Awesome Fest in San Diego in September and The Fest in Gainesville, FL in October.
This interview was conducted via email with J. Wang and Matty July 2 - 27, 2016.
For more information on Shallow Cuts check out their Facebook, Twitter, and BandCamp pages.
The band's latest release, the excellent Empty Beach Town, is available via No Idea Records, BandCamp (No Idea), BandCamp (Shallow Cuts), Amazon, and iTunes.
Dave: How did the band get together?
J. Wang: Brad and I are long time friends from travelling and touring with each other’s bands and enjoyed spending time together. We always shared our bands songs with each other and both had the idea to send songs back and forth and try recording some. Matty and I have played music for a long time together and I really enjoy playing with him and it was an easy fit to fill the bass playing.
Matty: Brad and J were sending new songs they wrote back and forth. They made a plan to get together and record. Once the plan was set J tied me in to their correspondence and said, "Matty you're playing bass"... or something like that. I didn't know anything about it, but was stoked to be a part of it.
Dave: What’s the story behind the name Shallow Cuts?
J.: I’m not sure, Matty and Brad will have to answer that one.
Matty: I think Shallow Cuts was a reference to surfing small waves. J lives in a rad beach community. There were a lot of stupid surfer jokes when we first got together.
Dave: For those who have never heard the band, how do you describe your music?
J.: I think if you’ve heard any of our previous bands you will have an idea of what it sounds like. It is definitely a departure from what we all have previously done and a lot cleaner tones in guitar and vocals, getting away from being tagged a “gruff melodic punk band.”
Matty: A close friend said it's "pop" without being a "pop punk" band. Always kind of liked that description.
J.: Empty Beach Town came from the idea of my home town Cardiff by the Sea and how it’s dead and all the tourists are gone during the winter. That transitioned into a fictitious story along the same lines with a homeless transient somewhere around the area of Pacifica in Northern California. Brad has put out records with his previous bands on No Idea and we have been friends with everyone at the label for a very long time and it seemed like a good fit.
Dave: Do you have plans to tour in support of the new record? What are some of your favorite places to play?
J.: Being that we are all pretty far from each other, we only get together about 2 times a year to tour, play shows, record, etc. We are playing shows in San Diego for Awesome Fest, Minneapolis for One Last Party and some shows in Florida revolving around Fest. These will all be in support of the release of the album. I really enjoy playing in Chicago and Minneapolis as well as home in San Diego. Gainesville has always been good to us as well.
Dave: Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?
J.: With this band, time is short so we basically have the songs pretty much complete as composed by the songwriter. We demo the songs and send them to each other, rehearse and then record.
Matty: Not really. I write the way I do, Brad does his the way he does, and J does his the same. We all sort of bring structure & lyrics to the table and go from there.
J.: I think it has always been pretty amazing. It definitely ebbs and flows with time. There is also an element of involvement, due to age, family, etc. that becomes a factor. I don’t make it to shows every night like I used to, so sometimes it’s hard to gage. I know the shows I go to are still well attended and its usually a great crowd. We did Dan Padilla’s last show at the Casbah and it sold out and was pretty amazing. There also seems to be a ton of venues now that have live music so there are a lot more choices on what to go see. There is definitely some great stuff going on with some younger people and that is always good to see.
Matty: Bertos & Santa Ana Knights are amazing!
Dave: This is a High Fidelity inspired question. What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?
J.: Well this is a constantly changing thing for me. Instead of top 5 I will just state that I’m listening to a lot of Van Morrison, Dinosaur Jr., Bob Mould, and Cayetana right now. As far as movies, tv, books, if it’s boring and educational.. then I love it!
Dave: What’s next for the band?
J.: We talked about trying to do a new ep late this year.
Dave: Any final thoughts?
J.: Thanks for your time and we hope everyone enjoys the new record. We are really stoked on it! Cheers. J.