict on it.
Every song I write is a combination of stories. It isn’t always my life story, but it could be a piece of my friend’s story, and then some of my story and maybe something I witnessed. “This Is Me” is more personal, though. In the band I was in before, I didn’t really have a lyrical outlet. Now I have that outlet, and so some of these thoughts and ideas get to come out. In your formative years, you are sensitive to everything. A lot of those feelings turned into themes on the record.
“Ride Bikes” is a fun track. Do you spend a lot of time cruising First Street on beach cruisers with beers in the cup holders?
Yes, absolutely. Every Tuesday at the beach, they have a group that gets together to ride. I went to one and there were all these six-gear bikes and they were making fun of me because I had a red mountain bike, and that’s where that song kind of came from. It’s a little cheeky.
You said you were trying to be stress-free. Is that from earlier exposure to the music industry? What are your goals with this band, and are they influenced by the past?
I think our goal is purely based on doing exactly what we want to do, which is to play shows and have fun. We’re going to continue to play and play out of town more as the year goes on. We want to do everything DIY. Our production, our artwork and everything is done in-house. It’s a pure way to release our music to our fans by doing it ourselves.