New Jersey’s Tide Bends say “yeah!”

Hailing from the musically historic town of Asbury Park, New Jersey, Tide Bends are on the verge of a new EP, Say Yeah, due out June 21st via Mint 400 Records. If new single ‘Birthday’ is any indication, we’re in for a treat. The song features a warm soundscape of twangy guitars, and a melody that harkens back to the glory days of ’90s alt-rock. We thought this would be a great time to catch up with the band – read our exchange in full, below.

Your new EP, Say Yeah, marks your first collection since 2016. Which poses the question: what have you all been up to the last eight years?

We’ve been grinding out singles, but haven’t linked anything together for an album – blame the pandemic. Still, we’ve been playing shows all over the northeast. Surf’s been good, despite the post-pandemic crowds. We’ve been hustling in the background. Botanically, things have been good in New Jersey. 

You notably recorded and mixed the whole EP yourselves. What inspired you to take the process in-house, and how was it working in such an atmosphere compared to in a studio where you’re “on the clock”?

Bringing Rudy, who’s already in the band and a solid engineer, into the recording process was an easy decision. Our lockout space has a mix of borrowed gear and our own, we had everything we needed. Working in our own environment felt lovely – no load in and out.  Sonically, we didn’t want for anything. Yes, not being tied to a studio clock was nice. With Rudy already part of the creative process, we hit the ground running and got things rolling quickly.

It’s clear from the singles you’ve released so far from the EP that you’re avid believers in good old rock and roll. What are your thoughts on the genre as it exists in modern music today?

Rock and roll isn’t going anywhere. It’s timeless, irreplaceable. Sure, there’s some weird listening habits with TikTok and all, but true rock fans know what’s up. Like Neil Young said…. (please tell me you know what Neil Young said)

Would you cite any musical influences or heroes that might surprise people?

No real curveballs here: Jim Croce, Brian Wilson, Lee Hazlewood — absolute killers. Neil Diamond is another one, not afraid to admit that.  And for more recents, I guess Evan Dando, Stephen Malkmus, Elliot Smith — people who write from the heart. Too many to list but again probably nothing surprising. 

Oh – one of the guys just texted me his answer: “Prince and my wife.”

From an outsider’s perspective, Asbury Park is a consistently flourishing music hub with an obviously storied past. What’s it like being an underground band within that scene?

Talent lurks everywhere on the boardwalk and in town, the best hiding in plain sight.  The history here runs deep, beyond just Bruce’s era—the rise, the fall, and the resurgence thanks to the early 2000s arts community who sparked it.  Growing up in Belmar, venturing onto the boardwalk was an eerie experience. It was dark and cold and we had to be dared to ride our bikes there at night, a stark contrast to what it is today.  But now, immersed in this community, witnessing the desire for live music and the emergence of new bands and acts—it’s a nice evolution so long as it stays organic. It’s nice to be accepted by local venues hungry for authenticity. Just wish there were more small and medium stages to haunt. You should come and visit.

As a musician in 2024, there’s a lot of ways the odds are stacked against you. What’s one thing you could change about the industry if you had the power to and why?

I steer clear of the industry’s dance; it’s a game I wouldn’t want to play nor would I be good at it.  Seems overwhelming just thinking about it.  But if I had a say, I’d push for a focus on authenticity and real artistry. Too many get lost in the shuffle while the industry chases numbers.

Lastly, what is on your bucket list for the rest of the year?

We’re diving into new music already. As for our bucket list, hitting up fresh cities is tops—Boston and Portland (ME) are calling. West Coast, too.  And across the pond, playing in the UK and EU is a dream. Manchester, Liverpool, London—c’mon.  Plus, I’ve been dreaming of a surf trip to Cornwall since high school. Bringing it all together would be beyond incredible. Any sweet venues down south? Let’s make it happen, Rodeo Mag.

Say Yeah is due out June 21st via Mint 400 Records. Follow the band on Spotify so as not to miss it.

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