By Emily McLean
Written for Utah Stories March 2015
It’s faux pas to throw your own birthday party, but that didn’t stop Static Waves. One year together and they celebrated in style with a sold out show at the popular Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo. Many greats have taken the same stage, such as Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons, yet Static Waves holds their own. “For us it was exciting, we’ve done a lot in our first year,” says drummer Cory Beighley.
Static Waves was brought together by lead singer Jesse Hart Williams, the heart of the band. At a young age he knew that he’d be a musician, “Buddy Holly was my idol.” Feeling the pressure of life, Jesse studied computer science in college and got great job. Yet all he could think about was spending his next paycheck on a guitar or gear. “I was putting all this effort in to work, but dreaming of something else all the time.” After suffering a leg injury that had him bedridden for six months, he realized it was time to focus on what he loved.
Serious about a music career, Jesse wanted to bring together a group of great musicians with the same mindset. He stole the bass player, Cade Tueller and drummer Cory from another band. Jesse remembered guitarist Austin Cross from high school, “He played a Pink Floyd song in an assembly and it was memorable.” Synth player, Justin Woods also attended Orem High with Jesse, Austin and Cade.
Austin knew he wanted to be a musician in eighth grade when he noticed he was getting a lot of attention for it. “I wouldn’t play guitar if it didn’t make me popular!” claims Austin.
“It’s a good group of guys, we’re lucky,” says Jesse. Friends on and off stage, they work hard and play hard together, creating real chemistry. “This doesn’t feel like a job, it’s just something that you wake up every morning and you’re excited to work hard and spend hours and hours each day,” Cory exclaims.
Jesse is the brainchild behind the band’s name. “Static Waves is music. I thought it fit the sound, we’re very electronic and I like the oxymoron idea,” Jesse explains.
Praised for their sleek design, Justin, also a graphic design student at UVU, is the brains behind it. They put in over a hundred hours to get the right look and feel to match their style. “Justin is talented, he’s been a huge asset.” says Jesse. Cory adds, “We don’t like to settle.”
They write songs much the same way and are currently spending time writing a lot of demos, which will be narrowed down to the best ten or so for their upcoming album. Jesse has a natural talent for writing hooks and brings the main songwriting ideas and structure to the group. He has a vision they’re all trying to capture and together their different styles blend and turn them into what they are.
Static Waves self titled EP, released in September proves they’re on to something special. Wanting to begin with a great product, they collaborated with Eric Robertson of Pleasant Pictures. He produced the six song EP and had a lot to do with the sound. Jesse proclaims, “Eric gets a lot of credit for pulling out the kind of sound we were looking for.”
Back in the studio with Eric once again, they’re currently working on a single to promote their upcoming Kickstarter launching in April. Money raised will fund a full album and help them take off on a local tour.
Goals are nothing new to Static Waves. Cory explains, “We know what we want as a band, we love music and we love performing. This is what we want for a life, a career choice.” They began with the intent to sell out Velour and have done it three times now. Within a year they’d like to be heard on the radio. “The sky’s the limit,” says Jesse.
Backstage at the Anniversary Concert the green room thrums with energy as they don paint that will glow under strategically timed black lights during the show. “I’m much happier now, making no money and working my but off versus making good money and not loving what I do,” professes Jesse. Armed with glow sticks the band takes the stage greeting a packed house of excited fans. They’re certainly making waves.
See Static Waves play at Kilby Court’s “A Night of Local Art” on Saturday March 21st at 6:00 pm, only $6.