A name inspired by the C.S. Lewis book “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” with storytelling lyrics to match, Waiting for December has recently taken the West Chester area local band scene by storm. The Quad sat down with two of its members and WCU students Johnny Wood, the lead singer/guitarist, and David Moore, the bassist, to chat about the band and what they will bring to the community with the completion of their upcoming LP titled “Breaking Mirrors” due out in April or May 2009.
Waiting For December has been established the way we see them today since Moore, who was originally a temporary bass player, became a permanent fixture in the band in 2007. In addition to Moore and Wood, Waiting For December has two additional members, drummer Tom Rickerts and Joe Tattum who plays drums/ keyboard. Tattum also shares vocal duties. Both Wood and Moore describe the band’s sound as hard rock. However, they have many outside influences that contribute to their sound as well. Each member of Waiting For December has very different musical tastes which highly influences the song writing process according to Wood. For example, Moore is a blues musician while Wood brings more of an eclectic rock sound. Both Rickerts and Tattum bring in strong metal influences to the group’s music.
Musicians that Waiting For December look to for inspiration include everyone from U2, REM and Sunny Day Real Estate to various jazz musicians and punk and metal bands from today and yesteryear.
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Recording their album and writing new music isn’t the only focus of Waiting For December. They enjoy performing live too. Moore said that his favorite song to perform live is a three way tie between tracks called “City of Gold,” “Mickayla” and “Furnace.” Wood likes playing the song “Surrender” which is being considered as the first single that the group will shop around to local radio stations.
Wood is also looking forward to debuting a song that Tattum wrote called “shelf life.”
“My favorite part of being in a band is doing live performances and just being on stage and having fun with it and seeing the reactions from the crowd,” Moore said. Wood enjoys live performances but also values the creative process which he, as one of the main songwriters in the band, along with Rickerts, modeled after Thom Yorke of Radiohead’s idea of ruining or bouncing off of each other’s ideas to make collaborative efforts.
Both Wood and Moore agree that their favorite live show was the one that they played for a high school- aged youth group at a church in New Jersey.
“They were really into it,” Wood said. While both Wood and Moore said being in a band has not directly helped them with their studies here at West Chester, participating has taught them some valuable life lessons.
“You need to be able to compromise what you want to do to better the whole of the band. It’s a lot of personal sacrifice,” Moore said.
“I learned essentially how to get along with and talk to people,” Wood said.
According to Moore, going to a Waiting for December show will benefit all who attend in more ways than one.
“It is a real benefit having something to enjoy. We play a variety that everybody can enjoy. There’s a need to have an enjoyable time without partying,” Moore said.
“We tend to have very high energy shows. We enjoy getting the crowd into it, because the audience showing no response at a show bothers me,” Wood added.
Waiting for December doesn’t just play music to better themselves and entertain local fans. They are philanthropists too. The band works very hard in supporting the suicide and depression prevention charity called To Write Love On Her Arms.
Many of the profits of their shows have gone to this cause. Waiting For December also supports the WCU Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. On April 16, the band will be playing at a benefit concert here on campus to support the cause.
To listen and learn more about Waiting For December, visit their myspace page at www.myspace.com/waitingfordecembermusic.
The band also has a youtube account at www.youtube.com/wfdmusic on which they currently have one video posted for the song “Surrender.” They intend to update this site with more videos once the album is released. This spring season it will be available for download on iTunes as well as through messaging the band directly through myspace to purchase a hard copy.
Once the album is released, West Chester will no longer be “Waiting” for December. They are already here and will continue to make music for all to enjoy.
Samantha Greenberg is a second-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at SG655862@wcupa.edu.