Athens 'jamband' Waivada aims to unify audiences with a variety of musical influences
Originally published in The Post.
Waivada is a local rock band who aims to bring the community together through one central point: music.
While attending university in Albany, New York, Garrett Namian made a bet that if he ever started a band, he would name it after his friend’s middle name, Waivada.
Namian, the lead guitarist and vocalist of the band named after his friend, got a few friends together after he transferred to Ohio University from Albany.
Upon the band’s first performance, the members showed promises of success that Namian said encouraged the members to continue playing.
“The reception was awesome. Everybody received the content really well, and it added a great energy to the show,” Namian said. “We just want to facilitate a good time for people to encapsulate the feeling that we have when we’re playing and try to convey that to other people.”
Waivada signed to A-Town Roots Productions earlier this spring, which allowed it to pick up traction and play more shows around Athens and other cities, such as Columbus and Cincinnati.
The band cites influences from Jimi Hendrix to the reggae sounds of Sublime and Slightly Stoopid.
“I think that’s the most fun thing to do. We always try to culminate a bunch of influences to try and find something unique,” Namian said. “We try to do something different while still trying to pay homage to the influences at the same time.”
The easiest way to describe the band is to call it a “jamband,” but the sound the musicians produce is far from one genre.
“Personally, I listen to a lot of ‘jambands’ like Phish predominantly,” Namain said. “Those bands have this way of playing to any mood and they fuse in and out of any genre they want.”
The band uses this “jamband” influence to fuse many different genres to create one distinct style and sound.
Waivada’s main goal is to create music to bring people together and enjoy in the same space, regardless of what mood the audience feels that day.
“We want people to have a sense of togetherness and solidarity when we play,” Namain said. “I just like to think that music is the one thing that can make us put our guns down and just hangout and be together for a little bit.”
Even the band’s songwriting process, he said, is fueled by the earth and light hearted emotion.
“Some of the songs are just fun and some of them are a bit more serious, but a lot of it just tries to make the listener feel good about themselves and the music,” Namain said.
The Athens music scene has also played a huge part in the success the band has gained throughout the years.
“Athens has such an eclectic music community here and there are so many talented people,” Namian said. “The community itself is so receptive, people are very open to give you a chance.”