Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 01st
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

 

Panel Discussion

After 39 years in business, the owner of Santa Cruz’s Atlantis Fantasyworld looks back at how comics have evolved

 

Passion Week, Eclipse, Full Moon, Aries Festival, Passover and Easter

We have entered a most important week of multiple festivals. Three ages and religious festivals—stages for humanity’s development—are occurring simultaneously. Aries (Age of Laws), Pisces (Age of Faith), and Aquarian (Age of Science and Humanity); Jewish, Christian/Catholic and Esoteric teachings. The first of the three Spring Festivals occurs Saturday along with the full moon, a total lunar eclipse (something in form and matter has come to an end, its usefulness completed). It’s also Passover, celebrating the passage from the Taurus to the Aries Age, symbolized by the Hebrew people’s walk of 40 years from Egypt through the Sinai Desert to Canaan (land of milk and honey), culminating with Moses receiving the 10 Commandments—laws that directed humanity through the Aries Age. Passover celebrates their safe passage out of Egypt, “the Angel passing over the Jewish homes, safeguarding their first born.” The Aries Festival (first of three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini) celebrates the love of God. Accompanying the Aries light (light of life itself) are the forces of restoration (restoring humanity’s hope) and the spirit of resurrection (uplifting humanity in need of new education, resources, direction and guidance). Guidance to be given by the New Group of World Servers. Saturday’s solar Aries festival (at the full moon lunar eclipse) is celebrated by the New Group of World Servers worldwide. Join us everyone. Sunday is Easter, celebrated by humanity worldwide. The three religious festivals arriving simultaneously signal that the coming new world religion is at hand, a synthesis and integration of all religions. We stand with our brothers and sisters everywhere in celebration. We see what is no longer needed—that which created separations between us—disappear. We stand forward together in the new light, with the spirit of resurrection directing us. Hosanna!

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Let’s Get Wrecked

Unsung ’60s musicians score in pop doc ‘The Wrecking Crew’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wheat Will Rock You

Companion Bakeshop scores again with Ryan Roseman’s harvest

 

What’s the best/worst April Fools’ Day prank you’ve ever heard?

This girl in my seventh grade class convinced our entire Christian school that she had cancer. Everybody started praying for her and stopped all the classes. At the end of the day she let everybody know it was an April Fools’ joke. Zach Scotton, Santa Cruz, Retail Manager

 

Odonata Wines

Easter is coming up this weekend, the perfect excuse to treat yourself and your loved ones to a little bit of bubbly with Easter brunch—and a special bubbly at that.

 

Ella’s at the Airport

Tiffany Ella King on her new fine dining restaurant in Watsonville