Austin based duo The Wind and The Wave choose to create solely in the here and now, keeping every aspect of their music as genuine as possible. Maintaining the mindset of every record and tour being the final one, Dwight Baker and Patty Lynn have found freedom in approaching music entirely organically together – letting it come and go without pressure. Without compromising their authenticity within the chaos of the music industry, and refusing to conform to the mold of a specific genre, the pair have released five records in their five years making music together.
Their latest album, “Human Beings Let You Down” displays a raw complexity laced with a dynamic blend of powerful and lively tones, and captivating narratives – spotlighting The Wind and The Wave’s ability to be unapologetically authentic. Dwight and Patty took a break from recording their podcast in Austin to chat with heirwaves about the new record, life on tour, The Dwight and Patty Show Podcast, and staying true to themselves in music.
HW: You released your latest record “Human Beings Let You Down” in October, could you tell us a bit about that record, from the inspiration to what it means to you?
- Dwight: It’s different than any other record we’ve made because we wrote it while on tour – in hotels, and backstage, and van rides, and bus rides. A lot of the acoustics were recorded in hotel rooms. It’s a different record for us… I mean, Patty’s lyrics are usually journal driven anyway, but that record’s very of-the-moment because she’s often writing about what’s going on right then/what happened that day: The b*tch at the front desk with the terrible attitude at the Holiday Inn for no reason, or the guy that you ask if they have stuff for the laundry and they’re like, no, we have machines for that. It’s like, okay, you’re now in a song.
HW: I’m sure the environment on the road influences your music greatly…
- Patty: I enjoyed it because it’s nice not to treat it like it’s so precious. It’s just another record, at the end of the day, it’s just another song.
- Dwight: People always say to us, “Are you making another record?” and we didn’t even know we were making that record. We didn’t know we were making the first record. We just start to write, and then when there’s a batch of songs, we’re like, oh, well, I guess that’s a record.
- Patty: I prefer not thinking about writing a record at the start of a new record, it’s too overwhelming. I just like to write songs… no, correction, I just like to finish them.
HW: It seems much more organic that way. How do you think that you guys have managed to keep it real and remain so authentic in your music without succumbing to the pressures of the industry?
- Dwight: I was, well, I guess I still am a pop writer just professionally, for a long time for Kelly Clarkson and sh*t like that, I had just grown really tired. Even though it was really overwhelming for me to always be thinking of hits, or business, or meeting my quotas at my publishing companies. When we wrote the first record, it was written to NOT be any of that stuff. We’ve never allowed ourselves to say “hey let’s write a hit,” we just write a song we like. Often times we know that it has no genre, and that’s just kind of what we are.
- Patty: I think it’s pretty easy for me to remain authentic and not succumb to the pressures of the industry because I have such a lack of knowledge around the industry itself. I purposefully don’t involve myself in the business side as much as possible.
- Dwight: It’s just a whole lot of I don’t give a f*ck, it’s a whole lot of so what, we like this. We could very easily come out with a rap record. That’s how little we think about what it should be.
- Patty: Or a country record.
- Dwight: We just write it, and it is what it is. I think our next collection of tunes will be even more all over the map. It’s almost like I get more and more “I don’t care.”
- Patty: and we like a bunch of different things.
- Dwight: We listen to Beyonce all day.
HW: The line between genres seems to be pretty blurry these days anyway.
- Dwight: I don’t think it’s really about genre. I think everything is niche based. You’ll see a band on Spotify that you’ve never heard of that has a million monthly followers. That happens to me all the time… or someone will say “such and such is coming to town” and I don’t know who that is… It’s niche based. People like what they like, and it’s about finding your tribe more than it is what you fit into.
HW: What do you feel like your niche is?
- Dwight: Honesty. We wear our lives on our sleeves – not out loud or on social media or anything like that but just like if Patty and I are having a bad day or we’re in a fight or whatever when we’re on the road, you’ll get that at the show. If I’m feeling confrontational, I’ll be confrontational on stage. If Patty’s feeling sad, she might cry and then walk off and come back. We don’t try to put on our entertainment hats, we just kind of go however we’re feeling in that moment and that’s what you get. And that can change throughout the show… sometimes you go out and you’re in a terrible mood, and some fan dancing so hard makes you go, “Ah yeah! That guy’s living it.” And sometimes you come out in a great mood, and the “front row zombies” as we call them are leaning against the barrier, looking like they’re rather be anywhere else – even though you know they got there early to stand in front – bum you out. They really just want that to have somewhere to lean.
- Patty: or to have a good instagram photo.
- Dwight: or someone filming the whole time on their phone. That’s a bummer.
- Patty: Just be present.
HW: Does it bother you to see people disengaged at your shows?
- Patty: I try to not focus on it. I try to find the person in the crowd who is lifting my spirits and making me feel good and putting a smile on my face and just focus on that. I also over time have realized that people experience live performance in different ways. Some people are really into it but their eyes are closed, or their hands are in their pockets, or some people are really enjoying it and they’re jumping up and down. Everyone experiences our show a different way.
- Dwight: It’s also okay to take some pictures! But when the picture is more important than the actual moment, that’s a bummer.
HW: People really do so much simply for social media, but I think that fans definitely recognize the organic aspect to your artistry and connect with the raw honesty in your lyrics. Is it difficult for you to be vulnerable as songwriters and open up like that?
- Patty: It’s not difficult for me to share intimate details. I can be an oversharer. I’m in talk therapy and have been on and off for several years… and I’m pretty much an open book. Writing intimate details in a song and sharing it is really therapeutic for me. It’s not difficult for me to share personal stuff – I think that’s where all my best stuff is. The more honest I am with myself, the more I can relate to other people because deep down we’re all different but all pretty much the same.
- Dwight: I appreciate people when it moves them, but I will say it makes me uncomfortable. We get some letters and DM’s that are SO real that it’s actually kind of a burden to me to think that I affected someones marriage or life that way.
- Patty: In a positive way?
- Dwight: Even that. If you say – I was going to commit suicide, but this record moved me through that moment – while I’m honored for that, to me it’s a bit of a burden. I feel overwhelmed with that sometimes.
HW: How do you deal with that?
- Dwight: I deal with it the way I deal with everything.
- Patty: Just shove it way down?
- Dwight: I just bury it real deep down inside me, and occasionally it comes out in a not so pleasant way.
- Patty: I have a really hard time being on tour anyway, so when someone comes up to me on tour and says something that we’ve written has affected their life in a positive way, it makes me feel good.
HW: There is a power in sharing those feelings on that stage, it gives you a voice.
- Patty: I’ve always known that because I’ve always been a fan of music. I was impacted in a positive way by music long before I was creating music.
- Dwight: You never know how it’s going to be taken either. We’ve had some really froggy moments on stage and I would call it really aggressive even with the crowd, or just confrontational and you get off stage and everyone’s like, “oh, you guys were so hilarious tonight.”
HW: It’s pretty subjective. You never know how someone is going to interpret your words – but you seem to interpret each other’s pretty well! This is your fifth album in 5 years together… how do you feel that your dynamic as a duo has helped you as you continue to tour and make music together?
- Patty: I lean on Dwight a whole lot. On tour, specifically, I lean on him emotionally quite a bit. We’re like brother and sister, we don’t get along 24/7, especially when spending that much time together on the road. He can get under my skin, and I can get under his, but I feel like if I don’t have Dwight, I don’t have anybody… Which isn’t necessarily true, but he’s my person out there. So, if we’re not getting along, I’m not in a good place.
- Dwight: We don’t see much of each other at home. The only time we see each other really – aside from occasional dinners, because our “wives” like each other, that’s what we call them – is in the studio. So we’re creative when we’re at home, and when we’re on the road we’re 24/7. We’ve gotten better, if we both know we’re in a place we’re going to rip each other’s heads off, which we can do, we can get that way.
- Patty: It happens every tour.
HW: Do you feel like that’s the culmination of the stress from the tour?
- Dwight: Really on tour, it comes down to how the show was the night before. If the show ruled the night before, you’re good. If it was bad or poorly attended, you’re like, what the f*ck am I doing out here?
- Patty: Away from all of the comforts of home.
HW: What motivates you to keep going when it gets really difficult on the road?
- Dwight: The good shows. Denver, 600 people. Seattle, 500 people. Those shows you’re like see, it really did work in those 20 towns in the U.S where we do those kind of numbers. It’s frustrating to do the sh*tty cities where people don’t seem to come out for us, but the thing that always keeps me going is the great shows. Maybe next year we’ll just book the great shows.
- Patty: Dwight enjoys the road life more than I do typically.
- Dwight: I’ve been on tour a lot longer, 20 years longer, so it was always part of my life and I really enjoy it. Patricia’s not good with change.
- Patty: I feel like I’m a little bit motivated by not wanting to disappoint people… like everyone… fans, but also my band, because I think they enjoy it.
- Dwight: Except for the days that we’re as*holes. Then they don’t want to be anywhere near us.
HW: We all have those days! You just got off the road with the Neon Prayer Flags Tour, and you have the new record under your belt…. being a month into the new year, do you feel like last year served as a strong transition into the next chapter?
- Dwight: We never know if there is a next chapter. People don’t believe us when we say that stuff, but every tour is that last one, and every record is the last one.
- Patty: Every time we go out we say that, like this is the last tour y’all. But we say it every time, and we mean it every time. Because I can’t commit to another tour until I commit to another tour, that’s really how I am.
HW: So the future is pretty up in the air?
- Dwight: Well, that being said, we have two new songs.
- Patty: But that’s because you tricked me into being on a podcast with you and now we’re writing when we record podcasts!
- Dwight: She thinks I set up the whole podcast so that I could get her to come here and write.
- Patty: The writing process is challenging for me. But It’s kind of genius what you’ve done… you’ve taken the pressure off of writing for me, but also found a way to hold me accountable.
- Dwight: You have to be able to put it on your calendar, and creative time doesn’t fit on your calendar but recording a podcast does.
- Patty: It’s true.
HW: Tell us a little bit more about how the Dwight and Patty Show originated.
- Dwight: We wrote our own theme song a year into being a band. We just felt like we needed a theme song, that song you hear was written way before there was a show.
HW: So, you basically predicted the podcast craze?
- Dwight: I like to consider us pioneers.
- Patty: Dwight thinks everybody copies him.
- Dwight: That’s actually true.
- Patty: I think he’s ahead of the curve… on most things.
- Dwight: I listen to a lot of podcasts. I like podcasts that are pretty general, where people are just talking about their week or whatever, or just general wandering podcasts. I like comedians, I listen to a lot of stand up, and all of these guys’ numbers went to theaters just on the back of their podcasts… everything has a slight business tint to it for me. I was like, I don’t see any musicians growing their music that way… I wonder if we would be able to grow our audience that way. I wonder if we started doing one, if our die hards that are out there would come to a show if we were able to tell them in a different format. We basically just interview ourselves. That being said, I feel the same way about the podcasts as I do about the records, every episode might be the last, because it’s a lot of work.
- Patty: I feel differently. I feel like we’re definitely never going to tour again, ever, but this podcast, I could do this forever.
- Dwight: If we could monetize it a little more and make it worth our time, that would be nice. ((*cough* Patreon Link))
The Wind and The Wave’s fifth record “Human Beings Let You Down” is available for purchase and streaming on all platforms now.