Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Sep 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Going Rogue

music_RogueWaveHow Zach Rogue bucked the norm, and paralysis, for his music
In a college town like Santa Cruz, Zach Rogue has the kind of story that many recent graduates can relate to. Having finished a political science degree at UC Davis, Zach Schwartz (as he was then known) saw the same future that many others deal with upon coming face to face with the ‘real world’: get a job. Also much like the stereotypical graduate, Rogue was the victim of college apathy, having admittedly never found what his passion was.

“It really wasn’t about profession or money, but more just believing in something,” says Rogue about his life-changing decision to take up music. “Believing in something I like to do for myself or for the sake of making art. That’s something I really had abandoned because I thought I just needed to get a job after college. I never really kept in touch with who I was.”

In fact, Rogue felt such a need to remove himself from his life path that it was at that point—while creating Rogue Wave’s first album, 2003’s Out of the Shadow—that he decided to take on the ‘Rogue’ pseudonym as his last name; a moniker he will bring with him to the Rio Theatre with Santa Cruz-bred favorites Man/Miracle on Wednesday, April 7.

“Have you ever felt like you just wanted to start over again?” asks Rogue. “I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to be fully committed to my music, which I had never been, really. I had never been fully committed to anything creative or professional. I felt that it would be one more way of further pushing myself into this new realm of my life. Something as superficial as a name change can remind you of how you take other things seriously.”

Ultimately, Rogue Wave (and Rogue himself) has found a niche for its indie power pop. Though true mainstream success has eluded it, the band’s songs—having been featured in multitudes of commercials, movies, and TV shows—are kind of ubiquitous. It’s something of a strange fate to gain only such secondary exposure, but Rogue has weightier subjects on his mind.

Since the group dropped 2007’s Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, not only have several members revolved in and out (including the tragic death of former bassist Evan Farrell), but Rogue himself and drummer Pat Spurgeon went through serious health problems. While Spurgeon battled kidney disease, Rogue had two slipped disks in his neck, temporarily paralyzing him. Though the experience of being immobile for months was undoubtedly frustrating, that pent-up energy is clearly infused in the band’s just-released album, Permalight.

“It drove everything for me, being told that I couldn’t play music anymore, ever again,” recalls Rogue. “And going from that to actually picking up a guitar and playing, and kind of ignoring [what doctors said], that was a really big step for me and it really drove the whole songwriting process.”

Musically, Permalight is ostensibly more upbeat than past efforts—a point driven home when Rogue admits that recapturing the childhood feeling of hearing Kool and the Gang’s “Celebrate” was the inspiration for the album’s title track. However, the album is also notable for its increased emphasis on electronic dabbling. “Melodically, I don’t think it’s that divorced from what we’ve done before, but rhythmically there are some changes there,” explains Rogue. “Yes, I love Boards of Canada, but is it in our music? I don’t know, maybe.”

However, Rogue still professes an interest in studio effects that goes back much further than Permalight’s ‘Death Cab for Rogue Wave’ sound. “I love blending digital and analog technology,” he professes. “I love the sound of real drums with processed drums. And I love the sound of synthesizers and acoustic guitars. I like having those two worlds clash.”


Rogue Wave performs with Man/Miracle at 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 7, at the Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $19 in advance. For more information call 423-8209.

Comments (1)Add Comment
Rogue Wave continues, Man/Miracle works it out
written by Sam Utah, April 08, 2010
The Show was really good. Rogue Wave did not disappoint with great song writing, radio-ready arrangements and really fine vocal harmony. A pleasure to hear and see. Man/Miracle was a real surprise combining ramshackle rock, punk frenzy and some really fine melodies. Dylan Travis, the front man has the charisma and chops to lead them to the next level. Great to see UC Santa Cruz grads going at it like they mean it. The show began with a solo artist to watch, JMP(?) who was truly a one-man band...so interesting to watch and his laconic road weary ballads were heartfelt.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.