INTERVIEW: Day Wave talks “The Days We Had” and creative process!

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Starting my own website was something scary, something I was unsure of but by doing so, it has opened my eyes to the new class of music coming out. Having something that was not only focusing on three genres of music really opened my eyes to the new in everything. One of those acts that I found lately was the sunshine-y vibes of Day Wave aka the moniker for Jackson Phillips’s solo tunes. Phillips dropped the debut full length for Day Wave just in May of this year and as a music veteran at a young age, told us about this new venture and even the sounds he may progress into. We spoke to Phillips just before he played a great turn out at The Sinclair in Cambridge and are looking forward to the next time this talented act comes back to Boston!

You’re just a little bit over a month since the debut full length released, “The Days We Had”. You’re playing these shows. How do you think it’a been going over? Like this initial reaction.
It’s good. It’s cool to see everybody singing along to the new songs from the album. it’s a cool feeling. Especially because the music, it’s only a month old, and everyone knows the lyrics. So it’s a good reaction, I think.

And it hadn’t been that long at all since you had released new material with the last EP coming out in 2016 and you have been giving out so much material. When did the writing for this record come about?
A lot of it was written at the same time as the EP’s. Then some of it towards the end but the album was recorded over a year ago. So the most recent songs that I wrote for it were written a year and a half ago or something.
So are you currently working on new music?
Yeah I always have a little backlog of songs and I think for the next album, I’ll try to, whether or not I use the ones I’ll already have, get into a flow of things. Make something that’s cohesive.

And do you feel that’s changing even though you’re still pretty new into releasing music?
Yeah definitely. I think your sensibility will always change. You don’t really notice it happen but after a year or two, the music you’re making is a little bit different then it was when you started out. It’s just natural.

Then maybe something when writing now, that you left behind in the writing process and maybe something new that you’re trying?
I mean with the record, I think a lot of the songs are written around the same time as the EP’s so they’re similar or in the same style. But then when I went to record it, it was a year after the EP or something. It was done a little bit differently. I played the drums live, the production was a tiny bit different. Then the label had somebody mix it instead of me because normally I would. I mixed my EP’s . So that goes a long way because mixing is a huge part of the vibe so the vibe is a little bit different on the album because of the mixing. I think he did a really good job but it’s still not me doing it. So there’s a little bit of a shift.

Then maybe how was that shift. Obviously signing to Capitol, such a big label. How did that come about for you and how was it to make that kind of jump?
Well, after doing the two EP’s, we had a few options. There were a few labels that were interested and it was sort of deciding whether or not to do an indie or something more like a major. Harvest is part of Capitol but it functions sort of like an indie where they kind of let you make whatever music you want in a way. Then they just kind of do their thing but it was cool. It was a little different. It takes a long time to get stuff released. Once the music is done, it takes another six months to release it. I think it’s not quite like that on an indie label but you know, maybe I’m wrong.
Can’t just drop it like within the next week.
No you can’t just do that. It’s a little different, I think the approach from the bigger labels is not the same approach as an indie label. There’s definitely perks, there are things that compromise it as well.

Then I wanted to ask, obviously still very young, when was the moment where you knew you wanted to pursue music as a career?
When I went to college because I went to music school so it was like alright, I guess I’m doing music. I didn’t know what it was going to be exactly but just something within music.
Well maybe the moment that incited you to choose to go to music school?
That was the only thing I liked was music. That was it, I didn’t want to do normal academics or anything. I think it was just a natural choice of just being like well, what do I now? High school is over, what did I like about my life in high school? Music, so why don’t I just keep doing that. I didn’t really think too hard about it.

Then to end it off, we’re only about a month out from this record. So maybe the focus for these next few months.
Just touring. Touring and if I get time off from touring, I’ll keep writing and try to find a sound that I’m interested in.

About Author


Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.