Winter is making its mark all over the country. Frost, cold nights, and butt-naked trees every day – it truly feels like summer was a lifetime ago.

Thank goodness for Shakes then, who have treated us to the wonderful chilled-out sounds of Waiting on a Feeling. The song starts with the damn grooviest bass you’ve ever heard and finishes with the chorus of woo-hoos ringing in your head. Their video for it produces much of the same vibe. The band square off in a bit of turf warfare and shots of the golden refuge that is the New Zealand beach remind us of what we’ve got to look forward to next summer.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Alexander Wildwood from his home at The Mount. He talks to us about the year ahead, Oscar Wilde and indulges our curiosity over their band’s name.

Hi Alexander, thanks for talking to us at Tearaway Magazine.You guys have just dropped Waiting on a Feeling, how did it feel to finally get that released?

It felt like the feeling we were waiting for.

2016 was a big year for you it seems, with Strange Tides making some pretty sizeable splashes. Have you anticipated that this year could potentially be a whole lot bigger? 

It’s pretty hard to say. We weren’t really expecting Strange Tides to get the reaction it did so it was all just a lot of fun being in each moment. If it happens again with Waiting on a Feeling that’ll be rad but if not, that’s cool too.

You did everything for this song at your pad in Mt Maunganui; to what extent does being there help make music as sunny as yours?

I’m not entirely sure. Maybe ’cause there’s nothing else to really do so you just play music and mess about with sounds and songs. The sunshine does help. I can’t write without a window in my studio. I’m not sure [if] it’s a conscious thing though.

Or are you naturally a sunny person and could write that song in central Christchurch if you wanted?

I’ve only been to Christchurch once and it was sunny that day, so potentially.

I’ve heard Oscar Wilde’s description of two tragedies – getting what you want and not getting it – played a part in making this song. Could you please elaborate on that?

Yeah that’s true. Well, I had the chorus first and going round in my head. Kinda on loop. I knew the song needed to be about waiting for something and then that phrase from Oscar Wilde popped into my head. I thought about how we as humans don’t really know what we want. We are fuelled by the desire for our desires.

Where does the band want to be this time next year? 

On a planet that still exists.

Finally and just quickly, I wanted to ask you first about your name. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t have a ‘The’ in it, which for some reason I’ve always found fascinating. Bands like Pixies have done quite well without it but I do know some who have openly stressed about having the ‘The’ mentioned when being named. Can you explain to me the politics of leaving out the The’ in your name?

It wasn’t something we thought about an awful lot.  I was talking about band names with a friend and he said something like, “Just drop the ‘The’” and I said, “Yeah cool. I like that.”