Raise ‘em up if you remember Longwave, the pop architects behind “There’s a Fire,” one of the greatest pop rock albums ever. Anyone? Well, it’s time to get reacquainted with a band who intentionally fell off the radar for a little bit, and are now back on the map and touring with Robbers on High Street.
Plus, Longwave is based in Brooklyn. Regular readers know, we give preference to boys from our hood.
Here’s how our conversation went:
Ekko: First of all, thank you for taking the time to answer our dopey questions. Endsong is a great record, and “Tell Me I’m Wrong” is one of my all-time favorite songs. I haven’t heard anything from you guys since your “There’s a Fire” album. What have you been up to?
Longwave’s Steve Shiltz (Guitarist and vocalist): Thank you for saying those things. When “there’s a fire” came out we did a little touring but not a whole lot. We have just been slowly working on new songs and playing whenever we have had time. Shannon and Jason have another band called Falcon and I have been playing guitar with Albert Hammond, Jr. We are just now getting back on track with finishing the next Longwave record.
Ekko: Well, Albert’s good company to keep. His latest will probably be in my top ten of the year. Musically, where are you at-has the hiatus changed your sound? What’s the current line-up of the band?
SS: The line up is: Steve [Schiltz – guitars, voice], Shannon [Ferguson – guitars], Jason [Molina – drums], and Anthony Molina, Jason’s brother. Anthony plays in Mercury Rev., but fills in with Longwave on dates sometimes. [With Anthony in the band] we have a more “family sound.”
Ekko: Berkeley Place is almost exclusively indie, we’re snobs about it, actually, and when I heard you weren’t with RCA anymore I was selfishly excited. But I hope the transition wasn’t too painful for you?
SS: Well it wasn’t fun….We have no preference about major or indie labels, we just want to be on a label that is good to us. RCA never made us change the records we made and they gave us a bunch of money. So, in some ways it was great. We still have friends there. And bitter enemies! (Just kidding…)
Ekko: What happens to a band when it was on a major and then goes independent? Is there a black mark that follows you around, or does the fact that you had a contract at one time open doors for you?
SS: I don’t know…I guess we’ll find out when we put the new record out…
Ekko: Where are you at with that?
SS: There are offers from labels, but nothing set yet. We are recording This Fall regardless of a finalized deal. I’m sure many announcements will be sent when a deal is done, and release date for the Album is set. In The meantime, anyone that comes down to these shows can get a download card For two tracks for free. Spend $1 more, and they can have all three.
Ekko: We’ve seen Robbers on High Street several times, and you’re playing with them on September 22, here in Washington, D.C. Unlike them, your music has always struck me as being very precise and clear. Does touring with a band that has an improvisational and raw live show affect how you guys play? Ever jam together?
SS: You mean like Phish? No….I think our jamming sounds more like feedback and noise, but we have a good time. I didn’t even know the Robbers were jammy. You think you know someone!
Ekko: I didn’t mean jammy, exactly, but what can we expect at a Longwave live show? Any covers?
SS: There is full coverage….Until shannon takes his shirt off for his solo….then it’s HELLO, JOE PERRY.
Ekko: I’d like to suggest you cover Bob Dylan’s Tangled Up In Blue. Your voice would be perfect for it.
SS: That would be a good one…We used to do a big star song years ago, and we did 2000 Man by the Stones at a New Year’s show once. those were fun.
Ekko: Thanks again. I very much look forward to seeing you at the Black Cat.
SS: Thank you for writing about us. please come and say hi. Shannon will be the one with his shirt off.
All Sewn Up
Exit (live acoustic version)
No Direction (new song)
Stream a performance, on Break Thru radio.
CATCH THE ‘WAVE ON TOUR:
(And remember, if you come to the show you get a pass to download their new material!)
Sep 14 2007 8:00P Mercury Lounge New York, New York
Sep 15 2007 8:00P TT The Bear’s Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sep 19 2007 8:00P The Crazy Donkey Farmingdale, New York
Sep 21 2007 8:00P World Cafe Live Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sep 22 2007 8:00P Black Cat Washington DC, Washington DC
Sep 23 2007 8:00P Mr. Smalls Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sep 24 2007 8:00P Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, Ontario
Sep 25 2007 8:00P Lambi Montreal, Quebec
Sep 27 2007 8:00P Pearl Street Northampton, Massachusetts
Sep 30 2007 8:00P Maxwell’s Hoboken, New Jersey