Dean Schweitzer is living what is probably the dream for many people – combining his love of travelling the world with his love for making music with his ever-evolving personal project Tidalwave.
Inspired to get into music at the age of 14 when he first heard Nirvana, Dean decided he “wanted to become Kurt Cobain and be the singer in a rock band.” He has since been busy reinventing Tidalwave all over the world, with the frontman currently dragging along two of his mates on bass and drums in Berlin.
Dean told us: “One of my life dilemmas is that I love travelling and experiencing new cultures as much as I love playing music! So TIDALWAVE is basically me reforming the band in each new country I decide to live in. I was born in France, but Brighton is where I really decided to try the band thing seriously. What started as a four-piece in the UK evolved into a 2-piece guitar/drums set-up in the US, mainly because we couldn’t find anybody to play with. before eventually relocating to Berlin where the band now plays as a 3 piece! It’s a total drag having to reform the band every time, and a very tedious process as every band would tell you.”
What remains constant is the high-octane, catchy yet heavy Tidalwave sound. This is perfectly portrayed by latest EP, the three-track 1992.
It opens up as it means to go on with the low riff to Ride, then an atmospheric verse of big crashing drums, driving bass and laid-back vocals contrasted by more intense cries of “Why don’t you ride.” Looping guitar riffs are among a number of cool elements added through the diverse second verse, which ends on a big scream then heavier guitars before building to a more melodic outro.
That’s followed by another big punchy guitar riff in the intro to Saturate. Singalong rocky vocals are supported by a low riff, then a cry of “It’s a carnival for everyone, It’s a carnival” is supported by bigger guitars that pick up the pace of the track into a second verse in which the instruments drop out to highlight the lyrics “Just fuck off and go.” A high-pitched looping riff and drums support repeating cries of “I’ll saturate,” then wild cries of “Take it” mark the song taking a heavier twist, ending with a big guitar riff.
Final track 1992 opens with a looping riff, then vocals supported by just a chunky bassline, then a light jumpy guitar comes in. A really catchy chorus of “Come a little close, Innocence is over, What is there to fear, Now that you’re alone” is supported by high-pitched guitars. It then drops down into a cool fast-paced guitar and big bassline, before taking a darker turn with heavier guitars that feed into a repeat of the chorus. Then a big driving guitar riff comes in that you can’t help but bounce your head along to. Check it out in the video below:
It’s a cracking little EP, full of catchy vocals and hugely enjoyable riffs. In Dean’s words: “Heavy riffs, thumping drums and melodic vocals are what I normally go for when writing a song. If a song combines those three elements, then it stays! I love finding melodies that people can sing along to, and put them over riffs and beats that people can headbang to!”
A lot of Dean’s musical inspiration comes from Smashing Pumpkins, while the band’s sound is more influenced by the likes of Silverchair and Sick Puppies who he grew up listening to in the 90s era of alternative rock and nu-metal.
Dean tells us: “I like the heaviness and power of rock and the melodies and softness of pop. It’s difficult for me to choose one genre over the other, so I’m constantly trying to make them fit together. Musically speaking, rock creates a physical reaction that I don’t find in any other genre of music, I just need to get in the pit and throw down. Lyrically, I get to channel the emotions that I go through every day through the music. Generally, those emotions include frustration, failure, negativity, but also hope, longing for acceptance, and trying to become a better person.”
There’s plenty to come from Tidalwave, with Dean writing and recording for a debut album that he hopes to release later this year. There’ll be a couple of new singles and music videos in the build-up to that release, as well as a couple of tours of Germany and hopefully beyond.