Indie rock band superWAV is far from your typical band, which is why it’s so fitting that the broth-sister duo named their latest EP aTYPICAL. The sibling artists Anne and Volker Wichmand are based in Brooklyn and Austria respectively, so they record together literally across the Atlantic Ocean. Anne helms the vocals while Volker lends his talents with the guitar. The German-born duo set out to create a stripped-down rock sound reminiscent of all the best eras of power rock with aTypical. Anne and Volker took time out of their busy schedules to talk about their latest endeavor, their music and the strengths that bring them together as superWAV.
I love that you two are siblings. How did you first discover your musical talents?
Volker: I saw Anne’s talent very early on. And our parents supported her musical talent a lot. Yet I was told that I have no musical talent. Well, screw them, right? Haha. As a teenager I simply felt the urge to form a band and write my own songs, not just play sheet music of songs that someone else chose for me. Playing in a band was a lot of fun, and people really liked what we were doing, so we kept going.
Anne: This cultural concept about who is “talented” and who is not is really alienating to me, given how adults judged Volker and me already as kids. Music was simply something that I was drawn to since I can remember. But I hated to practice sheet music so much! Like Volker, it was clear that I rather wanted to write my own songs than play somebody else’s music. And this art form became very important to me as a means of expression, a way to stay sane.
And how did you discover what works best with the two of you as a duo? What strengths do you each bring to the table?
Anne: Volker just comes up with the most amazing guitar riffs. I really dig his unique style, and when he shares his recordings with me, usually tons of ideas pop up in my head.
Volker: My sister is just incredible, a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, arranger. Additionally we both gained a lot of experience in sound engineering and production over the years. And our different approaches complement each other well.
Sonic waves across the Atlantic Ocean. Walk me through what it’s like working together miles apart?
Anne: Working remotely means a lot of file sharing and Skype, haha. But we have a smooth process. Volker sends over his guitar riffs. I arrange them, add the instrumentation and the vocals. Then we send the tracks back and forth, adjusting the arrangement together and working toward a final version.
Volker: For aTYPICAL, we then decided to actually mix the album together – meaning: We physically got together for the final steps. We rented a small place in the Italian Alps for a week, set up a mobile studio and got to work.
Anne: Such a great time! Nothing beats really being together!
Having worked in a band together previously, how did you come to decide to create superWAV?
Volker: Anne always had her solo project She’s Excited! and I was making music for myself, so it kind of made sense… We just felt like doing another project together. But it was clear that it shouldn’t just be RAWJAW all over again.
Anne: It is also so much easier to be a duo rather than a four or five person band. You can realize projects faster. If Volker and I commit to something, we dive in 100%. This is a huge investment of time and energy. Not many people our age are down to do that.
What’s different with aTYPICAL from your first album titled Elements? What inspired this second release?
Volker: When we started working on aTYPICAL, we were drawn to a raw, more direct, even simpler approach. “Simpler” in the sense of “stripped down”. Back to the roots, we wanted to include more of the elements that formed us early on. And it is always interesting to work on a specific concept or topic. So we decided to go for the archetypes.
Anne: While diving deeper into the characteristics of the archetypes, their struggles, their dark sides were far more interesting to us than their obvious strengths. Hence aTYPICAL.
How would you describe your music?
Volker: Guitar-heavy Alternative Indie Rock influenced by Grunge, Stoner Rock and Prog Rock.
Anne: The Kills meet The White Stripes with a taste of Kyuss.
Who are you individually inspired by as far as musicians/artists go?
Volker: Early Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, John Christ, Jerry Cantrell, Josh Homme …
Anne: My biggest influences are Tina Turner and David Bowie. These days, I listen a lot to genre-bending Hip Hop. I think it’s one of the most exciting genres out there at the moment… Volker and I cover quite the musical range, haha!
What are your goals as musicians as far as the future goes?
Anne: The new She’s Excited! album Moments Of Sonder will be released on January 26th, and I am really looking forward to sharing these songs! I am also in the midst of creating a multiplayer sound Augmented Reality app called “Current” with the artists /p and Anke Schiemann – which will be showcased at several festivals in 2024. And I just started to work on an interesting musical collaboration integrating AI tools to talk about panic attacks and mental health. It’s never boring!
Volker: Have fun, work on great music, don’t lose your drive and somehow fit it all into your life!
Images Courtesy of Independent Music Promotions