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Wavves rides the surf-rock revival


wavves Credit: Handout

One of the most unexpected trends of 2010 was the indie-rock world’s fascination with the girl-group and surf-rock sounds of the late ’50s and early ’60s.

Two of the bands that most successfully updated these styles are Best Coast and Wavves. Now they’re not only touring together, but their singers, Bethany Cosentino and Nathan Williams, are dating.

amNewYork spoke with Wavves’ Williams as he got ready to hit the road.

What is it like to go on tour with Bethany?
It’ll be nice to be together. A lot of the time, I’m in Europe and she’s here, or she’s in Europe and I’m here.

Why do you think the surf-rock sound is so appealing to people today?
I think it’s the melodies. Styles go in and out, but for me, melody is always the first thing I notice.

People used to complain that you buried your melodies under layers of noise. Why did you clean up your sound for your latest album?
Part of it was just to prove a point. When I put out my first two records, people used to say I couldn’t write songs. I also wanted to see what it would be like to use a real studio [instead of recording at home] and see what I could do in there.

Is it true that you have a fear of the ocean?
I almost drowned in the ocean. I was 17 and tried to jump off this thing called the Arch in San Diego. It was a 40-foot drop, and I was in my clothes and sneakers and didn’t check the tide.

Isn’t it odd that you’d go on to perform surf rock?
I like surf music — I just don’t like to surf. Brian Wilson hated the beach, but he was in a band called the Beach Boys.

If you go: Wavves and Best Coast are at Webster Hall Wednesday at 8, 125 E. 11th St., 212-353-1600, $20.

The bands are at the Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday night at 8, 66 N. Sixth St., 718-486-5400, $20.

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