There’s a certain air of expectancy that comes with naming your band after a Kate Bush song, or a prestigious Russian painting for that matter. The Ninth Wave, the latest band to rise from the burgeoning creative scene in Glasgow, are rising to that mantle with their own individual vision.
“We’ve all got really different influences I think that’s what really creates our sound,” explains lead vocalist and guitarist Elina Lin. “We all bring in our own different favourite bands and we all get inspiration from movies and visual things which we look to combine. Me and Haydn especially have been inspired by a lot of 80s bands, like The Cure and Talking Heads.”
Such a list of inspirations gives off the impression The Ninth Wave just want to be their own favourite band as they look to incorporate the sporadic mix of their idols with a certain visual element inspired by the films of Greg Araki (The Doomed Generation) and David Lynch (Twin Peaks), which Elina collectively describes as “slightly weird” and “a bit fucked up”, but in a good, interesting way.
Just last month the band reached their first major milestone as a band, the release of their debut EP, ‘Reformation’, a melancholic blend of enthralling indie rock and glistening gothic synths, of which they worked on with Dan Austin, whose previous credits include Pixies and the more recent Sløtface record. “We couldn’t imagine how the songs could have turned out when we went into record,” describes Elina. “They transformed into these songs that we are just so proud of. It’s been amazing to finally let everyone hear them, we’ve been sitting on them since about March.”
Fellow lead-vocalist and guitarist Haydn Park is a bit more tentative when discussing the pressure to put out a full-length record off the back of the success of ‘Liars’. “I think if you put out an album too fast you can severely flop yourself, because if you put out an album at such an early stage when no one knows you it’s like you’re blowing your load, to speak so frankly,” he rather humorously but also somewhat logically ponders with the British music having a rich history of bands that metaphorically ‘blew their load’ before they had the fan-base to hit the heights they deserved to.
The Ninth Wave seem different however, their songs are sharper yet also structurally complex than much of what is out there in the indie rock sphere at the moment. “It normally starts from when one of us will do a demo of a song and then it will get taken to the rest of the band and then we’ll each put in different parts to it and by the end it can become something else completely,” details Haydn on how the band approaches songwriting and sharing out creative responsibility. “If you heard the demos of the last EP you’d be shocked to hear how much they’ve changed.” Evidently the sign of a band unified and rich in ideas, looking to collaborate to further their unique sound.
It’s clear Glasgow and the scene there has played an integral role in the development of The Ninth Wave. “It’s one of the most creative cities in Scotland,” explained Elina. “There’s so much music, art and theatre going on all the time. I think it was voted the most violent and the most friendly city in the UK in the same year which says a lot about the personality of the city.” This characteristic is something, however that in many ways can be applied to the band themselves and the way in which tracks like ‘Reformation’ and ‘Liars’ merge forlorn lyricism with soaring, epic choruses, showing these softer and darker sides of The Ninth Wave.
On contemplating her band’s relationship with the city and the similarities they share Elina concluded, “we can be free to do whatever we want creatively and we also have some bite to us I guess.”
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Words: Rory Marcham
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