Interview with As Ondas
by Valentina Orrù
As Ondas ('the waves' in Portuguese) are a tri-lingual no-wave-surf pop band based in London. Their members, Moema, Ochi and Andrew, are active musicians of the UK DIY scene. Their first album Marés was released by Tuff Enuff Records and Jigsaw Records.
We all knew each other through DIY music going on and were pals already but formed As Ondas in the run up to a festival in London called First Timers – the aim of which was to get new and under-represented people to form bands and be more centred in the DIY and punk community – but we weren’t ready in time! Still we liked what we were doing so we decided to carry on as a band regardless.
As Ondas means “The Waves” in Portuguese. The band is tri-lingual so we wanted to call ourselves something not in English – I guess because it helps cement our immigrant identity to anyone listening, and visibility is important… and also English is boring for a band based in the UK. We decided on As Ondas because initially we were writing songs that were quite garage/surf, so referencing waves seemed appropriate :). Marés is an extension of this and we thought it looked cool on a record cover.
Visibilty is important – I love that we are shifting song to song language to language on the record. We haven’t spoken about the need for an even representation, but I think we strove to have the mix be as equal as we could and I think it comes across harmoniously. I would say the changing languages benefits us as a band and the songs we write, not only do we all have shifting perspectives based on experiences through gender/sexuality/ race/ culture but we can also play on a really basic level with the sounds and rhythms of vocals in our songs. So our song writing process I find really exciting and fun partly due to this relationship with language.
A: Beautiful… if I’m allowed to call our own album that. I think it is anyway.
O: Chulo. Lo escucho de vez en cuando pretendiendo que no conozco a la gente que toca y me parece chulo.