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FROM SUB POP TO BRUSHFIRE

Zach Rogue talks about changing labels

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Sub Pop was never intended to be a place where Rogue Wave would spend its career, says leader Zach Rogue.

So when the California band’s two-album deal with the Seattle-based label ended, re-signing wasn’t on the agenda.

“For us, it didn’t make sense for us [to stay],” Rogue said last month while in Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest. “We’re not the biggest band in the world, but we’re not completely unknown. We’re kind of somewhere in between that, whatever that is.”

Finding a new home took some time, with Rogue Wave meeting with a variety of labels.

“I wasn’t willing to go to a label that was telling me things that I already knew,” Rogue said. “I’d rather be someplace where I trust the people I work with, I like their ethics and I like who they are and how they make us feel as a band.”

That turned out to be Jack Johnson‘s Brushfire imprint, which released the third Rogue Wave album, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, last year.

According to Rogue, Brushfire doesn’t issue nearly as many titles per year as other labels, so that allows Brushfire to devote plenty of attention to what it does release. On top of that, he added, Brushfire is distributed by Universal, so there’s a worldwide team available to the band.

There also are creative advantages to being with a label such as Brushfire.

“I want to be making music that I want to make,” Rogue said.

— Photo and text by Chris M. Junior

Rogue Wave on tour (schedule subject to change):

* April 11: Paradise Rock Club — Boston
* April 12: Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza — New York
* April 15: First Unitarian Church — Philadelphia
* April 16: 9:30 Club — Washington, D.C.
* April 18-19: Schubas Tavern — Chicago
* April 20: Gargoyle Club — St. Louis
* April 22: Fox Theatre — Boulder, Colo.
* April 24: Rhythm Room — Phoenix
* April 25: Coachella festival — Indio, Calif.
* May 3: The Fillmore — San Francisco