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Catching Up with Rogue Wave

Bringing in the New Year

Formed on Craigslist, signed to SubPop, Rogue Wave is a shining star of the Bay Area's Indie Rock scene. Sidelined for the second half 2004, due to a slipped disk in Zach Rogue's (lead singer, guitarist, songwriter) lower back. Newly revamped and standing tall, the band has big plans for the coming year, which kicks off with a headline party gig at the Bottom of the Hill this New Year's Eve. I talked to Zach and Pat Spurgeon (guitar, drums, vocals) last week.

SFS: I read you named the band after Neal Stephenson's book "Cryptonomicon" but am not sure why, can you elaborate?

Zach: Yeah, there is a part where Stephenson's talks about cataclysmic events, you know, natural disasters, and he mentions rogue waves. Sounded interesting, so I learned what they were and was fascinated by them; how they seemingly come from nowhere, have very little scientific understanding, etc. It seemed like a metaphor for art/music and the mysterious forces of inspiration, the unknowable, the wide-eyed expectation, youth, getting close but never completely getting your arms around the source....

SFS: I find it hard to believe you met on Craigslist, which sounds like a rogue wave in and of itself, is it actually possible?

Pat: It is, even though I'm not a computer person, my friend pointed out Zach's post and that was it, it was kinda like going to Guitar Center but it worked out. Zach and I both know former San Francisco music man, Bill Racine, who produced Out of the Shadow, the album that was re-released through SubPop.

SFS: The first thing that jumps out at me when I saw, is the awesome artwork, any info on its creator?

Pat: Sure, it's Jeff Kleinsmith, a Seattle based designer who makes a lot of rock posters and album covers for SubPop.

SFS: Is Jeff designing a poster for the New Year's Eve show?

Zach: No, but we will have a poster, designed locally by Attaboy, you can find them at

SFS: Still have those day jobs?

Pat: We do what we can, most of our plans changed when Zach needed surgery earlier this year. Greg [Labron] (guitar and keys) runs the Lobot Gallery over here in Oakland. A gallery space for artists and musicians. The rest of us pick up this and that, here and there.

SFS: I heard you had a line up change?

Pat: Yeah, Sonya Westcott is no longer with the band. Evan Farrell is taking over on the bass, he's a friend of mine from the college days.

SFS: Any surprises to ring in the New Year?

Pat: Maybe some surprises, we putting together some visuals and cover tunes. We will be playing some new unreleased songs, too.

SFS: Cool, so we can expect a new album soon?

Pat: Hopefully by September, that all I really know now. We got a lot of touring ahead of us in 2005.

SFS: Touring? I heard about the NoisePop show, where else are you playing?

Pat: Before we play NoisePop (the band also headlines Slim's February 26th), we are touring throughout the Southwest; Austin, Houston, etc. After NoisePop, we head Europe for several weeks, SubPop is still working out the details. Then sometime after that we'll head into the studio to record our second album.

SFS: Any final words of wisdom?

All: Yes, come to our show because Kelly Stolz and The Herms are also playing, and they are both great!