Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Aaron Stauffer, the former vocalist of Seaweed. At the time, I had no idea what he was currently up to, and one of the revelations was that he was still making music, albeit on a different trip from the musical style I had known him for in the '90s.
That brings us to Waveform NCC.
Featuring Aaron on guitars and vocals, along with former Cake and Deathray bassist Victor Damiani, Rosco Tuomala on trumpet, and Blake Tallman handling drums, Waveform NCC is a tough band to tag into a specific genre. To quote an Aerosmith song, how about I just let the music do the talking? Check out the track "First Rain" below to hear some slinky grooves driven forward by a walking bass line from Victor.
The seeds to Waveform NCC's formation came were planted after Aaron and Victor met at a beach party in Mendocino, CA. A conversation was struck up about Sacramento’s rich punk history and the musicians they both were familiar with. When the subject of Victor's time in Cake during their Fashion Nugget era came up, Aaron admitted that he was never really a fan of the band. Yikes! Victor was even more apathetic about Seaweed, telling Aaron that he had never even heard of the former Sub Pop outfit. With an intro conversation like that, it's a small miracle the two ended up becoming friends, let alone band mates.
After a summer spent writing music with a Casio keyboard handling percussion, Aaron brought in longtime collaborator Brian Garfinkel as a drummer and producer. The new band spent four days last August in Portland recording an album. Since then, Blake was welcomed to the fold as Waveform NCC's new drummer. Okay, let's get back to the music!
"Ring Down" is a sleepy track, one that Rosco colors with melancholic horn runs throughout it. There are moments where a distorted guitar bursts into the arrangement, but the meat of the song keeps things all jazzy-like, with Brian's cymbal work peppering Aaron's hazy-feeling vocal melodies.
Aaron tells me that Waveform NCC is nearly ready to add the finishing touches to their debut record, and they're already planning on tracking their sophomore outing this coming summer. Stay tuned!