Split Personality

2 May 2012 | 6:00 am | Daniel Cribb

“I was sober, so that was on my shit list,” says Wavves' Nathan Williams about his last trip to Australia.

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The sonic brainchild of Nathan Williams has manifested itself to be an unstoppable force since its origins in his parents' rat infested shed in '08. Even though Wavves has become a full-time affair, he still finds ample time to blow off steam. If anything, it's given Williams and his bandmates somewhat of a right to party their days away, under the category of rock stars.

The first time Williams answers his phone he's playing NBA 2K on PS3 with bassist Stephen Pope. The pair, who have been drinking all afternoon and are admittedly under the influence of more than just alcohol, hung up on another interviewer moments earlier because “they were talking shit”. A directionless conversation, in-between yelling at his TV and constantly losing his train of thought, results in a confusing conversation driven by false-truths, admittance of impotence, their guitarist changing gender and memories from their trip to Australia last year.

“I was sober, so that was on my shit list,” Williams recalls of the visit. “I guess I wasn't completely sober for Australia. I smoked a shitload of weed. I didn't drink, or do mushrooms. Actually, I took mushrooms. So for me it was sober. I didn't drink, but I took mushrooms and I smoked weed every day. That's sober right? Is that sober in Australia? If that's sober then I'm home in Australia. But yeah, Stephen and I decided that we weren't going to drink in Japan and Australia for a little bit just to level ourselves because we had gone through 943 days of straight drinking and we had a big fight – dicks out, pubic hair ripped, all sorts of stuff.”

The following week, after sobering up, Williams apologises and reschedules in order to clear a few points up. One of few truths from our initial conversation was a progress update on their new album, hopefully coming out in September. “We've been in the studio for two months and we're probably 85 percent done. It'll probably be a bigger sound, as opposed to my early recordings. We're recording the record with this producer, John Hill, who's done a lot of big pop-oriented stuff,” he says, mentioning the producer who's worked with Rihanna and Santigold. “There are a lot of angles from [last album] King Of The Beach and then a lot of new sounds and stuff like that. Stephen and I wrote together a lot more on this record as well.”

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The last time Wavves went in the studio was last year for the production of their Life Sux EP. The single I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl received extensive airtime and, despite touring the world and gaining popularity wherever they go, they are yet to cross paths with the rock icon.

“I don't think Dave Grohl is detached from local music,” Williams reacts to his previous, less sober analysis of the Foo Fighters frontman. “He's the only guy of that stature who knows who Fucked Up is, as far as I'm concerned, so that's pretty cool. My friend Damian from Fucked Up has met him – they've toured together extensively. I talked to Damian and I told him, 'You've got to hook it up' and he said he was going to, but he never did.”

Filtering through previously answered questions, the one other point that remained factual was the band's view of Australia.

“Australia is my favourite place to be,” Williams offers. “Relaxed weed laws, it's really pretty, it reminds me of home. I feel like I'm in California when I'm in Australia. Our shows were all really good last time we were there. A lot of people came and we had a lot of fun... Seriously, I feel like Australia's my second home. Australia is the California that I always wanted.”