Bad Wave are the band two best guy friends start when life’s responsibilities become too great and they need to get nostalgic. Songwriter Tucker Tota and his production backbone Patrick Hart are really too young to be nearing midlife crisis but nevertheless started Bad Wave out of the trappings familiar to all 20-somethings in adulthood’s early stages. “Patrick was randomly living with me and my girlfriend for about a year on and off in LA,” explains Tucker. “We really didn’t know each other at all but he picked me up at the airport,” adds Patrick. “Then I was his roommate. Like a scene from Craigslist.”
Unlike most duos, Patrick and Tucker were not the yin to each other’s yang. They bonded over similarities: a love for Weezer and other ’90s alt rock bands they wore as badges of honor in Middle School – Patrick in Nashville, Tucker in Miami. They found comfort in each other’s similar geekdom and love of isolation. So they worked together, separately, mostly via email. “Just to be clear,” says Patrick. “We live in the same building but we make Bad Wave over the internet. We’re like the Postal Service.”
When physically together the pair enjoy building analogue synthesizers and talking about plug-ins. It’s a tech-inspired bromance. Tucker found himself taken with Drake’s ‘Hold On We’re Going Home’ and wanted to write a similarly brooding R&B number. His solo attempts failed miserably. Patrick knew how to make beats, so gave him a helping hand. Before long, Patrick was writing more electronic tracks for Tucker to write melodies and lyrics to. Their first single ‘Look Out’ – released on LA imprint Crazy Heart – was born from there.
New singles ‘Runaway’, ‘Good Girls’, ‘Extraordinary’ and ‘3AM’ continue in the same sonic vein; like pop-punk shot through the filter of glassy ’80s electronica. The angst is disguised by bouncing basslines and warped choruses. It’s a sound that has been most surprising to the duo themselves. “I like to play the mandolin, not electronic drums,” says Tucker. ‘Run- away’ is about a girl, obviously. The lyrics conjure a Winona Ryder in ‘Girl Interrupted’ type character, a heroic but confused object of affection. “It’s not supposed to be understood but yeah, there’s a girl and she runs away. Where she runs from and for what reason… Let’s just say there’s a liberation in the darkness.” Tucker laughs.
The name Bad Wave itself is taken from the Spanish phrase ‘mala onda’, which literally translates as “bad waves” but you can take it as meaning “bad vibes”. “We’re trying to spread good vibes though,” reassures Patrick. By releasing their own anxieties through Bad Wave, these two only have great intentions.