Rogue Wave: Interview – Band Plays Belly Up on TUESDAY
Rogue Wave front man Zach Rogue is proud of his band’s newest release, Permalight, and stands behind the balance of upbeat, life-affirming melodies and quiet pulsing songs heard on the release. Rogue also worked to create an album that was more cohesive and could “capture one moment at a time.”
While the music may be cheery and playful at times, it draws from a group whose time between albums was tainted by loss and heartbreak. The transition into 2007 brought the loss of good friend, and former member Evan Farrell who passed away in an apartment fire. As if that loss weren’t enough, Zach Rogue went on to face months of bed rest, recovering from slipped discs in his back. The leap from being told that he could never play music again to finding himself in a recording studio playing guitar and writing music created an exciting feeling. Rogue recalls how it felt as though he was reliving his youth and learning to play music again, ultimately writing the song “Permalight” as his first full song after his injury. Overall, the experience taught Rogue that life truly is a gift and that movement and self-expression can be humbling.
As an album, Permalight comes across with a sound slightly different from previous work. As mentioned before, the album seems to have more of an upbeat sound. Everything falls more in line and certain songs have a bit of a dance feel to them. Rogue mentions that a few tracks have this dance feel and that some incorporate the use of a drum machine. Yet in the long run, it seems as though most critics focus on the introduction toward this new sound without really holding on the fact the Rogue Wave feeling can still be heard on the entire album. On some songs, the album has this slightly different, new sound while other songs maintain the sound that perpetuated Rogue Wave to the masses.
Production for the new album found the band in Oxford, Mississippi, working with Dennis Herring, whose past production credits include Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse, and MUTEMATH. For Rogue, the push to work with Herring came out of respect and admiration. The two shared a mutual vision and Rogue feel in love with Herring’s studio in the south. After an initial meeting, Rogue determined it would be a good match and he recognized Herring’s sometimes brutal honestly as something that would help the band in the long run. The final result is a product that will not only satisfy long-time Rogue Wave fans but will also appeal to listeners who might have previously dismissed the band before.