No Waves - The Story of a Montreal Up-and-Coming Band
Last February, we were lucky enough to meet three passionate teenagers who founded their own band : No Waves. After many valuable discussions with them and attending one of their shows, we came out inspired by their story strewn with ambition and authenticity. Impressed by their beginnings as a Montreal musical group, we thought their background was more than worth sharing.
First off, who are the members of No Waves ? Samuel, Angel and Cyril. Sam, a New York native who moved to Montréal at the age of 3, dedicated himself to drums at a very young age. Angel, originally from Mexico, is the guitarist of the band. Together, Angel and Sam unite for key vocals in the songs. Cyril, for his part, comes from the Philippines and is the bassist of No Waves. Thus, three teenagers from totally different countries who nonetheless had the opportunity to find and discover each other through their music, in Montréal.
From the moment they met at the age of 12, Angel and Sam dreamed of starting their own band. Growing up together, they began meeting regularly to play music, but they were missing a bassist. After going to a Greenday concert, Angel and an old friend of his, Cyril, realised they could create a band together, aiming to one day become just like the band Greenday. As if it had been predestined, this friend happened to be a bassist.
Hence, in April of 2017, Cyril, Sam and Angel officially created their band. They wanted to give it a surf-like vibe/look, but there was no surf in Montréal. No surf, thus No Waves. At that time they were only 14 and, like any young and ambitious band, they had the main goal of playing at the Bell Center and in the major music centres of the world. But as they matured, their objectives changed, and as Sam so aptly put it during our interview with him : "I think that now, our goals are just to put everything we can in our music, in our projects, in our albums.” In other words, dedication is what they thrive for. Of course, because of all their hard work, their journey has already been quite fruitful.
Jumping to two years after starting their band, they recorded their first EP : " No Waves ". This EP was dropped in June of 2019, but having already composed a couple of monoplage songs, they were able to perform their collection for the first time at a climate strike in March of 2019 (Pour le futur). They also performed at the Indigo Youth Fest (IYF) in May of the same year. The IYF was an event where many different musicians got the opportunity to perform their songs and that they organised to promote Montréal’s music scene. It was quite a success as more than 300 people showed up. Later in May, they also opened a show for famous artists CRABE and Hubert Lenoir, winner of three Prix Félix in 2018 and three time nominee at the Juno Awards of 2019 (notably for album and artist of the year).
" Right now, we really know our place in the small underground scene. Sometimes, just playing for 10 people makes my whole year. We’ve played for 300 people, but our best shows were definitely the smallest. " - Angel
Recently, we attended the Lonely Hearts Club event which they organised with the Indigo Youth Crew, a collective of many Montreal artists which they created to put on shows. This particular concert brought together many performances by different artists and, through it's theme and title, was meant to embrace self love and self expression for valentines day.
Today, when they are on stage, they told us that they all feel like it’s where they belong. They are so grateful for the people who love what they do with passion and for fun as a group of three friends, but are, surprisingly, also grateful for the people who hate them. In our interview, Cyril explained that through all of his years in the band, he learned that you can always turn something negative into something positive. Currently, their instagram name and recurring slogan is “F**k No Waves”. The story behind this is quite interesting. In the words of No Waves’ bassist, Cyril : “During one of our shows, there was a dude who yelled “F**k No Waves” out of literal spite for us while we were performing. He hated us. But like, WOW ! That was our first hater ! Yeah ! You really make it when you have a hater ! That’s why we started saying F**k No Waves.”
For them, Arrière-Saison is a movement of not paying attention to the negative aspects of life. Even though their show was during the biggest snow storm of the year, people still ventured from their houses to their performance to encourage them. It’s perseverance through all the challenges that are thrown at everyone in life. The name No Waves has also evolved. Today, it’s more about being true to yourself and never following any waves, except the ones you believe in.