Synth maestro, Wavewulf (Nicholas Long), based in New Jersey, has been playing synthesizers since he was in middle school. He grew up listening to his father play guitar as well as to his father’s extensive record collection, which included bands such as Pink Floyd and The Beatles. This early exposure to music lit a spark in him! Long was first inspired to play synthesizers at age 13 (in 1991) when he went on a road trip with an older friend to Chicago to see Depeche Mode, and saw them making incredible and inspiring music with synthesizers.
Long grew up in a small college town in Northwest Arkansas. His mother was a primary school teacher and his father worked at the local gas company and later became a sound engineer for the local university. His father also owned a small recording studio called “Passing Note Studio” but sold it off around 2012 when he started to become ill. His father was diagnosed with cancer and later passed away in 2014. Wavewulf would later reuse the name “Passing Note Studio” for his own studio in honor of his father.
Growing up, Long was definitely able to hone his skills as a synth player in local bands, starting to compose music himself using his hardware synthesizers, midi and a sequencer, which he then recorded on a Tascam 4-track.
After graduating from college in 2000, Long moved to Boston in 2001, and then to New York City in 2006. He worked as a graphic designer (he got a degree in Graphic Design in his undergrad) and social worker for several years before deciding to go to graduate school in 2011 (at this time, he had to sell off some of his prized synthesizers, everything except his Roland Juno-106, Yamaha DX7 and Roland TR-606 drum-machine to help pay his graduate school tuition). Moving back to Boston in 2011, Long went to Simmons University where he got dual Masters degrees in Library Science and History and graduated in December 2015. His graduate thesis was actually on Kraftwerk and post-war German pop music (especially the Krautrock/Kosmische scene in the 1960s-80s). Long also married his sweetheart, Katarina around this time and moved back to the NYC area in 2016 (to New Jersey) to take a job at a college library.
Wavewulf was founded in 2017 by Long when he came into a small amount of money after his mother’s sudden and tragic death (like his father, from cancer). He used this money to invest in more analogue synthesizers, drum-machines and some more professional recording equipment. Wavewulf used this new and vintage equipment to record his first album, Oscillation, in the spare room of his New Jersey apartment. Oscillation came out in January of 2019.
Wavewulf’s influences are all over the map and include many of the new wave and synthesizer-based artists and bands of 1970s through 90s from Britain and Europe to Japan such as Depeche Mode, Brian Eno, David Bowie (especially his Berlin Trilogy era), Yellow Magic Orchestra, New Order, 808 State, Aphex Twin and The Cure; to the Kosmische bands of 1960s-80s Germany such as Kraftwerk (of course), Can, Neu! and Tangerine Dream; to the musique concrète of Pierre Schaeffer as well as other modern composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich, La Monte Young and Jean Michel Jarre; to the 80s soundtracks of John Carpenter; and also the dreamy sounds of bands like The Velvet Underground, Slowdive, The Cocteau Twins; and so many more… Some of his more recent favorites include Goldfrapp, Röyksopp, Trentemøller, M83 and Ulrich Schnauss.
Since Oscillation, Wavewulf has expanded his synthesizer collection (Moogs, Korgs, ARPs, Oberheims, etc.) and decided to contact an old friend from his college band days, Christopher John Donato – who now lives in a suburb of Chicago, to play drums and sing vocals on his recent album Green Decay. Wavewulf recorded Green Decay partly out of frustration with the current political environment in the US (and around the world), especially regarding the current path political leaders are on toward the destruction of our precious planet. Green Decay certainly reflects this sentiment. Besides the more obvious environmental and political themes in his music, Wavewulf says that composing, playing and recording music has been a way for him to emotionally deal with his mother’s death (as well as his father’s death a few years before that) and to explore the complicated questions of life, death, love, the universe and spirituality.