Wavves Rips Warner Bros. Records: “Unless You’re A Cash Cow, Major Labels Can’t Help You”

Nathan Williams is happy to be independent once again.

March 01, 2017


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On Wednesday, Nathan Williams of Wavves announced a new album, You're Welcome, coming May 19 on Williams's own label Ghost Ramp. Wavves's two previous albums, 2013’s Afraid of Heights and 2015’s V, were released on Warner Brothers, and in a new press release Williams detailed his (not great) experiences with the label.


Williams described the process of being courted by labels interested in signing him, and how he and the band's bass guitarist Stephen Pope took advantage of their expense accounts. "Me and Stephen were in our shitty apartments, Googling 'nicest restaurants in LA'. We went to eight or nine dinners. At the end we'd say, 'not interested'."

A cash advance from Warner Bros. proved "too good to refuse," however, and Wavves signed to the label while retaining the rights to their masters. But that wasn't enough to make up for the disorganized business Williams claimed he experienced. "I'd never come in contact with such a poorly run company in my life," Williams said. "It was anarchy. Nobody knew what they were doing. Turnover rate was like an American Apparel. It was really all cons — unless you're a cash cow. For everyone else, major labels can't help you. Maybe at one time they could, but that time is dead."

Feeling "swept under the rug," Williams left Warner Bros to concentrate on his label, Ghost Ramp. "I figured if these idiots could get by, we could do it a hundred times better," he said.

The FADER has reached out to Wavves and Warner Bros. for comment. Below, listen to two new Wavves songs, "Daisy" and "You're Welcome," and check out his tour dates.


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Wavves Rips Warner Bros. Records: “Unless You’re A Cash Cow, Major Labels Can’t Help You”