Genre-free music seems to be on the forefront these days, and I for one, quite like it. So does Well Well Well, whose band members admit they do have a pop-forward sound, but don't want to be put into that one box forever.
The San Diego band mates have been working together for more than seven years, in a local band called Barbarian, before uniting as a duo about a year ago under the name Well Well Well. Since then, they have pumped out an EP, recorded a bucket full of songs and have been steadily booking some shows around town. Their sound is eclectic and pop-influenced, but perhaps most impressive is the fact that all of the noise they make comes just from Seton Edgerton and Dan Nichols.
We sat down with Edgerton and Nichols at Jungle Java in Ocean Beach to chat about their style, working with a small team and the creative process.
PACIFIC: How would you self-describe your sound?
Nichols: It's kind of becoming like an '80s, synth-pop meets '50's like, doo-wop kind of stuff.
SETON EDGERTON: It's - for lack of better words - pop music. There's subtleties in it that make it interesting for every listener. There's guitar rifts, drum machines, on top of real drums, synth machines. It combines all of these influences together. We aren't thinking this has to be a certain way. Is it catchy? Is there a cool melody? Then we paint everything around that.
DAN NICHOLS: The thing that brings it together is (Edgerton's) singing voice. I'm not sure what the thing will be that has people saying, "Oh, yeah, that's Well Well Well, for sure!" just yet.
Is it difficult to create such complex music with just two members?
Nichols: Nope, it's so much easier.
Edgerton: It's definitely easier. We come together and combine to make a sound that is much larger than the two of us. We actually can build songs really quickly. The only challenge is performing them live. We need four more people, and a saxophone for that. There's hardly a disagreement between us.
Nichols: I learned how to play the drums and bass, cause I'm really talented, and then Seton plays the guitar and sings. It's much easier, in terms of writing because we really want each other to be happy with the product just as much as ourselves. In other bands, I didn't care whether the drummer liked the songs. It's very intuitive with us.
What music, because you're kind of avoiding genres, inspires your own?
Nichols: Definitely Mini Mansions.
Edgerton: Yeah, Mini Mansions is the biggest for us. Everything they're doing and trying to do is awesome. They are based in L.A. and Michael Shuman, the bassist from Queens of the Stone Age, is in their band. They've been huge to us. We have other influences of course and bands we listen to, but they are the most relevant.
Are you working on any new music currently?
Edgerton: We have a handful of new music recorded, although only our last E.P. is available online right now. We recorded at Frog Sound in Los Angeles, and we really hit it off with those guys. We also worked at The Nest, which my cousin, Dave Palmer (a notable keyboardist and pianist in the music industry) recommended to us. It all came together very organically. We have these seven songs getting mixed by Cian Riordan, so far. He works at this amazing studio in Hollywood, and he did the most recent Foxygen and Wavves records.
Nichols: It will be a work in progress, although we have recorded a lot, because we're doing it out of pocket. By the time this is done, it should be a full length album.
Edgerton: We want to use these songs, at least minimum of four songs, for pitching. We want to get it out there for people and connections we've made, especially in Los Angeles so far. We hope that this will help to get them into the right hands to help us put out the album, or releases. We want to release them however they sound good together, whether that's a package of two, three, or seven. We are excited and stoked for people to hear it.
People seem to be putting out music like that, a song at a time. It's like albums are too much for people to process all at once now. We're okay with doing it like that, it's just harder sometimes to make one song stick with a listener. But, really it only takes one great song to get noticed.
Arts & Amps at Karl Strauss Brewing Company - Saturday, June 24 (Read more about the event here.)
To listen, stream and download music, or to learn more about Well Well Well, visit wellwellwelltheband.com.
About the brew
We grabbed coffee with the guys of Well Well Well over at Jungle Java in Ocean Beach. The cash only, all outdoor space offers a way to enjoy your coffee without the constraints of walls, and has been up-and-running since 1993. Their menu offers tea, coffee, smoothies and acai bowls.
5047 Newport Ave., Ocean Beach.