The Wavos
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The Wavos

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Alternative EDM


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"New York Band Finds Audiences are Hungry Like the Wolf for New-Wave Covers"

In addition to replicating tunes of the Reagan era, The Wavos have their own EP out.

The 1980s are alive and doing very well here in 2010.

For living proof, look no further than The Wavos, an '80s cover trio from New York City that's got the electro-pop vibe down to a vintage T.

The Wavos will play The Otter House in downtown Fredericksburg on Saturday.
"In the 1980s, we were just coming out of school, and it was such a great time for all of us," said vocalist and synthesizer player Gordon Smith in a phone interview from New York City.

"The music is the biggest factor from that time period for us when we look back, because it was so different than what we had as music before."

Since its inception in October 2008, The Wavos (consisting of Smith, guitarist/bassist/vocalist Joe Bace and drummer Tone Maul) have been turning modern, intimate venues into vibrant, new-wave throwbacks. From "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode to "Whip It" by Devo to "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds, The Wavos hit seemingly everything in the "Decade of Excess," and do it quite well.

Of all the places the band has rocked up and down the East Coast, it has found a rather loyal following right here in Fredericksburg. Saturday's performance will be the band's fourth time playing downtown in the past year.

It's easy to see why The Wavos keep coming back. Some members of the audience come in their favorite '80s garb, and the show is typically nothing short of an authentic, all-out dance party.

"Fredericksburg has been a really great place for us," said Smith. "The audience [in Fredericksburg] is unlike any other, and they really like to get into it and dance. We've put our heads together to play the best possible show we can give them on Saturday."

This time around, Smith said, the band will focus a bit more on the "ultra popular" '80s tunes. We'll just have to see if that means more of David Bowie, New Order or one of the nearly 60 bands The Wavos cover.

"We're always working on new songs," said Smith. "I can say that we'll be doing a Journey song and playing a Michael Jackson song for the first time live. We'll also be playing around a bit with our staging. We're really looking forward to it."

Aside from simply being a "cover band," The Wavos released their first EP, "Wave Crazed," in March. It features seven delectably jagged tunes that are just as dance-inducing and original as the artists they cover.

"We've been sending the EP and our press kit out to a lot of people, looking for that bit of industry attention," said Smith. "We've been getting pretty good reviews here and there."

Until that breakout moment, The Wavos will continue to do what they do best.
"We're going to keep recording some music and take a few older songs, repackage them and get them out there," said Smith. "And, of course, we will continue to have a great time in between."

Jesse Scott is a freelance writer in Fredericksburg. Reach him at

What: The Wavos do new-wave '80s covers and more. Where: 1005 Princess Anne St. When: Saturday, 10 p.m. Cost: $5 Info: 540/656-2969 Web:
- Jesse Scott for the FREE LANCE-STAR

"The WAVOS rock the Alphabet Lounge"

On Saturday night, Barry and I went out to see my good friend Gordon Smith, and his new 80s Band, The WAVOS. Okay, so an 80s cover band doesn't have too terribly much to do with songwriting, but it's a hellofalotta fun. They do a fantastic job of recreating songs by bands like Fine Young Cannibals, Simple Minds, and Men Without Hats. Special guest Virgo came to the stage for a great rendition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax, and Soft Cell's Tainted Love. Great songs. Fun band. And if there's a drummer who's more fun to watch than Anthony, I'll eat my...well, I don't really have a hat I wear much. He plays with an exuberance and joy that would be hard to match, is my point.

Which brings me, sort of round about, to a point about being a singer/songwriter: you need your covers. No matter how much you love performing your own stuff, people like to hear things that are familiar. Which means for most of us covering other people's tunes. And Gordon and The Wavos do a great job covering these other bands, and even got a couple originals in on the sly at the end of their set. Brilliant self-promotion. And perfect "product placement" in putting them last in the set.

So thanks, Gordon, Anthony, and Joe, for a great set, and a fun evening. And Happy Birthday, Gordon.

(excerpted from
- Morry Campbell,

"Bands still believe in CD as a tool: The Wavos, "Wave Crazed EP""

Having been too young to catch the New Wave craze the first time, it took me a long time to discover the stripped down synth beats and quirky, monotone lyrics of the genre. However, after stumbling upon some Talking Heads and giving myself a crash course in amazing albums by Devo, Oingo Boingo, Squeeze and Peter Gabriel, I've become a big fan of both classic and New New Wave including bands like Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Interpol and The Killers.

That said, it's really great to see a band like The Wavos continuing the New Wave tradition by combining both the classic and modern forms and crafting them into their own form of alternative power pop.

The band members, longtime musical collaborators "Major" Joe Bace, Gordeon Smyth and Tone Maul, all honed their skills as part of the New York City scene throughout the '80s and '90s before forming as The Wavos and bringing their act south to the beach. Since then they have garnered a reputation as energetic performers known for their extensive list of New Wave covers - but make no mistake, these guys are more than a cover band.

On "Wave Crazed" they offer a small, yet memorable collection of original tracks including the danceable lead track "I Must Be Crazy" and the fancifully frenetic "Aerobic Commuting." For those who want to truly immerse themselves in this old-school vibe, tracks like "I Will Show You Mine," "Tribe Girl" and "Normal Girls" will make you think it's 1982 all over again.

Buy it | Available on iTunes and CDBaby, or

See them live | Saturday night at Drink!, 503 Eighth Ave. N. Cover is $5. Call 916-2277 for details.
- Chris Mowder, The Sun News

"“WAVE CRAZED” by The Wavos: Electro-Magnetic!"

“Wave Crazed”, the debut of New York City-based band The Wavos, opens with “I Will Show You Mine”. (Note how the band doesn’t ask that we “show them ours” first.) The song’s rhythm has the elasticity of a rubber band and the frenetic tempo of an adrenaline-infused heartbeat. It’s infectious and upbeat… and children of the ’80’s will note the influences of that era’s electro-driven pop and punk right away. It’s a flashback to when music sounded good just for the sake of… well, just sounding good, damnit! Retro flavors notwithstanding, the vibe running through “Wave Crazed”– escapism through music– is as timeless as can be. You’ll just want to dance…or at least bounce around on the dance floor. Major Joe Bace (vocals and guitar) has a voice that’s all “the boy your mother warned you about”: hard-edged yet seductive. (Think Joey Ramone meets Adam Ant.) Goredon Smyth, who does vocals and synths, has one of the most distinctive voices you’re likely to hear on the indie music scene. For many of the tracks, his vocals sound ethereal and occasionally otherworldly– which match that the no-holes-barred spirit of the music perfectly. When Bace and Smyth sing together, it’s quite an impressive effect.

Tone Maul (AKA Anthony Maulella), on percussion and e-drums, doesn’t let his energy level down for a single beat. The next track, “About You”, keeps up the frenzied pace of the CD’s opener. In fact, the first three songs of the EP come across as an extended, high-spirited jam session, full of abandon and an affable yet “So what?!” delivery by Bace and Smyth. “Tribe Girl” features some exquisite guitar work by Bace alongside some truly awesome (Hey, let’s get with the spirit of the ‘80’s now!) rhythms. For “Aerobic Commuting”, a song inspired by the manic panic that we call life in New York City, Goredon gets all the vocals to himself, and the song allows Smyth to show us a more restrained but no less far-reaching delivery. Lyrics like “Buses and trains, only half the story; Feet connect the dots hit the pavement, pounding; Nobody said life would be low-impact… Make it to the office, cool down period; Hydrate, recaffeinate; Switch gears now: motion free computing!” combine with real sounds of the city thrown in, which really add some authenticity. The multi-tasking inhabitants of the urban jungle known as Manhattan can relate. “I Must Be Crazy” sounds like the best song The Ramones never recorded; it’s the twin brother track to 1977‘s “Teenage Lobotomy”. “Normal Girls” features a truly amazing rhythm and some nicely self-indulgent electronic effects.
All three members of The Wavos– Major Joe Bace, Goredon Smyth, and Tone Maul are artists with firm roots in the NYC rock music scene of the 80’s and 90’s. It’s a testament to their combined talents that the spirit of performing live on stage (the symbiotic joy of both the musicians and their audience) comes through very well on “Wave Crazed”. The EP closes with “Keep on Shakin’”, which is what the listener will very likely do long after the last note. - Jed Ryan,


*) Wave Crazed EP (March 2010)

VIDEOS (see links at bottom):
*) "Wavos, Men In Skirts, a live '80s Dance-Party Promo Compilation"
*) "Aerobic Commuting"
*) "I Will Show You Mine" (and more, on



“Make no mistake, these guys are more than a cover band,” says the Sun News. The Wavos have a fantastic time playing their favorite songs by Billy Idol, The Killers, Beastie Boys, Depeche Mode, Green Day, The Cars, New Order, Devo, Blur, Ramones, Nine Inch Nails and so many more. Then they'll throw in a couple of original WAVOS songs and you'll just know it's a new wave band that you can't quite name... Or, depending on the venue, the band will treat its audience to a full set of their distinctively original songs. The Wavos play with their fans, not to them – the band dances with their audience of stars, putting out a 100% live, upbeat performance of all their favorite '80s/'90s/2000's new wave & alternative rock tunes with instantly-recognizable vocals over the signature interplay of guitar and synthesizer. And while they're happy to deliver a killer rendition of a Journey or Van Halen request, the band’s real strength lies in bringing out the underexposed gems of the underground dance floor. Remember Lawnchairs? The Politics of Dancing? The fans are requesting these most innovative pop rock tunes that they never heard before, including The Wavos’ original songs. And on Halloween, they get treated to a high-intensity dose of goth-rock classics from bands like Bauhaus, Ministry and the Sisters of Mercy. The band has been known to play for two and a half hours without a break, when dancing is nonstop. When their fans take a breath, the ear-catching sounds, crazy outfits, interactive visuals and multimedia lighting keep them engaged.

¿Dónde están los Wavos? Two members live in New York City and the third in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but the band's hot spot is Virginia, midway on the eastern corridor that connects them. At The Otter House in Fredericksburg, and Martin's Downtown in Roanoke, 150 loyal fans pay to see them every two months, filling the bar and dancing ‘til closing time. At Spaghettifest, the yearly indie music and camping festival in Harrisonburg and Winchester, they've played four years in a row to hundreds of cheering college-age fans who can’t help jumping up on stage to dance with the band. The Wavos are growing two new fan bases in New York: a local and Columbia University crowd at the upper west side's Underground Lounge, and an ultra-appreciative music lovers crowd at the weekly goth event Absolution, on the trendy lower east side. In Myrtle Beach they've been playing to diverse local audiences at Drink!, The Basement and other venues, and in Wilmington NC they are regular performers at a popular hookah bar, The Juggling Gypsy. Myrtle Beach's Sun News KICKS! compares The Wavos to The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol and Bloc Party and says about their new CD, Wave Crazed EP, "it's really great to see a band like The Wavos continuing the New Wave tradition by combining both the classic and modern forms and crafting them into their own form of alternative power pop." The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star says the CD "features seven delectably jagged tunes that are just as dance-inducing and original as the artists they cover." DishMiss NYC calls The Wavos’ music "infectious and upbeat electro-driven pop and punk … you’ll just want to dance!”

A bit of history: the core of The Wavos came together on a supermarket loading dock where Joe and Tone worked in West New York, NJ, and solidified when Joe met Gordon at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Their first band, The Privates, was a whirlwind romp through the New York metro area. Based in NYC’s lower east side, they were the house band at Great Gildersleeves, headlined regularly at C.B.G.B.'s, opened up for the Bush Tetras, Eric Johnson and Joe Perry and were featured in national publications Billboard and Variety and local papers like the Village Voice. Vibrant throughout the ‘90s, the band morphed into different styles and gathered a devoted following as a hard-hitting power trio while sharing the stage with national acts They Might Be Giants, Raging Slab, Masters of Reality and Johnny Thunders. In the 2000’s, from a couple of side projects – a goth quartet, electropop duo and all-‘80s cover band – it was a completely natural progression to The Wavos.

2012: The Wavos are now releasing their second CD, a 4-song EP teaser to be followed by a full album. The band is intently focused on touring, getting their message out as far and wide as possible. It's been a wild ride, from their beginnings as The Privates to their 2008 new-new-wave reformation, and coming full circle back to their powerpop-with-synth roots, they’ve never been happier than they are right now.