Woah are an indie rock band from Charlotte, North Carolina. This group is a collection of 4 young men: twins Ruben and Michael Gomez, and friends Zach Rice and Jackson Martin, and they create music that feels like being the main character in an indie coming of age film. Their music is the perfect soundtrack to the most beautiful moments in one’s life, a feat usually only accomplished by big name bands such as Wallows, New Order, or Gus Dapperton. Their music encompasses an aesthetic that many people crave — which gives listeners songs that are heartfelt, sad, and inspiring.
Their production is crafty in that it sounds extremely professional while holding onto analog concepts that many lo-fi artists use to create intimate pieces. Woah’s sound is a fusion of soft indie rock and upbeat dream pop. But no matter what genre they are defined as, Woah is a band that you do not want to miss out on.
What’s up Woah the band! Please introduce yourselves and tell me how you began your life in music.
Ruben: What’s up, I’m Ruben Gomez. I’m 20 and I play the drums and sing for Woah. Ever since I was 6 years old, Michael and I were infatuated with U2. Specifically, I was and still am infatuated with Larry Mullen Jr.. Since then, we became obsessed with music.
Michael: I’m Michael Gomez. I’m 20, twenty minutes younger than Ruben, and I play guitar and sing. Like Ruben said, when we were little our dad played a U2 DVD for us and got us obsessed with the idea of being in a band ever since [we were] 6 years old.
Zach: Hey I’m Zach, I’m 18, and I play bass. I think it is safe to say that I have all the same influences as Mike and Ruben.
Give me a quick story on how Woah actually began.
Michael: We all jammed together since high school at around 16 years old. We decided to be in a band together back then. It was all a mess, though. We did not get serious until 2019 when we actually went into a studio to record our music.
Ruben: We consider ourselves to be an actual band since 2019, because before it was all kind of for fun. Jack did join us as lead guitarist three months ago, though.
What is it like being a band in North Carolina in terms of engagement, promotion, etc., and how do you like the scene out there?
Michael: I honestly have no desire to go to Los Angeles or New York or anything like that. I really like being unique here where we are.
Ruben: Yeah there are a lot of punk and metal bands out here, and we are really the only indie band that exists out here. It really gets rid of the competition in a way.
Michael: Exactly. I feel like if we were to go out to those big cities it would be a lot harder to gain an audience. But since we are in North Carolina, it is a lot easier to get attention in a scene loaded with punk and metal. What I really like about the scene is that it is full of college-aged kids who go to just have a great time. House shows are incredible for that reason.
Ruben: Yeah, and to answer the engagement question; I think it is kind of hard to find an audience, or at least it really was when we just started out. Of course, as time went on and we played shows, we got locked in with our audience.
Michael & Zach: That’s not to say that we don’t want to grow, because we are still focused on just that.
As of today, who inspires both your iconic sound or iconic image?
Ruben, Michael, Zach: As we all share the exact same influences, it’s easy to say. We love U2, Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Big Thief, Greer, Calpurnia (RIP), Twin Peaks, and old Remo Drive. They inspire the way we write, the way we like to sound, and also the way we present ourselves as a band to our followers.
Give me a brief history of your EP The Tint, and contrast it to your new music, which is notably different from your EP’s sound.
Ruben: So we did and then redid the The Tint EP about three times! We wrote our first full songs ever as a band in the fall of 2018, and we did not like them mainly because we recorded them all by ourselves at home. We finally got to a studio, and over three long months, we were able to do the EP the way we liked it.
Michael: It took three months mainly because we were only able to record every other thursday in the afternoons. It was really constraining. We mainly put it out frantically because we just really wanted to get ourselves out there. We were hasty to get going, and we thought that the EP came out sounding really inconsistent because of that rush. But after re-listening, I guess we got lucky. It came out very consistent!
Ruben: For the sound, it was a lot on our producer. He basically constructed our sound as we recorded the EP through live takes, which is funny because it is very reminiscent of The Strokes. Our new stuff is so much better to us. We are doing all of our new stuff on Logic at home, which is curious. We like it a lot better than our studio work, mainly because we like the New Wave sound of our new music.
Michael: Yeah, we basically are not into the garage rock as much as we are into this newer “New Wave” stuff.
What is your writing process like? Who dictates the writing, how does it come about?
Michael: We are a four piece, but we do not write as one. We write everything separately.
Ruben: Michael and I are the principle songwriters, but Zach and Jack also contribute their thoughts when molding the final products.
Michael: Usually I like to be in bed with a guitar and notebook and get to writing good chord progressions.
Ruben: Yeah, see… I cannot do that! I like to have a beat in the background as I write music. I’ll play guitar licks as well, but I need to have a drum beat in the back. I can’t do the “writing in bed” thing. We get very passionate when it comes to collaborating ideas, though. We argue like crazy about small details! Basically put, if Mike or I do not like something about a part of a song, it will not make it.
Michael: We can try to fix parts of the song, but if it is not good to one another, nothing will happen. Under no circumstances do we compromise for what we do not like.
Ruben: For example, I began the writing for “It’s Not A Movie,” and it was called out by Mike that its a lowkey rip off of a Beach Fossils. So, that did not pass. The song got a good rewrite, and it became a single!
Give me your best live gig story!
Michael: As we mentioned, the crowds at these shows are great. One time we were watching some young dudes opening up for us and getting the crowd pumped with their set. We were getting ready to go on after their set, and the crowd was ready to go crazy. Well anyways, the cops showed up for noise complaints!
Ruben: Everyone started to book it and ran off into the woods. It was a crazy sight to see. One second everyone was having fun, and the other, people were off in a panic!
Michael: We were so sad. We were pumped to play, the people were ready to get crazy, and we ended up leaving without any of that to experience. It’s a sad story, but our craziest one, for sure.
Ruben: We were also banned from a venue! We wanted to get pizza before our set, and this place was literally down the block. A good five minutes of walking, and when we came back, the security denied us and banned us from the venue for not having ID with no payment. It was a ridiculous time. All shade to those guys.
At least you get to tell these crazy stories! So, your band name is “Woah.” Why that name?
Ruben: It is a very funny story. We were at the movie theatre watching Ninja Turtles, and there was some random moment [during] the movie where a guy beside us said out loud, ”woaahh,” and for some reason, that stuck with us.
Michael: It really did. As stupid as it sounds, when we discussed names for the band, we went through some, but I think we knew that we really wanted “Woah” as our name. Funny story.
It’s notable that you guys have grown as a band pretty rapidly. Do you guys know why? How do you feel?
Michael: TikTok! It is an incredible tool to grow an audience. Seriously, we started off feeling kind of dumb doing it, but now we have a notable audience on there that we otherwise would not have at all. TikTok is awesome.
Ruben: Aside from that, we have also been put into cool playlists that really help out our engagement, so shoutout to those who do that for us!
Give me a fun fact about yourself!
Michael: Dang, being put on the spot like that really clears your head! Come back to me.
Ruben: Lets see… I’m a lefty, I like to fish… oh, and I have been fired from seven stores — all in the same shopping center.
Zach: Maybe mine is not as fun because I can keep a job, but I really, strongly, dislike roller coasters!
Michael: Okay, so I have only had one girlfriend, I worked at Walmart for about 40 minutes before quitting, and also have never smoked weed.
What is the ultimate goal for Woah the band? Short-term, long-term, anything.
Ruben: Within 6 months, we want to hit 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
Michael: Yeah, nothing is impossible if the music and the promo is just right.
Ruben: If we don’t, we would eventually like to hit that number, support ourselves as musicians, and tour all over the place!
Parting words for our Altangeles readers?
Michael, Ruben, Zach: Stream Woah! Give us a chance, and if you like what you hear, please give us a follow anywhere you can!