Last month, The Ninth Wave released their new album Heavy Like a Headache. Little did fans know it might be their last album ever.
Just days after releasing their second studio album, the Glasgow four-piece announced their indefinite hiatus on social media. “On a sad but also happy note, we’ve decided that after this album is out and after the three celebration gigs in March, we’re gonna take an extended break,” they wrote on Instagram.
“We are still best of pals and love what we have created together… We also all have other projects that we’re keen to explore and taking a breather from the band will give us all the opportunity to do that.”
If you’re going to go out, it’s best to go out on a high, and that’s exactly what The Ninth Wave have done on Heavy Like a Headache: it’s a striking collection of icy post-punk, sounding like music that could have arrived from Berlin in the late 80s. Savages, The Horrors, or Young Fathers would be closer contemporaries.
The songs display fragility without the lyrics ever getting too downtrodden. Singing in a distinctly Scottish drawl – always a welcome local touch – the band go deep, exploring grief, anxiety, anger, and loneliness, feelings most listeners will have dealt with in these tumultuous past few years.
To celebrate the release of their new album, we caught up with The Ninth Wave as part of our popular Get T0 Know series to find out more about their life and music.
The Ninth Wave’s Heavy Like a Headache is out now via Distiller Records.
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How did your artist name come about?
The band name has been with me since I was a wee boy – the true origins of the name have been lost in the depths of time.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Yes, Granny, we write our own songs, we don’t do other people’s songs.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
‘SOME’: the first time we’ve fused spoken word with our music, this song takes a hopeless view on everyday existence and the mundanity of the way that you’re expected to live your life (go to school, get a degree, get a job, work til yer life has passed you by). It features a lyric from one of my dad’s songs too.
‘PIECE AND POUND COINS’: this song is about a dear friend that passed away a few years back. His loss was quite a shocking and heartbreaking thing for me and a lot of other people and this song puts into words some things that I’ve not been able to put into words since he passed away.
What do you love about your hometown?
The canal. It’s a ten-minute walk from the city centre and when you walk along the towpath you’re surrounded by nature. You can quite quickly forget that you’re walking through a city!
Career highlight so far?
There have been many, but the fact that we’ve actually had the chance to make two full albums is pretty cool. I was talking to a mate about this and it made me realise how lucky we’ve been to actually be able to do this.
Fave non-music hobby?
I love weight lifting, running, cycling and hill walking. All of these things make my brain go quiet!
What’s on your dream rider?
Dream music collaboration?
Doing something with Trent Reznor would be really cool. Or something with a band called The Barr Brothers, I love that band.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Fuck knows. In the countryside maybe!
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ – Stevie Nicks.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
From my pal Detroit: “here, just stop giving a fuck.”
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
That I love to go and sabotage fox hunts (yes, it’s still somewhat legal in Scotland, much to many people’s disbelief when I tell them. Go and have a look at @hunt_saboteurs on Instagram if you don’t believe me).