Written by Gemma Marshall
This month, we had the opportunity to interview one-woman band Wave Break of New Jersey. We talked about the pressures of being a one-person band as well as the process and influence behind her most recent single!
Gemma Marshall: First off, introduce yourself!
Kelly Barber: Hi! I’m Kelly and I’m the lead singer, guitarist, songwriter, and only current member of Wave Break!
GM: So, Wave Break has a long history of lineup changes. Tell us a little bit about the challenges of being a one woman rock band and how you make it work.
KB: It’s tough being the only member of the band. Since it’s just me, I don’t have as many funds for band expenses, I have to find people to fill in for other instruments whenever I do shows or video shoots, and I have to keep myself motivated. But so far it has been doable.
I just have to make sure I’m saving up a bit more for band expenses than I otherwise would, and putting lead guitar parts on a backing track has helped make it so I don’t have to find quite as many fill-ins for shows. I also keep myself motivated by reminding myself how far I’ve already come and how far I can eventually go if I keep going.
GM: You just released your new single “Tug of War” on September 10th. What’s the inspiration behind this track?
KB: This track is funny because I wrote the lyrics in 2019 while I was commuting to NYC and the music almost a year later. It literally just sat in my notebook for a bit, but I wrote it while a couple friends were annoyed with me because I wasn’t replying fast enough to messages and texts- I even lost a friend over this.
But I was going through my own issues with being overworked, dealing with my own band stuff, etc so I was extremely mentally drained. It was tough to come home from a very tiring and stressful job and then immediately switch to answering messages and keep up with that, which these friends didn’t understand.
I was doing my best, but it apparently wasn’t enough. So I wrote this song about feeling like being pulled in completely opposite directions with my demanding job, friend’s expectations, band responsibilities, etc.
It’s about having all of these things pulling at you and everyone needing something from you, but you can’t seem to find a way to satisfy everyone or yourself.
GM: How does this track compare to your other two recent singles “Manic Dreams” & “Chemical Burn”?
KB: The lyrics to this one are a little more simplistic, but it still revolves around a metaphor like most of Wave Break’s songs. It’s also different musically- a lot of songs, including Wave Break’s, revolve around a certain riff, but this one revolves around a guitar rhythm which is heard in the verses, melodies, bridge, outro, etc with different chords.
GM: Do you find that “Tug of War” reflects some of your own relationships? Is it important to you to write songs about some of your personal experiences?
KB: It absolutely does! Pretty much everything I write has something to do with my own experiences or things that I’ve observed in my life. This one is no exception.
GM: How do you feel Wave Break has matured since your last EP release “Armory” back in 2018? How does the new EP (being released in fall 2021) compare to some of the older stuff you’ve released?
KB: The songs on this EP are definitely darker and moodier than the ones on "Armory." As a whole, the songs deal with darker topics like harassment, loneliness, mental health, etc.
"Armory" didn’t go quite as deep. Also, musically, this EP expands further into the alternative-rock realm than "Armory" whereas Armory was a bit more pop-punk.
So we’ve definitely honed in on our sound a bit more by adding more dynamic changes, more guitar riffs, higher vocal parts, among other things.
GM: What’s the biggest takeaway you want listeners to have? Do you have any advice to those who relate to the struggle of not putting yourself first?
KB: I definitely want anyone listening to this song to know that it’s okay if they feel like they can’t satisfy anyone’s expectations of them because everyone expects something from them.
Take it as a sign to start tailoring your life to making yourself happy. Switch jobs if your job is overworking you.
Cut out friends from your life who don’t understand what you’re going through. Make time for more of the things that make you happy. Life is too short to not live it for yourself.
GM: Any other news you’d like to share with our readers for the rest of the year?
KB: We have one more single coming before the EP release this fall! Stay tuned to our socials so you don’t miss it!
Make sure to keep an eye out for Wave Break’s future releases & check out the new single “Tug of War” available on all streaming platforms! To stay up to date with what Wave Break is up to you can follow the band account @WaveBreakBand on Twitter.
Let us know who you want to see us interview next by tweeting us @lgndsoftmrw.