Complex: You recorded the earlier stuff in your parents' pool house?
Nathan: It's not really a pool house. It's a shack. It's a glorified tool shed.
Complex: Because a lot of people wonder if you're this rich Cali kid who never had to worry about shit.
Nathan: My mom teaches inner-city kids music and my dad is a teacher as well. We're rolling in it.
Complex: Your sound has changed a lot on the new album. Do you hate those first two records like you say?
Nathan: Oh, I don't hate them.
Complex: Well on "Take On The World" you say, "I still hate my music, it's all the same."
Nathan: You take it too literally.
Complex: But you're clearly trying to distance yourself from that.
Nathan: No, not at all. It's just a lyric. I loved those two records. I'm super-proud of them. Saying "I still hate my music, it's all the same" is just, sometimes you're critical of yourself. It's the way you feel sometimes. It's not meant to be taken literally. It's just a lyric. The first thing that comes to my head I write down. I normally don't even change it.
Complex: At your show the other day, you opened up with "Friends Were Gone," then you went into newer one, "King of the Beach." For that song you were like, "Can I get more of my regular voice?" Are you tired of that sound and being pigeonholed into that?
Nathan: No, I definitely think we all want to make whatever music sounds cool to us. Regardless of reverb, or distortion, or anything. Anything that sounds cool is cool. I mean, I listen to Aaliyah all day. If it sounds good, it's good. It doesn't fucking matter what's on it.
Complex: You listen to a lot of rap. Who do you listen to?
Nathan: We like Waka a lot. [Sings.] "Oh let's do it."
Billy: Shawty Lo, OJ Da Juiceman. Anything affiliated with 1017 Brick Squad is good.
Nathan: I like Nicki and Drake. The new Raekwon mixtape is awesome. Oh, what's that guy that did that song? He's in Soulja Boy's crew.
Nathan: No, he just had that song come out, like "I'll Be Gone."
Complex: Yeah, JBar. "Daze."
Nathan: Yeah, that song rules. [Sings.] "Man, I'm in a daze. Walking 'round, 'round." I like that song.
Billy: It's such a sweet song, too.
Nathan: Yeah, it makes me feel good. I like Soulja Boy too, though. "Pretty Boy Swag" makes me want to jump out of a window.
Complex: How do you feel about your competition?
Nathan: What competition? U2? Sheryl Crow?
Complex: Other indie rock bands. Do you see records that people are raving about and feel like, "I want to outdo this?" The way every rapper wants to be the King of something.
Nathan: Yeah, but you keep your mind on what you're doing. If you're thinking about somebody else then you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing. You're not concentrating.
Complex: It might be cliché to say that every rock band has to be influenced by Nirvana, but I hear it on songs like "Idiot," or when you're yelling at the end of "Post Acid." Thematically and sonically, it seems like you must have been listening to them while you were recording.
Nathan: We listened to a lot of Nirvana before recording, and we all grew up on it. So that was a big influence for the record.
Complex: You worked with Dennis Herring on this record. After doing two albums completely by yourself, how was it working with a guy who I'm sure has a very meticulous studio process?
Nathan: We had a difference of opinion on almost everything in the beginning. We grew to kind of have a rapport with each other once we finally got two, three songs done. Once we started working together and we both got into the groove of things, it was really amazing. That guy is a great producer.
Complex: Do you see yourself branching out with other producers?
Nathan: I want to get Timbaland on the line and see if I can get him.
Complex: You said that you listened to a lot of Nirvana when you were recording the album. I was wondering if maybe you were listening to Blink 182 or any late '90s pop punk stuff too.
Nathan: Oh yeah, man. Definitely. Dookie and Cheshire Cat. Yeah, I definitely listened to a lot of pop punk. I mean, I still love Blink 182. I don't give a fuck what anybody thinks. If you listen to those songs, they hold up. They're still really good.
Complex: Are you one of those people who's obsessed with years? Like, when it became 2010, were you freaking out because the Aughts are a singular decade now, or because the beginning of the '90s is 20 years ago?
Nathan: The Aughts. Is that what you called them? Dipset had a good Aughts.
Complex: They just dropped an official reunion song.
Nathan: Oh, really?! That's awesome. Is Freekey Zekey finally out of jail?
Complex: Yeah, but he's not rapping on the song. All of them bodied it, though. You should check it out.
Nathan: Yeah, I will.
Billy: Cam'ron's shit lately has been amazing.
Nathan: So good. "I Hate My Job." "Popeyes." All of them are great.
Billy: He's on that Gucci Mane record, "Stupid Wild" with Lil Wayne. That's probably like the best song ever.
Nathan: Also, Cam'ron's supposed to be doing his version of Curb Your Enthusiasm. He did Killa Season. He actually did it! If anybody saw it. Written and directed by Cam'ron. Wow. I love that he put himself in there playing basketball with Ma$e for no reason other than to shit on him.
Complex: You guys [Billy and Stephen] are from Memphis, right? So after you're done with tomorrow's show, Nathan goes back to Cali, you guys go home, and you have to split up and it's super-sad.
Stephen: For like five days. We're on tour pretty much until December. We have like, a week off here and there.
Billy: I'm thinking about joining the Cali Swag department.
Nathan: Learn how to Dougie, then move to L.A. We're gonna come up with "Teach Me How to Snuggie." And it's just gonna be us in Snuggies, dancing.
Billy: I love The Flex. [sings] "Hit 'em with that Flex, hit 'em with that Flex." It's like a dance sensation.
Complex: Do you guys have the same circle of friends when you go back home?
Nathan: I hang out with my girlfriend and my TV a lot. And my cat. I just don't really like leaving the house. I mean, I do sometimes but we're gone so much in bars, partying every night. I'll go out a couple times when I'm home, but I like to sit in my room and read comics, and smoke weed, and pet my cat.
Complex: What about the people who you probably were in touch with frequently before you started traveling all the time?
Nathan: They all live in San Diego, and I live in L.A. now, so I don't really get a chance to see them very much, but all my friends came up to L.A. right before we left. We had a little rager weekend. I tried to jump off my roof.
Complex: Where do you want to take the live show? Do you even see yourself as a band that will have crazy $80 tickets and playing arenas?
Billy: I don't know if rock bands can get to that point.
Nathan: I'm sure Creed can play shows like that. But I definitely want as many people as possible to hear my music. I don't know about $80 tickets. I don't know why anybody would pay $80 to see me. If we got enough money, I'd pay for real giant aliens heads that blew smoke out of their mouths and a UFO that took off, and a couple of cameos. I saw Wu-Tang with Cypress Hill in San Diego and this giant Joker bong guy sat behind them and like blew smoke out of his mouth and looked all evil. Then they brought bongs out on stage and smoked while everybody watched them. That was a pretty cool show. I paid like 50 bucks to go see that. Wasn't disappointed.
Stephen: It'd be great to get to a point where you're allowed to smoke weed on stage no matter where you are.
Nathan: That would be tight.
Stephen: That would be pretty good.
Complex: With everything that you do, every record that you put out, every show you play, are you conscious of the legacy that you hope to leave?
Wavves: No, not really. I mean the songs, the recording process, stuff like that, yeah. Live shows? No, not really. We just go and have fun.
Complex: Ten years from now what do you hope is thought about when Wavves comes up?
Nathan: "They wrote good songs."
Billy: "I smoked weed with those guys." [Laughs.] "They chopped up a lot of stuff with knives and made a huge mess. It was pretty funny. Then I got kind of annoyed and left."
Nathan: "Why did they write on the walls?" Oh, wait, that wasn't me. That was Sandy Miranda from Fucked Up. That wasn't cool Sandy. I hope they remember the music.
Complex: I feel like you'll say no, but do you have any ambitions to be a mainstream artist?
Nathan: You'd be wrong.
Complex: So you're trying to get there? The way that "My Girls" popped off for Animal Collective or something like that.
Nathan: I'm sure Animal Collective went in there and they were just like, "Hey, let's record something that just sounds really cool." They recorded it in the same studio we did. I don't think they went into it saying, "Let's try to get huge. Let's try to get big." If you go in there and try to write the best music you can and it comes out really well, then whatever comes of it, why would I not greet it with open arms?
Complex: Well, it's that punk attitude. Shunning the mainstream acceptance.
Nathan: I never in my life have said that I was a punk. Everybody called me a slacker, stoner, loser punk or whatever it was.
Complex: So selling out wouldn't be something you would give a fuck about?
Nathan: I don't know. I'd like to get money. It's better than living at my mom's house. And I don't really give a fuck what people think. If they don't like it, then whatever.