Ride the Wave
Growing up in Moraga, Zach Rogue (pictured, bottom right) had two heroes: baseball legend Rickey Henderson and John Lennon. Fortunately for music fans, Lennon—and later the Cure, R.E.M., and the Smiths—turned out to be a stronger influence.
Rogue, the 32-year-old front man of Oakland indie rock group Rogue Wave, was working at a start-up company in San Francisco when the dot-com bubble burst. After losing his job in 2002, he went to New York and recorded an album, Out of the Shadow. He returned to the Bay Area and put together a band, including fellow Oakland residents Pat Spurgeon (drums) and Gram LeBron (keyboards), to go on tour in support of the album. Rogue Wave was born.
The band, along with bassist Sonya Westcott (since replaced by Patrick Abernathy), recorded Descended Like Vultures in 2005. The second album received critical acclaim, and Rolling Stone labeled Rogue Wave “artists to watch.” The band is frequently mentioned in the same breath as the Shins, due to its melodic indie pop sound, and Rogue’s songwriting draws the occasional heady comparison to Neil Young or Elliott Smith. Rogue Wave’s songs have been featured on
|Courtesy of Rogue Wave|
television shows such as Heroes, The OC, and Weeds, and most recently on the soundtrack for Spiderman 3.
On September 18, Rogue Wave will release its third album, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate. Several events from the past year influenced the new album’s songs: Spurgeon underwent a kidney transplant in January after a six-year wait; LeBron’s father died; and Rogue had his first child, a daughter.
“We had all these unbelievably significant life experiences,” Rogue says. “Sometimes bands get in a rut because they’re always touring. We had some time off and had all these things happen, and it was great for us creatively. Since the band started, this is the record we’ve been wanting to do.” For information, go to www.roguewavemusic.com.