Meet the pop punk/emo band, Wave Break! On February 9th, they released their newest single “Out Of Breath.” Having endured multiple lineup changes since their inception in 2017, lead vocalist Kelly Barber focuses on a feeling of desperation in “Out Of Breath.” The track captures the energy of a live show, and is filled with pulsating guitars and dynamic, early 2000’s rock-inspired production.
Wave Break was formed in New Jersey and has been fueled by experiences with recent lineup changes amongst other career roadblocks. Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Barber and bassist Ken Knightly prove that nothing can triumph over pure perseverance. When Wave Break burst onto the scene in late 2017, they very quickly found themselves gaining support from outlets such as idobi Radio, New Noise Magazine, and Alternative Press. They also went on to tour the northeast US as well as perform alongside bands and artists such as Boys of Fall (InVogue Records), Nick Thomas (The Spill Canvas), Secrets (Made In The Shade Records) and Kulick (RCA Records) to name a few.
Wave Break established themselves with their debut 2018 EP “Armory” by spreading messages of strength and vitality, living up to their name. With their signature dynamic sound and new music in the works, they continue with that same sentiment. Wave Break is in it for the long haul.
Connect With Wave Break Online Here:
Learn more about Wave Break in the following All Access interview:
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could all be in this group together? Do you find that your band name still represents you and your music today? Where did your name come from exactly? What other names were you considering?
Kelly: Yeah! When we first joined forces in Wave Break we had a lot of talks about how we both wanted to take music seriously and work and make it a career. Our name came from throwing around words and phrases until we found something we liked. We stuck with ‘Wave Break’ because to us it means to overcome adversity, and to this day, our music still centers around that so it still fits the band. One other name we were considering was “Secrets In Mirrors,” which is the name of a song by Spitalfield – one of my favorite bands. But we decided against it because we felt it wasn’t as memorable of a name.
How do you think your hometown has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, why do you think that is?
Kelly: We definitely carry a bit of Jersey attitude with us in this project! But in all honesty, a lot of great emo/pop punk bands came out of Jersey in the last couple of decades and we think that sound carries on in Wave Break, but with our own signature style. Armor for Sleep, Man Overboard, The Early November, and now Can’t Swim… bands like that paved the way for us in this area.
How has it affected this group going through so many different line-up changes since you first formed in 2017? Why do you think that the current members are the best for this band?
Kelly: It definitely slowed us down. We likely could have gotten new music out sooner if we didn’t have any lineup changes, because we could have focused on writing and recording instead of finding new people and teaching them the existing songs. Right now, the current members are best because we both have the same goals and aspirations and want to work just as hard to reach them.
Let’s talk about your newest track, “Out Of Breath.” What was the inspiration for this song? How does it prepare people for more music from this group?
Kelly: This song was inspired by those lineup changes that we’ve been through, and how keeping up with them has been challenging and frustrating. This song is very similar to the material on our first EP stylistically, so if people like this song they’ll like that EP. We plan to experiment a bit more on the next EP but it will still sound like us.
Do you have plans to release a full collection of new material?
Kelly: Yes! We’re going to start demoing and recording a new EP soon, so a new EP is somewhere on the horizon.
Generally, how does this group go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately? What is the first step in your music-making process?
Kelly: It’s different every time! A lot of the time I write a song’s lyrics, melodies and rhythm guitar parts and then take it to the rest of the band to write the other parts, and other times we write an instrumental together and then I write lyrics and melodies on top of it. “Out of Breath” was written the second way.
I always like to ask bands how much you hang out socially apart from when you are creating and performing music?
Kelly: It’s tough for us because we both have full time 9-5 jobs outside of the band, but whenever we can we go to a local show together or get food or something like that. We do whatever we can!
How do you feel that this band has grown since you first started working together? What has remained the same?
Kelly: It’s tough to say since us two in particular have only been in the band together for a bit under a year, but the band itself has gotten more serious in terms of how we’re handling it. We’re doing a lot more promotion and trying to churn out higher quality content than Wave Break has done in the past in order to get this band to the next level.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Kelly: That’s a really tough question and honestly, we’re not sure. We love each for different reasons. We love being in the studio and hearing what we’ve written come to life for the first time ever, but also love performing and getting to share those songs with people and connect with them. They’re both totally different experiences.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for this band? What have been some of your favorite shows and venues lately?
Kelly: An ideal show for this band is one where the audience is receptive to the energy we’re throwing at them and isn’t shy about having fun with us! Luckily we’ve had a handful of great shows like that. Playing in Boston is always a great time because of that. We also had a fun show on Long Island at Amityville Music Hall last year, and few local shows in Jersey in places like Crossroads and the Brighton Bar. Our recent show at the Asbury Park Brewery with Sleep On It was really fun as well.
Do you have any tour dates scheduled for this year? Have any dates been canceled yet due to the Coronavirus?
Kelly: Unfortunately right now we don’t have anything planned. With everything happening with Coronavirus, our weekender that was going to be this past weekend, playing in NJ, Philly and Long Island, ended up getting cancelled. We were also in the middle of figuring out where we wanted to go after that, but with everything going on, we need to wait until things calm down before we start trying to reschedule or plan more. We don’t have any idea how long this crisis is going to last and if we plan it for too soon then we might end up needing to postpone again. We’re praying that we’ll end up being able to get out on the road soon, though. It’s been too long.
With all the different social media platforms out there, how do you balance it all? How do you think that social media has impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans? How have you been able to utilize it through the years?
Kelly: We’re mainly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and we’re on there as much as we can interacting with people! It’s tough balancing it with a full time job and normal life since managing social media could be an entire other job if you want it to be (on top of everything else you need to do as a band), but we manage as best we can right now. Social media honestly has helped us out immensely because we’re pretty sure most people who listen to us have found us through social media one way or another. We use it to interact with fans and friends and give updates on everything to them, but when everything starts picking up even more with the new EP we’re gonna see if we can find a way to make it even more engaging for people.
Which of your music videos was the most fun to make? Do you still have a dream music video that you would love to make in the future?
Kelly: “Out of Breath” was probably the most fun because we added some other small visuals to the video other than the band shots. The video was still pretty simplistic, but there was a bit more to it than the video to “Plaster City” and it was fun putting it all together. We have some cool ideas for music videos for songs on our next EP, including one that’s inspired by a TV show, but we still need to figure out if there’s a way we can pull them off! There was also an idea I had for a video to “If You Were Awake” that I was dying to do, but lineup changes got in the way of actually filming it. Maybe it will fit for another song in the future? Who knows.
We are currently living through a difficult and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? How has your music or other musician’s music been affected by the current events?
Kelly: Honestly, being a musician is especially empowering during times like these because our best defense is to write about our experiences, share those new songs with others and hope it helps other people get through them too. Due to current events, pretty much everything else in the band has slowed down besides writing music. We’re going to have even more time for that now and we’re hoping that people feel something from what we’re able to create from it.
What musicians have really been inspiring you all since you first started making music? Who would you still love to work with?
Kelly: For both of us, it’s a mixture of a bunch of bands and artists like Avril Lavigne, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Blink-182… the list honestly goes on. Right now, we’d love to collaborate with someone like Mark Rose from Spitalfield or Jason Vena from Acceptance. I’ve met Mark in particular a couple of times and he’s a super cool and talented guy.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Kelly: We’re hoping that especially right now, our music can help other people get through hardship as well as push them to work towards their dreams. During times like these, we all need to stick together and listening to inspiring music can help lift someone’s spirits immensely. We want everyone to know that this is all temporary and we just need to persevere and stay as optimistic as we can to get through it. It’s tough for everyone, but we can do it together.