The Wha Wha’s make their way to the top

Members of Santa Barbara band The Wha Wha's talk about their plans for the future.

By Caroline Gay (Editor) on Thursday December 20, 2012

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By Caroline Gay | Staff Writer

December 18, 2012

(Photo by the Kenji Jacklio Fukudome)

Maxton Schulte, Jamey Geston, and Alyssa Davey. (Photo by Kenji Jacklio Fukudome)

On December 5, 2012, a well-known, up-and-coming local teen band known as The Wha Wha’s performed at Dos Pueblos High School, playing in the Greek at lunchtime.

The Charger Account sat down with the two DP students in the band, Maxton Schulte, sophomore, and Alyssa Davey, junior, to discuss everything from musical success and “staying classy” to one of their all-time favorite gigs at a sixth grader’s birthday party.

How would you describe the Wha Wha’s? What defines you as a band?
Maxton: Switching instruments.
Alyssa: A big thing is switching. What else? Basically—
M: Our style and genre.
A: We’re kind of indie, and most bands around town have more of a punk feel or they’re hard rock, but we try to go more with classic, I guess you could say. Stay classy… Gotta keep it classy! [Laughs.] Also just us as people, we’ve known each other for quite some time and we’ve developed a relationship as a band, and then we blossomed as the Wha Wha’s—so I don’t know, just us as a whole—we’re basically brothers and sisters so it kinda defines us as a family band.

Have you had any recording experiences yet?
M: Yeah! We recorded down in L.A. with Luke Tierney, who’s in a band with George Pendergast.
A: We were there for two days and recorded two songs for our future album.
M: Hopefully that will be released in 2013.
A: …And that is our recording experience!

What’s the news on your album?

(Photo by James Rosenburg)

(Photo by James Rosenburg)

A: Well, we don’t know how many tracks we’re doing, but we want to get a lot.
M: We want to get at least 12. Like a full album.
A: And hopefully that’ll happen soon! We want to probably go down winter break to record more and do a couple more songs and then go from there.

What do you think is the greatest moment in The Wha Wha’s history?
M: Gig-wise, it would probably be playing at Whiskey a Go Go down in L.A.
A: The biggest bands in the world have played there! And it was the greatest experience, and we went on stage and were just like, “Oh my God! We’re on the stage that these huge bands were on.” [Like] Oasis,
M: Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Cream, Motley Crue, [and] bands like that!
A: …And Dishwalla.

On that note, what are your musical influences?
M: Arctic Monkeys, the Black Keys—
A: Stone Roses—
M: Oasis, the Kooks—
A: Of Monsters and Men. Mumford and Sons?
M: Mum—? [Laughs.]
A: Well, we covered a Mumford and Sons song!
M: But…
A: I guess… I like them!
M: Yeah… [Laughs.] Sure! Pink Floyd, for the creative side.

How does your band go about its creative process?
M: We all usually bring in ideas.
A: Magic.
M: Yeah, a lot of times a lot of things just happen.
A: Pure magic.
M: Literally. It’s like magic! [Laughs.]
A: No, we don’t know actually!
M: [We] cast some little spells [mimes wand motion].
A: [Bursts out laughing.] Did you really just cast a spell?
M: I did!
A: What happens is we have ideas and we just go off on it, and just see what each others’ ideas are. And then we try to stay in our genre and let it flourish.

What’s your favorite venue you’ve played at (besides Whiskey a Go Go)?
A: I really liked Rockstock. It was this benefit show for Rockshop at Dos Pueblos Ranch, and that was really cool. We got to play with Dishwalla and Alistair Greene’s band, it was huge place.
M: The Roxy was really cool. Pretty fun to play at.
A: The Roxy’s just as big as Whiskey. What else? This kid’s birthday party was actually pretty cool because he was so excited, and I just felt really loved at that gig! It was literally tons of sixth graders, but it was the greatest thing ever because they were dancing, and the kid got to play a song with us. That was really fun.

What are your immediate goals as a band?
M: To release an album. Play as many shows [as we can], and play outside of California, maybe.
A: Playing more in L.A.
M: Yeah, more outside of Santa Barbara.
A: We’re trying to submit to larger venues like the Whiskey. And I think it would be cool to do things with other bands and broaden our horizons. Go with not as many bands from here but [instead] maybe hook up with someone in L.A. and do shows with them in L.A. or something, and try to build our fanbase over the course of time.

What’s your favorite song to play, each of you?
M: I really like playing “Dancing Shoes” by the Arctic Monkeys, “Fake Tales of San Francisco” by The Arctic Monkeys [laughs], and “Shoot the Runner” by Kasabian. They’re very fun to play, and two of them I play guitar on, and I find myself really into them when I sing and play guitar on them. [Also] drums, I’m just really into it!
A: I really like to play “Shoot the Runner” by Kasabian because I really like the drums on it and it’s really fun to play. You can just flail around, which is really fun. Oh goodness. I also really like playing “Fake Tales” because it’s one of the few songs I play bass on, and I love to play bass, so that’s always fun. And I started really liking playing “Little Black Submarine” [by the Black Keys] because it’s really fun on drums and there’s one part in it that I really like, and I feel like we all kinda rock out on that one a little more. It’s more energetic I guess. We connect as a band.

Maxton Schulte, Jamey Geston, and Alyssa Davey. (Photo by the Wha Wha's)

(Photo by the Wha Wha’s)

What’s your quirkiest band tradition or dynamic?
A: Band sleepovers! We have band sleepovers all the time.
M: And at gigs we try and be goofy. Like, we gotta be relaxed. And I noticed that even yesterday. If something goes wrong, we just go with it.
A: Yeah. And sometimes when we play, we just look at each other and are like, “Alright. Let’s do this. Have fun.”
M: [We] jump around a lot.
A: And when we mess up, we don’t really care. We just smile at each other and are like, well, we screwed up and it’s okay. We have those moments a lot. One thing we do together a lot is band sleepovers. One time we had this little “tour,” a sleepover tour where we slept over at each others’ houses every day for like four days. We switched peoples’ houses and we had a gig every day so it felt like a tour. That was kinda fun. We try to do stuff like that. And at sleepovers we’re crazy. It’s fun.

When’s your next gig that people can come see?
A: There’s a Christmas party at Rockshop on the 21st. I think we’re playing that and playing a few Christmas songs. And there’s a bunch of other bands playing and Rockshop’s playing so that’s fun. That’s basically it, but if you want to check upcoming shows you can look us up on Facebook!

Caroline Gay

Caroline is a senior at DP, and is starting her third year in journalism as Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Charger Account. She has a passion for photography and is a cultured word connoisseur, which makes her well-suited for journalism.
Editor - cgay15@thechargeraccount.org

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