Photograph by Nick Brandau
Even when there are only three or four Wanted Noise fans in the room, “They’re rocking out and moshing like [it’s] our greatest show ever.”
Wanted Noise is a bit of throwback to the free-for-all attitude that bands such as The Minutemen personified. The execution of their songs falls comfortably under the punk rock umbrella, but the influences at play are what set them apart. This is all apparent on their 2017 seven-song taster, Plate Lunch. Guitarist/vocalist Suri Sherman said the title was a homage to the variety-pack nature of the recordings. “The reason why the album’s called Plate Lunch is because our producer, who was from Hawaii, said ‘You guys remind me of a plate lunch of punk rock styles. You’ve got your fast-punk, your reggae/Sublime punk vibes, your shoegaze vibes, your Sum-41 and hardcore vibes. It’s like a plate lunch where you’ve got your beans, meat, and veggies. You’ve got a little sampler of everything,’” Sherman said.
The all-over-the-place nature of their music makes sense when you investigate their roots. The band was born out of random San Diego State jam sessions by a collection of musicians with diverse musical resumes. Sherman is a skate-punk devotee, while Jin Salamack (bass/vocals) harnesses the same love of punk but an appreciation for indie music as well. Additional guitarist/vocalist Caleb Adkins, the young cub of the band, played in a ska-punk outfit while he was in high school, but now dabbles in reggae and a current fascination with Black Sabbath. The final member to join the band, drummer Taylor Wagnerowski, was the oddest fit of them all.
“Our drummer never even listened to punk rock before we started playing together,” Sherman explained. “He had never even heard of NOFX, which is my favorite band. He’s into Rush, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Metallica. Until this year, he never really knew punk beats from punk songs. He played beats by just trying to play with whatever we were playing.”
This finalized line-up of Wanted Noise has been playing shows around town since 2014, and they credit their fans for energizing their gigs. Sherman explained that even when there are only three or four Wanted Noise fans in the room “they’re rocking out and moshing like they’re in the middle of our best show ever.”
He continued, “I feel like all the people my age in their mid to late 20s just want to rock out and mosh. People will start mosh pits for rap songs because they just want to rock out and mosh. We are an outlet for that. We want to rock out and mosh.”
Since March, the band has been solo-rocking-out and home-moshing. Further complicating matters, covid arrived on the eve of Wanted Noise releasing their first full-length album Next Generation which was due to be completed in April. “That was actually a blessing in disguise, because it gave us lots of time to reflect and just chill,” Sherman explained. “We’ve been working on this album since 2017 and started recording it in May of 2019. We’ve had most of the songs recorded for over a year at this point. So, this has been an album that we’ve had a lot of time to digest and go back and make sure everything is perfect.”
As of late, the band have been promoting their new single “Go Get” as they try to build their online fanbase and presence. A studio cover of Kut U Up’s “Destination,” featuring a video with each member tracking the song, is coming soon as well.
Further down the road are shows. Sherman already has a launch pad in mind for when the moshing and rocking-out resumes. “Honestly, a Tim Pyles Tuesday night at the Merrow after COVID,” he said. “We’ll still get 100 people. We might fill the Merrow too fat, honestly. Just a packed show there like old times would be a great start for getting back into it.”