If you go
What: Rogue Wave (live taping)
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13
Where: eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce St., Boulder, 303-443-8696
Cost: $17

Last week, indie pop band Rogue Wave released its fifth album, Nightingale Floors. The pretty but sometimes emotionally dark record feels like a return to form, for fans and the ban, the latter of which has been relatively quiet in the three years since Permalink. When we caught up with singer and guitarist Zach Rogue, he was feeling good about the new music and getting back on the road.

So, your latest record came out last week. It must still be exciting.

You know, it is. It’s been a long time for us, so it’s nice to get back and the way we’re going, it’s kind of fun. It’s intimate and real. We’ve been away from it for a while and it feels good.

Listening to the record, it sounded like you were taking more time to tease out or expand on ideas. Was that the case or am I hallucinating that?

Well you could be hallucinating anyway. I think it definitely was — I kind of wanted to let go and not force the song if it seemed like there was a moment happening instrumentally and not trying to hit you over the head with a vocal if it’s not right. And that’s because we were in preproduction mode much longer this time. When we’re in preproduction we don’t always know how a song starts or ends. We know what the meat of it is. Sometimes, on “Siren’s Song” or “College,” we were like, just let it have that moment to establish itself. We tried to truncate stuff and then it didnt feel like the song any more. We’re happy with that.

It also seems like you backed away from the synth-heavy dance rhythms we heard on Permalight.
We were definitely not as in control of the sound on the last record and it didnt really work. It might work for other bands, but it doesnt work for what we do. It doesn’t feel right to us. We still love using synths and we use sytnhs all the time, so that’s not really different. It’s just the way we use them. I think there was a misperception of the last record. There were only two dance songs. There’s a lot of guitar on that … I don’t think it was an accurate narrative for that record. I could argue that there are more synths on this record than the last one. But it’s a messy, emotional record.

Of course you want to try new things, but this record just feels like the band is more at home.
It is more us. It’s not us being edited …We were clearly in the right emotional space and that’s way more appealing. That’s how we tried to handle vocals, too … You’re gonna lose the emotional if you’re trying to be perfect. But if you can be more emotional, that’s going to have more of an impact and you won’t get sick of doing it on the road. When we’re demoing things, the things that stick with us are the ones that have a spark, and whatever that spark is, you’ll lose it if you just hammer it and hammer it.

The eTown Hall show is only the second stop in your tour, it must be nice to start playing the new music live.
Well it’s not a normal kind of show, so we’re not doing a normal set. We’re only doing five or six songs. We might strip it down and I’ll bring out some more acoustic guitar.

It’s good to be back and just to be out there doing it again. It’s weird, you know, just driving down these freeways again and looking at the dirt on the floor of clubs and the smell of the bathrooms and the general decrepitude of the walls. It’s this familiar kind of world that I haven’t been in touch with in a while, and it feels good.

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