Kelly Zutrau, Joe Valle and Martin Sulkow – together, they’re Wet. All originally hailing from Massachusetts (Zutrau, the only girl in the group – lover of musicals, folk and SWV – quite frankly puts it: “Most people hate Boston and I think I would too if I hadn’t grown up there”), Wet started a long-distance love affair of the music variety after parting ways from student life in NYC. Come 2012, the band was back in Brooklyn, living together and performing. “I don’t think any of us intended to work on the project so seriously,” says Zutrau, “but when we came together we just had a lot of energy and needed to focus it on something productive.”
Their interpretation of productivity is obviously a true one, as just over a year and a half later they released an EP worth taking note of. It’s what they call ‘minimal pop’; a bit indie, a bit RnB, and a lot sweet and catchy, the single Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl is one we just had to hunt down to accompany our cover shoot.
Still in their infancy, Valle tells that their creative method “at this point is a healthy mix of impulse and impulse control”. Wet’s most impressive feat to date was their standout performance at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas. “Everybody told us to expect chaos at South by Southwest,” tells Sulkow. “That wasn’t entirely inaccurate, but sometimes it reminded me of summer camp, seeing so many friends from all over the place.” Zutrau continues: “Yeah, I think we would also be OK with never doing it again.” Here we get the low down on Wet.
Why the name Wet?
Van Halen was already taken.
Tell us about the sound of your latest, Wet EP.
Joe: The EP is a collection of songs that really took form at the beginning of 2013 when we were first figuring out how to work together as a band. I think the most succinct way of describing the music is minimal pop. There are elements of RnB and contemporary producer-type stuff going on, but at the core it’s pop music and I think that’s what people are responding to most.
How did the latest single You’re The Best come to be?
Kelly: I made a demo for that song when I was living in Providence and it was one of those songs that just came out of me very quickly and I didn’t think too much about it. I was lonely and heartbroken and just couldn’t think of anything better to do – I never thought people would hear it. We just heard it on the radio in the UK and it was very surreal knowing these really specific words I wrote about very real people were being heard by strangers. The songs that take the least amount of time and thinking and changing – at least in demo form – are always the ones that I like the best.
What was the recording process like?
Kelly: We recorded the EP over the course of five days at Gigantic Studios in lower Manhattan. Our engineer Billy Pavone was incredible and Noah Beresin aka Noah Breakfast and Xaphoon Jones, was a pleasure to work with. The studio itself is beautiful. It used to be Philip Glass’ studio, so that was kind of cool, working out parts at Philip Glass’ piano. After the five days of tracking and recording we continued to work on the songs from home, playing around with parts and different elements until everything felt right.
Your top tour story to date?
Kelly: We haven’t done too much touring so far ... I think all the best stories so far might come at the expense of someone else’s privacy and/or feelings being hurt. But if you’re ever in Glasgow, ask for Jaime.
WET are playing at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney on Tuesday, March 10 and at Howler in Melbourne on Friday, March 13.