Back to Archives

Garage Basementia, Alaska

The Wagner Logic makes good rockin’ sense to me

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

Usually, when I’m planning my column, I face a choice between Olympia and Tacoma. At the Weekly Volcano we pride ourselves on covering both music scenes, but it’s usually a one-or-the-other situation when it comes to Rock Rhetoric. This week, in a rare bit of advantageous coincidence, the Wagner Logic will play Hell’s Kitchen on Thursday, Nov. 1, and then play Le Voyeur in Olympia Friday, Nov. 2. An indie rock band from Alaska (of all places), the Wagner Logic is definitely worthy of the press.

It’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.

First and foremost, I didn’t realize there were indie rock bands in Alaska. I pictured Alaska as a lonely state, all drunken lumberjacks, backpack hippies, and boozy Eskimos. I pictured Alaska as a place void of a music scene —  where kids listen to the sounds of wilderness and get excited about fresh moose tracks and ice beer. Until running into the Wagner Logic on MySpace, I really knew nothing about Alaska.

In reality, I still know nothing about Alaska, but I do know the state is home to at least one truly talented indie rock band.

The Wagner Logic has been together since 2000 — started by vocalist and bassist James Glaves and guitarist Jeremy Wagner (although the Wagner Logic, much like the Elephants, routinely swap instruments). The story of the Wagner Logic could very easily be a story of failure, if it wasn’t for the perseverance of Wagner and Glaves. After finding each other in an igloo (I assume that’s where everything happens in Alaska), the two realized they were a kick-ass songwriting duo, and decided they’d try their luck in California. They did all that cliché stuff — packed up their belongings, said goodbye to girlfriends and bosses, and headed south for bigger and better things.

Shortly after, they returned. Beaten.

Lucky for us, and especially Alaska, Wagner and Glaves didn’t give up on music. In fact, with help from Andy Tholberg and Sonny Oglehave to round out the Wagner Logic’s foursome, the band has found Alaska very conducive to their style of sometimes shoe-gazey, sometimes messy, always original brand of indie rock.

“Being in an indie band from Alaska is like constantly having a plate of cold spaghetti dropped on the back of your bare, freshly trimmed neck. I’m talking all day long with the spaghetti on the neck,” says Wagner, 48 hours before leaving Alaska on a tour that will take the band through the western United States.

“One advantage of being in a band from Alaska is that people who are not from here are generally pretty surprised that there are bands like us up here. Most people associate this place with folk music, or they don’t associate Alaska with music at all, and think that we all ride polar bears and live in igloos. I think that that general interest and curiosity for Alaska is going to, and has already helped us gain attention.”

Guilty as charged.

The Wagner Logic, along with being on the threshold of the most extensive tour of their career, are also planning the release of their first full-length album, Easiest to Grab, Dec. 4. The album is being released by Alaska-based Wilderhood Records and will culminate years of work for the band.

“If you like music at all, then you’ll probably like it. We’re like the Snapple of indie bands — made from all the good stuff, or something. It took us three years to make,” says Wagner.

“The whole touring thing is pretty new for most of us. We’ve toured around Alaska quite a bit, and found it to be mostly disastrous but extremely fun. We don’t do well in bars, period. We are flying into Seattle where we are renting a van for the tour. We had initially planned on buying an RV and driving the four-day drive through Canada for the tour, but spent a lot of our tour money on Gatorade, Clamato, X-Box games, and Kettle chips.

“(Our live show is) similar to a Gwar, or an AC/DC show, meets the Carpenters and Electric Light Orchestra without the costumes and large, spouting penises. We’ve practiced about five times for the tour, and it is going to be a sonic cream shower for the senses. We all sing and yell and switch instruments and stuff.”

Sounds good to me. The Wagner Logic will play Olympia and Tacoma this week. You’ll have no excuse for missing it.

[Hell’s Kitchen, part of “White Trash Night” with Blanco Bronco, Triple Forte, and Who Cares, Thursday, Nov. 1, 9:30 p.m., no cover, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

[Le Voyeur, with Fungus Riot, Friday, Nov. 2, 10 p.m., no cover, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.943.5710]

Kick \'em when they\'re up, kick \'em when they\'re down via e-mail.

comments powered by Disqus