Everything you want to know about the Waffle Stompers by Stephanie Gomez
Somewhere in the middle of assigned seating and somewhat caring about gym class, the ska band, The Waffle Stompers, first emerged. After a lot of stop and go over a number of years, the band finally set sail into practicing, writing, and playing shows. Having played with childhood idols, Reel Big Fish, just this past summer, the band has no intentions of stopping. "Our goal as a group is to just keep going, because we love what we do," guitarist Ted Moore confirms. When asked about the ska genre and where it's going, Moore responded, "the reason ska kinda declined recently was because the last wave was just that good. Every band wanted to sound just like Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, or The Mighty Mighty Bosstones...Something that we strive for, and some of our friends' ska bands too, is to be a bit more aggressive, edgey, or faster than the traditional ska mold...We're calling the genre Post-Ska." If anyone has heard or seen The Waffle Stompers', you would agree they are certainly heading in the right direction of a fourth-wave of ska. Even after watching over 300 bands perform in the past myself, I'd have to say The Waffle Stompers remain one of my favorites to see live; they're just so much fun. As Moore puts it, "it's the adreneline just kind of kicking in when we hit the stage and whatever happens happens." Now that you're dying to see this six-piece in action, all you have to do is round up some friends and get to Starland Ballroom on February 27 to catch The Waffle Stompers share the stage with Big D and the Kids Table! For more shows, check out their myspace: www.myspace.com/thewafflestompers. Between going to some shows (because you'll want to see them more than once), stay tuned for new material and big news when the band is ready to let the world know! On a last note, Mr. Moore would like to send this message out: "I just want to encourage music fans to stay active in their scene! Go to shows, put on shows, start a band, join a street team, buy a t-shirt, etc. In the words of hometown idol Richie Knuckles 'Support the scene, we all succeed'."
And here's the Q&A (we did it over AIM because I can't hear people for shit over the phone) -
THE WAFFLE STOMPERS INTERVIEW:
1. How did the band start? The band has a long and complicated history. Adam and Marc were both a part of a ska band known as The Waffle Stompers when they were in middle school. However, that group disbanded after one show and the first incarnation of TWS as we know it today happened by chance between me and adam. I happened to be singing the song 'Trendy' by Reel Big Fish after school one day, and Adam approached me saying 'dude, you like ska? I've got this ska band called The Waffle Stompers, you want to be in it?... Oh yea, do you play guitar?' fortunately for me, I did play guitar. We didn't end up actually practicing for about 3 years after that, it was just kind of our joke of this band we would start one day. Then we did it, and it was awesome.
2. How did you come up with the name "The Waffle Stompers" The name was chosen by a member of that original group in middle school. There's many urban legends about its origin, and we do our best to confront these head on in The Waffle Stompers Video Log 6 on YouTube. Long story short, on the classic Vans skate sneaker, there's a part on the sole that changes from diamonds to what's known as the 'waffle.' I think the waffle stomper was a skate trick they used to do, and they wrote 'waffle' on their soles right at that part.
3. What are the bands goals? Our goal as a group is to just keep going, because we love what we do. The band has become such a huge part of our lives, it's like each of our second girlfriend (if that make sense). We have to spend time with the band, take ourselves out to dinner, talk on the phone haha. But really, we're not going to let life get in the way of doing what we love. We're looking to make a big splash on some of our new releases coming up and hopefully get broader regional or national attention with them.
4. What are your thoughts on the ska genre, like the more pop-punk side? Do you think it's coming back and reaching it's peak? + 5. Do you think third wave ska is over? (first wave - 60's, second wave- 80's, 90's, third wave- reel big fish, mighty mighty bosstones; Do you think fourth wave is coming up? I think we're about to see a new breed of ska bands. The reason ska kinda declined recently was because the last wave was just that good. EVERY band wanted to sounds just like RBF, LTJ or The MMB. Now we're starting to get a wave of us that loved those bands, but are letting tons of other music influence us. So I guess you could call it the 4th wave! Something that we strive for, and some of our friends' ska bands too, is to be a bit more aggressive, edgey, or faster than the traditional ska mold. It's way fun to play, so I think it's going to start catching on. We're calling the genre Post-Ska, haha.
6. What's your/the band's most memorable show so far? July 11, 2009 at Starland Ballroom with Reel Big Fish. It was way badass to be able to play with our childhood idols. Plus there were close to 2000 people there so we really got a chance to meet a lot of cool new people. Then RBF dedicated a song to us, so we went absolutely nuts in the pit.
7. What's your favorite song to play live? Sex Appeal is so much fun to play. Even if our energy is down becaus we're having a bad show or bad day, the minute we get to the first little bridge we're all WAY back into it.
8. What would be your dream tour lineup? well genre lines would need to be broken, but Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake and New Found Glory, with yours truly on the bill. I guess NFG would have to headline.
9. I've seen you a few times before and wanted to know if the band's always been so energetic on stage. Do you practice like that during rehearsals? umm, believe it or not, no we don't really practice with that much pizzaz. Part of the problem is because the ceiling is so low we'd hit our heads, haha. Really, a lot of us have done that. It's the adreneline just kind of kicking in when we hit the stage and whatever happens happens. It has a propensity to end up in injuries.
10. Also, when did you decided to get dressed up for shows? The very first show we played as a band we dressed up like KISS and Twister Sister, and played We're Not Gonna Take it so we layed the groundwork early. We used to do elaborate themes like Mario Bros, Slumber Party, Braveheart, Ghostbusters, everything. If you perooze our Myspace pics, you'll get an idea of some of the things we did. Eventually we ran out of themes, and it became so much work to try to put something together we had to let it go. So a few years later we decided to at least look more uniform, so we found Sazz Vintage clothing and ended up ordering green tux jackets for everyone! They're uber suave, so everyone's usually excited for show days when they can wear them. They get hot in the summer, though. And under stage lights.
11. Do you have any exciting shows coming up? We've got bunches of exciting shows coming up! This Friday, Jan 29th with Chase Long Beach and Outlaw Nation at Soundwaves in Union should be a really good time. Plus Saturday, Feb 27th we've got another Starland Ballroom gig, this time with Big D and the Kids Table! And in between we've got a tour the first week of Feburary with our buddies from Montreal, The Real Deal. Our schedule is packed and we're amped up to go.
12. What are your other plans for the new year? When we're not touring this year, we're going to release new material. We're working on the behind-the-scenes-nitty-gritty right now, but when it's all sorted our we'll definitely get to put out some new songs. We've been talking with a couple big-name producers and studios to figure out where we want to go. There's some REALLY exciting offers out there, so we can't wait. Of course, I can't really say anything until its finalized, but there will be some big news soon and we'll let everyone know!
13. Is there anything you'd like to add or want the fans to know? I just want to encourage music fans to stay active in their scene! Go to shows, put on shows, start a band, join a street team, buy a t-shirt. In the words of hometown idol Richie Knuckles 'suppot the scene, we all succeed.