Name: Blue Wave Theory
Genre: Progressive Surf
Geographical Area: New Jersey
Interview by email with Steve Rabeler on 7/30/08
Steve Rabeler – guitar
Bill Schmidt – drums
Kevin Stamper - bass
Steve, Bill, and Kevin all worked day jobs as engineers for the same company based in Moorestown, NJ. At work, they often had discussions about music and forming a new band. Eventually Steve and Bill left the company, but kept in contact. Finally, in February 2007, Steve and Bill started rehearsing some original songs, recruited Kevin to complete the sound, and Blue Wave Theory was formed. Our website is http://www.myspace.com/bluewavetheory
Bill: A pretty wide range actually. I cut my teeth on the usual drummer bands (Rush, Dream Theatre, Genesis, Dixie Dregs, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin). My interests have since branched out into jazz, where I discovered the amazing Tony Williams. My interests have lately tuned away from bands producing blazing 64th notes and more towards bands putting together a coherent song – telling an interesting story. For example, Red is probably my favorite band right now. The one musician that has probably had the single greatest impact, oddly enough, is Phil Keaggy, an instrumental guitarist. He has an amazing grasp of chord layers and songwriting. From a drumming perspective, many of his (blistering) guitar runs translate into very interesting fill patterns as well. I don’t think you can listen to that level of musicianship without it having an impact in some form or another.
Kevin really loves funk, jazz, and soul. He has been influenced by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Parliament / Funkadelic, Victor Wooten, the Beastie Boys, and Rage Against the Machine. He tries to listen to as much world music as possible, like Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars, in order to keep the bass lines appropriately unconventional.
For live shows, Blue Wave Theory plays approximately 75% originals and 25% covers.
have you done?
During the past year, we have been developing several new songs for our debut Blue Wave Theory CD. Several tracks have been recorded with engineer / producer Dan Skye at Skylab Studio in Roosevelt, NJ. More studio sessions are planned for this summer and our CD will (hopefully) be completed and released before the end of 2008.
Steve has been in a few different bands over the years and made several recordings:
Blaze Orange (1982 - 1983)
- Blaze Orange’s song “Survivor” released in 1983 on Binghamton, New York radio station WAAL compilation album of various upstate New York bands.
Lochinvar (1987 – 2001)
- Lochinvar’s song “The Untamed Child” released in 1988 on “12 x 12”, a Dallas, Texas compilation album of independent bands.
- “Knight Songs” EP released in 1997 on MP3.com Records.
- “It Came From The 80’s” CD released in 1999 on MP3.com Records.
- “Lochinvar” CD released in 2001 on Ampcast Records.
Speed Limit 35 (1997 – 2007)
- “The Speed of Sound” CD released in 2000 on MP3.com Records.
- “Shifting Gears” CD released in 2004 on Hectic Eclectic Records.
- Speed Limit 35's song "ReKrupaRation" was featured on the first episode of the Roadtrip Nation television series on PBS. The show premiered in September 2006 on PBS stations nationwide.
Artificial Intelligence in Texas (1986 – present)
- “Time Remembers” CD released in 2006 on Hectic Eclectic Records.
- Several new tracks are currently being recorded for a new CD entitled “Precious Piece of Mind”. This CD is scheduled to be released in late 2008 / early 2009.
Bill has been involved with many different bands and recording projects including:
- Percussion Institute of Technology studio project
Arrival (1988 – 1993)
- Recorded full album “The Water” and an untitled project.
Elysian Skies (1991 – 1993)
- Released “Exquisite Whisper” CD in 1995 or so. The song “Digg” from this project received radio play and actually found its way onto a couple of jukeboxes across the country.
Penny Lane Studios (1990 – 1995)
- Was the “house drummer” for Penny Lane studios in El Paso, Texas for a number of years. Received many calls to record tracks for bands that did not have drummers.
Severance (2000 – 2003)
- Recorded “out of control” and live album CD’s for this high-energy rock band.
Artificial Intelligence in Texas (2007 – present)
- Joined Steve’s modern rock band and is in the process of recording drum tracks and percussion for the current CD project.
Kevin has not released any recordings to date, but he's excited about the upcoming Blue Wave Theory release.
Steve: For live shows and band rehearsals, Steve uses…
G & L Skyhawk electric guitar
D’Addario XL .01 - .046 strings
Herco thin blue nylon picks
(if anyone has any extras of these picks lying around, please let me know. They haven’t been made for years but I’d love to have some more!)
Marshall 9005 power amp
ADA MP-1 pre-amp
ADA T2-12C SL split-stack speaker cabinets
Lexicon LXP-5 multi-effects processor
Scholz R&D Rockman equalizer
ADA MC-1 MIDI foot controller
Dunlop Cry Baby wah-wah pedal
Boss HM-2 distortion pedal
Boss TU-2 tuner pedal
Steve needs to seriously downsize to a much more portable guitar rig!!
For studio recordings, Steve sometimes utilizes a POD 2.0 guitar direct box, but usually just goes direct into the board, utilizing various software programs to create tone. When practicing at home, Steve pretty much always plays his G&L “unplugged”.
Bill: Heh heh…. well, I have a >>>30 Piece<<< drum set sitting in my basement, consisting of Ludwig vistalites, rototoms, octobans, and electronics. Some of the more unusual pieces include a buzzsaw blade (very tough on the sticks), an ashtray, and two garbage can lids. I have plans to expand in the future.
Live is a bit more pedestrian: Typical 7-piece kit with double pedals, or whatever equipment that is at the gig that produces noise (typically augmented with the octos).
Jackson JPB-9 electric bass
Trace Elliott GP7SM 250 bass amp
David Eden D212XLT speaker cabinet
Boss Flanger BF-3 pedal
Occasionally, he'll use his Digitech Jamman looper/phrase sampler pedal when he wants to keep the bass line going but play some melody lines or solos.
What is your band’s favorite
Steve: Pasta, blueberries, and strawberries.
Bill: Ring-tailed Lemurs.
Kevin: Chocolate, of the Dark variety.
We’re a relatively new band and are just now starting the process of getting gigs. Blue Wave Theory’s first public performance was in August 2007 at the annual “Music on the Back Porch” festival in Boyds, Maryland. Since then, we’ve played 3 more shows: 1 private party in Cherry Hill, NJ, and 2 shows as part of Unsteady Freddie’s monthly surf –rock shindigs at Otto’s Shrunken Head in New York City. 3 more shows are currently on our schedule for 2008: the annual Twangstock festival (August 31), a gig at Desmond’s Tavern in NYC (November 1) and Unsteady Freddie’s Surf-Rock Shindig on December 6th at Otto’s. Now that we’ve developed our sound somewhat, and written a lot of new material, we hope to schedule several more shows in the near future!
Since we’ve only played a handful of shows, no difficulties have arisen yet. Thanks to Unsteady Freddie for asking us to be part of his Shindigs, and for his promotion of the type of shows where instrumental / surf bands can play the kind of music they want to play in front of a very supportive audience!
10. What positive attributes does your band have that sets you apart from other bands (of any genre)?
The three of us have very different and diverse musical backgrounds, influences and styles of playing. As a result, we tend to develop songs that often go in unexpected directions.
What have you
found to be the single most effective promotional tool you’ve used to further
your band’s musical path?
most interesting performance experience you’ve had?
14. Anything else?