Don’t Ride Waves: An Interview with No Waves Drummer Sam Sussman
In a chilly Pepsi Forum, I sat down with second year Cinema and Communications student Sam Sussman to talk about his up-and coming-band, No Waves.
First of all, introduce yourself and your music!
Hi I’m Sam, I’m in No Waves the band. I play drums, and sing every now and then. My bandmates are Cy and Angel.
If you could describe your music in 3 words, what would they be?
Crafty, corny, and musty.
Who are your musical influences?
Miley Cyrus, Skrillex, My Chemical Romance, and Devo.
Are there any local artists that inspire you?
Yeah, absolutely. Me and Angel were at this block party downtown one year, and there was this band playing called CRABE, and we were blown away by them. We were 15 or so and they were in their 30s. After the show we were like “Yo, you guys are sick”, and we kind of just stayed in contact with them and they became our mentors. They're easily, like, one of the most talented bands to come out of Montréal.
Where are some of the places you’ve performed?
The first place we ever performed was outside, for those environment protests that were going on in 2019. It wasn’t a march, but we were outside some government building and people were doing speeches and stuff, and they had us play. It was probably the coldest day of the year, and we played our set freezing our asses off.
Do you have a favourite show that you’ve done?
Yeah, one of the ones we did recently under the Van Horne underpass. That was probably my favourite show we’ve ever done.
How did you guys come up with the band name?
“No Waves” is a song by this band called FIDLAR. I know Angel listens or used to listen to Fidlar a bit, but I don’t know if that’s how he came up with the name. That might just be a coincidence. We were called “Only Noise” when we first started, but we changed it cause it sucked. There was some story behind that too, somebody called us “noise” or something, and then Angel got really pissed off at them, and was like “haha, this would be cool”. “No Waves” is like, to not follow trends or whatever. That sounds corny as fuck, but it’s like make your own waves - don’t do things because other people are doing them.
My favourite song of yours is “Franklyn Jr”. Could you take us through the song making process with that song?
That one’s my favourite too. It’s really different from the other songs. We kinda just made it on the spot. Angel just started playing the first riff and then I guess I added the drums. We kinda played the main guitar and bass and drum part for a while and then we were like “Yo, this is so cool, we need to make a song out of this”. Franklyn Jr. was our fish that died, that we got together when we were 14.
The music video for the song is really cool, too!
Yeah, yeah. Rest in peace Franklyn.
If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be?
Kanye West, N8NOFACE or Hubert Lenoir.
What’s the meaning behind your band’s logo, the baby wearing a graduation cap?
We had that logo around the time we were all graduating high school, and none of us felt like it was real. We didn’t feel ready to live in the real world. It represents someone being pushed into the real world when really they’re still a baby.
Who’s been putting your stickers around the city? They’re everywhere, even in the girl’s fifth floor bathroom!
That wasn't me, I promise. I put them everywhere I can, everytime I take the bus or metro, I stick one on. I also just give them to anyone who asks. If anyone wants any stickers they can come up and ask me. I usually have, like, 50 on me at all times.
Where would you like to be in your career in 10 years?
If we can make enough money so that all of us can eat, that’s good enough for me.
So far you have an EP out, as well as a few singles. What’s next for No Waves?
We had an album that we were working on for a while. We were getting ready to record it and then covid happened and the studios closed. Now we’re focused on things we’re gonna put out before the album. We have a couple EPs in the works. In terms of the near future, we hope to put out a single by the end of the year.
Finally, where can people listen to your music?
Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube - and there’s some random recordings on SoundCloud too.