Wanderlust is just weeks away, and joining the likes of Michael Franti, The Honey Brothers and Amanda Palmer onstage at the 3-day health and wellness festival are Bay Area boys, Rogue Wave. We chatted with lead singer, Zach Rogue, about staying healthy and getting inspired.
7x7: How did you guys get involved in Wanderlust?
Zach: We were invited (laughs). It’s actually funny because we’re recording the new album now in Oxford, Mississippi, and yoga has never been a part of my life, but I’ve been having problems in my neck and back. A friend told me to try out yoga, so I tried it, and I’ve really been getting into it. And that’s when it happened that we were asked to do this festival. So something is trying to tell me to keep doing it.
7x7: Are any of the other guys in the band into it?
Zach: Well I’m a newbie, and I’m not sure about the other guys – I should probably ask them before we go (laughs).
7x7: Do you feel like it’s helped you?
Zach: Yeah, unlike other kinds of exercise, there’s a spiritual component that applies and it’s physical, but with that meditative conclusion that’s kind of peaceful and inward and it’s a nice way to end what you’re doing and think of something larger than yourself for one minute.
7x7: Is this the first time you guys have played a festival like this that incorporates health and wellness?
Zach: It is. I can say that I was really drawn to it because musicians who are on tour all the time are really some of the most unhealthy people there are – you’re just always in transit and it’s hard to get good food and exercise. When we were on tour last summer, we were exercising a lot more, and consequently sleeping more, and taking care of ourselves more and we just played better. Maybe if there were more festivals that had more spiritual and bodily awareness, musicians would be healthier and not falling apart by the end of the tour.
7x7: Speaking of health and wellness, what has the reaction been like to D Tour [The award-winning documentary about drummer, Pat Spurgeon’s kidney failure and search for a living organ donor]?
Zach: It’s really been emotional for us. The screening at the San Francisco International Film Festival was the best one we’ve seen. It had such an incredible response, and the people that came and talked – specifically to Pat and Jim Granato, the director – the people that contacted them, and some of the offers that they’ve received to screen the film all over have been really excited. It starts off as this small film about sort of a self-involved indie rock band, and then the context expands to be about everyone. We’re all participants in the give and take and what happens with our bodies, and it becomes such a larger thing that people really respond to when they see it. Most people had no idea what it was about and then would come up to me, crying. We’re all so linked to the situation and the functioning of our organs and what to do with them [if something happens], and we’re all tied to that in some way. It’s just such a beautiful film, and I’m so proud of Jim.
7x7: Who are you excited to see at Wanderlust?
Zach: I would love to see Broken Social Scene again, and I’m really excited to see Jenny Lewis because I’ve never had the real opportunity to see her live.
Are there any current artists who inspire you, or that are inspiring the new album?
Zach: Honestly, it’s hard to say. I’ve been listening to a lot of Bill Callahan from Smog, and he has some really neat songs, and pretty strings and cool stuff, so I’ve been enjoying that. And I’ve been listening to a lot of Prince and the Eurythmics – 80s pop stuff. I’ve been trying to use my voice more, because I’m really not much of singer, so I’ve been trying to open up and see different things and if it’s possible to get there, and listening to different singers, female singers, using the upper register.
Can you tell us more about the benefit show at The Independent on June 7 [the show benefited the D.A. Taylor Charitable Foundation, which helps young people attend college]?
Zach: We hadn’t played any shows since the end of summer last year, so I was kind of not that jazzed and not in the mode and working on new things. But it was a really good cause, a good organization, and it ended up being really spectacular. It was great. We were an opening band last summer and once you’re in that state of mind, you can forget your identity and how people relate to what you’re doing as opposed to opening for someone else. And the venue is so intimate and small, and the people there – they just have the best staff ever. It was good to come back for a reason and not for money, but for a good cause that connected us with people and it actually gave me a reality check about what we’re doing and what the point is. It’s easy to forget when you’re recording an album. You kind of go down the rabbit hole when you’re recording.
7x7: So it must be good to see the fans and get inspiration?
Zach: And you know, go outside (laughs).
Check out our other Wanderlust interviews here: