The Local 913: Bikini Islands

 
00:00

Formed about three years ago, the Pittsburgh surf and garage rock band Bikini Islands recently released their new self-titled studio debut. When front man Kyle Wacker, originally from Robinson, PA, was first interested in guitar as a teenager, he was surprised to know there was a musician in his family.

“I found out during that time in middle school that my uncle played guitar. I had no idea that he had guitars! He gave me an old Yahama acoustic and the action was like an inch off the fingerboards. I had to work to learn how to play this guitar. It wasn’t gonna be easy. I couldn’t use a pick, so I kept getting blisters on my thumb. I would just hit strings with my thumb. I didn’t really know what I was doing.”

After creative differences in his previous band, Wacker took some time to regroup. He began writing songs that he planned to sing, which was a first for him (“I was always the guy shoe-gazing in the back with the guitar. It’s kinda weird to be up front”). Although the songs were a more simple pop structure, he found interesting challenges in his new writing. 

“Just to learn how to sing and how to write a song, really. There’s more to it than putting the music together. You gotta put more of yourself into it, which is why I shied away from it before. It’s scary to put your ideas out there and write words and then people can see you a little bit of you in the song. That’s what’s terrifying.”

Wacker cites The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson’s writing as a big influence on his writing

“I saw that movie “Love & Mercy.” I remember listening and watching Brian write. The melody for vacation, I thought it has to have a super strong melody for the beginning of the song. Like a Beach Boys song. I’m not trying to copy the Beach Boys, but I wanted a nice melody to start the song and set the tone. After I saw that movie, I went home and really worked on just that one line.”

For more on Bikini Islands, go to their website.

 

Local Music

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Lenny Smith

Lenny Smith plays WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on April 19th, 2012.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Bastard Bearded Irishmen

The Bastard Bearded Irishmen play WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on May 17th, 2012.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Neighbours

Neighbours play at WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on June 21st, 2012.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Broken Fences

Broken Fences performs at WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on July 19th, 2012.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Molly Alphabet

Molly Alphabet plays WYEP's Local Music Happy hour on August 18, 2012.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Balloon Ride Fantasy

Balloon Ride Fantasy plays WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on September 20th, 2012.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Pet Clinic

Pet Clinic performs at Pittsburgh's Local Music Happy Hour on October 18th, 2012.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: White Wives

White Wives perform at WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on March, 10th 2012.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Brooke Annibale

Brooke Annibale plays WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on November 17, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: The Color Fleet

The Color Fleet performs at WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on February 16th, 2012.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: FORMULA 412

Formula 412 plays WYEP's Local Music Happy hour on August 19, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: JD Eicher & the Goodnights

JD Eicher and the Goodnights play WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on September 16, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Rhonda

Rhonda plays WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on July 22, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Satin Gum

Satin Gum plays WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on June 17, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Joy Toujours and the Toys du Jour

Joy Toujours and the Toys Du Jour play WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on May 20, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Chet Vincent

Chet Vincent plays WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on April 22, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Mark Dignam

Mark Dignam plays WYEP's Local Music Happy hour on March 18, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: The Patti Spadaro Band

The Patti Spadaro Band plays WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on February 25, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: New Shouts

New Shouts plays WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on January 21, 2011.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Nik and the Central Plains

Nik and the Central Plains perform at WYEP's local music happy hour on September 16th, 2010.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: City Dwelling Nature Seekers

City Dwelling Nature Seekers play WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on April 15, 2010.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: The Deceptions.

The Deceptions play WYEP's Local Music Happy hour on March 18, 2010.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: David Bernabo & Assembly

David Bernabo & Assembly play WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on February 25, 2010.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Aaron Jentzen

Aaron Jentzen plays WYEP's Local Music Happy Hour on January 21, 2010.

Third Thursdays at WYEP: Ben Hardt and His Symphony

Ben Hardt and His Symphony at WYEP's local music happy hour on January 17th, 2008.

Pages