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Davis, California

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Music Spotlight: Waters

Port O’ Brien, a project that lasted three albums and various EPs, reached its fatal end in spring of 2010. But there is sweetness to this bitter news. Founding member and front man Pierszalowski took retreat in Oslo, Norway where he let the change in seasons and environment inspire new music. And from that, Waters was born. The album, Out in the Light, reflects Pierszalowski’s journey of musical renewal and rebirth as Waters.

Tonight at 8 p.m., Waters will perform in Davis for the first time at Sophia’s Thai Kitchen. MUSE had a chance to speak with Pierszalowski and here is what he had to say:

MUSE: You have quite a story as to the creation of Waters; can you let us in on how it was like to create music in a Norway? Were there specific landscapes or images in particular that inspired you?

Pierszalowski: Norway provided the perfect sort of escape to refocus and re-energize after it became apparent to me that Port O’Brien was over. I spent the majority of my time in Oslo, which even though it’s the largest city in Norway, is quite small and quiet.  It allowed me to focus on the music and the songs more than I’ve ever been able to.

How would you describe Waters sound, as compared to Port O’Brien?

Waters has a much more electric guitar-based sound. It’s much louder and noisier at times than Port O’Brien. It still certainly has its quiet, more acoustic moments, but in general, it’s a much more rocking experience.

Would you say that you have reinvented yourself?

I’m not sure if I’d say I’ve reinvented myself, but I certainly feel like I’ve gained a new, fresh perspective on everything. I feel much better than I ever have about being on the road and playing music.  

What sources of musical inspirations do you go for now?

In terms of production for this record, I was very inspired by Nirvana’s “In Utero.” I’ve always been attracted to its sense of urgency and intimacy, all against these huge rock drums. Guitar-wise, I think Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du, Pixies, those sorts of bands were very inspirational. In terms of the songs themselves, I think they’re rooted more in a pop-style of songwriting, as opposed to a more long-verses folk-style songwriting. But, Neil Young will always be an influence as well.

If you had only five words to paint a picture for your listeners of how you want your music to be perceived, what would those words be?

Freedom kroner coho sun love, maybe?

What’s your favorite time of day and season of the year to write music?

I either tend to write early in the morning or late at night. I always try to write during the middle of the day, but I usually can’t seem to get anything out of it. I either need to come off a night of sleeping and dreaming, or a day of walking around and talking to people. In terms of the season, I don’t have much of a preference, although I think the summer might be the best time. The California coast, of course, doesn’t have the seasons in the way Oslo does, but I still think those longer summer days are better for the creative process.

How does it feel to return back to the stage and performing your songs directly to fans?

It really does feel so great. And my favorite kind of shows are the small, intimate ones like at Sophia’s [Thai Kitchen] in Davis. It presents a really great way to become interactive with the crowd and the sense of community is great. I’m really proud and excited about this new record, and I can’t wait to keep playing all these songs for people.

UYEN CAO can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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