A Pop Rocking Ride Through Water Street
A Pop Rocking Ride Through Water Street
Water Street is a pop-rock band with tinges of Americana and funk influences based out of the New Jersey area. The band released an album entitled All I Tried To Be, and recently unveiled two brand new singles out entitled Carolina and Pen Pals. With an ever-increasing fan base on the East Coast, Water Street is primed and ready to rock an entire world with their exhilarating reveries. Highwire Daze recently interviewed founding member Dave Paulson to find out more about this pop rocking band on the rise. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Water Street, and how long the band has been together.
Hi! I’m Dave Paulson – I’m the lead vocalist/guitarist and primary songwriter for Water Street. Our band has been around since 2011, but some of our current lineup have been playing with Water Street since 2014. The current lineup consists of Connor Konecnik on drums, Julia Aiello on vocals, Eddie Woodcock on electric guitar, Alex Kerssen on keys and saxophone, and Brendon Gardner on bass.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re based out of New Jersey and the music scene can be pretty diverse here. We definitely have some talented artists and musicians hidden in our area, but the music scene is spread all across New Jersey. You’ve got your fair share of punk, metal, and hardcore bands but there’s also a large number of artists that gravitate towards the funkier or more acoustic genres. I think we’ve got something unique in our evolving Americana-based sound. There’s not a whole lot of folk or Americana artists in our area and we really enjoy incorporating those genres’ elements while also fusing with more traditional rock and pop tendencies. I think having one foot in the folk/Americana realm and the other in pop has given us this competitive edge that’s enabled us to play all around New Jersey, whether it’s in areas like Montclair, Jersey City, or down the shore in Asbury Park. We’ve also headlined shows at venues across New York City, and played at a few festivals in Pennsylvania. We’ve even made a couple ventures up north to Boston and upstate New York!
Is there any overall story or concept behind the previous album title All We Tried To Be?
We knew for this album that rather than having a title track, we wanted to name the album after a line from one of the songs on the album. We eventually decided on All We Tried To Be, which is from our song “People.” The line from the song is “People – that was all we tried to be. Just people – that was all we tried to be.” The song itself is about trying to find common ground with those around you and to make an effort to see someone else’s perspective, even if it doesn’t agree with yours. But for us, the name also has this cool duality of representing Water Street trying to prove to ourselves that we’re capable of recording and creating music now that’s more evolved, more intentional, more dynamic than our earlier songs. So All We Tried To Be symbolizes People’s message of community, while also being a reflection of the band’s musical evolution.
You have a brand-new song out called Carolina. What is the inspiration behind the song?
We wrote “Carolina” with a friend of ours who recently went through the experience of their significant other suddenly leaving one day unexpectedly. It’s a song about processing the immediate shock and new reality of someone who was once so central to your life who is now not a part of it at all. We didn’t want the song to feel heavy or melancholic though. We wanted it to feel upbeat, celebratory in a way, as if the song carrying on is symbolic of moving on from that person (“This too shall pass!”).
Pen Pals is another brand-new song. What is inspiration behind that one?
“Pen Pals” was inspired by being in the feeling of limbo when you like someone but you’re getting mixed signals. We’ve all had that unreciprocated crush before. You feel stuck between having something and nothing. “Pen Pals” is about navigating those mixed emotions: overthinking text messages, trying to piece together what each thing that person says actually means, and wanting the finality of it working out or not. Musically, a lot of our songs are normally built around the acoustic guitar, which contributes to our “standard” Americana sound but our goal for Pen Pals was to show people that we can make an immediate left turn from what you’d expect to hear in a Water Street song. We made something new that’s unquestionably in the pop/rock genre.
How close are you to writing and recording a new EP or album?
We’ve actually got a solid foundation for our next EP! We’re in the process of narrowing down which songs we want to include on the EP and fine-tuning the ones we choose. We’re trying to go for something that ventures from our typical sound while not abandoning our roots. We have plans to record in November and the EP should be available by March or April of next year! We don’t have a name for the EP yet but something will come to us.
What could one expect from a live Water Street show?
Our live shows are always a lot of fun regardless if we’re playing for 5 or 500 people. One of our favorite things to do in our sets, especially when we play at a venue where the majority of people have no idea who we are, is to throw in a cover that nobody would ever predict we’d play. I don’t think “Baba O’ Riley” or “Stayin’ Alive” are the first songs that come to mind for a band that’s built around an acoustic guitar. It’s really exciting for us to mess with other artists’ songs in a way that keeps our audience engaged so they never know what to expect from us. From our experience, once a new listener has heard us play something that they recognize in a completely different arrangement from the original, they’re more likely to listen to our own music. We really believe we’re at our best when we’re performing live; we just have this great chemistry with one another and genuinely enjoy playing our music together, which makes the crowd’s experience of hearing us live that much more fun!
If Water Street could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I would love to open for Lawrence. They’ve become a pretty big inspiration to me recently both musically and personally. Their two main vocalists Clyde and Gracie are siblings, and Water Street’s two singers (myself and Julia) are cousins, so we both have that family aspect in our bands. Lawrence also has a similar cross-genre style to their sound. They’re definitely a pop band but with some heavy soul and funk influences that don’t make their music sound like your average pop tunes. It makes me feel like there’s room in the music industry for artists like Lawrence and us who don’t really fit into one clear-cut genre.
Has Water Street ever played on the West Coast or is there any chance of doing so in future days?
We have not yet played on the West Coast but we would definitely want to! We haven’t yet had the opportunity to make the trek out west but who knows…we’ve been making some big moves lately.
If the music of Water Street was a donut, what kind would it be and why?
I LOVE that question! Probably one of those chocolate donuts that doesn’t look like it has any filling in it, but then you bite into it and you’re like “oh wow, this actually has some other flavors in here that you wouldn’t expect.”
What’s up next for Water Street?
We’ve got a music video for “Carolina” coming out on November 4th (on YouTube and our other social media) so we’re really excited about that! The video features our beloved van that we take to our gigs and we’re really happy with how it all came out. We’re also gearing up for the release of our new EP, which will be available in March or April of next year.
Any final words of wisdom?
Surround yourself with people who want to work towards the same goal. I think this past year or two we’ve released some of our best songs, and it’s largely because we’ve grown into a band of friends who just want to make really good music and serve the songs as best as we can. When you have people who naturally dedicate time and energy together towards the same ambition, your end result will be better.
Water Street Official Home Page