Microwave is among the many fifteen bands performing at the 2017 AURA Festival. Their most recent album “Much Love” was released last year September. The band consists of Nathan Hardy on vocals and guitar, Wesley Swanson on guitar and vocals, Tyler Hill on bass and Timothy (Tito) Pittard on drums.
Asli Shebe: Can you tell me a little bit about Microwave, how it formed and when it formed? What the formation of the band looked like?
Nathan Hardy: I grew up in Georgia. I knew Timo in High School. And then I moved out west for four years. And then I went to school for a little bit and then I moved back to Georgia. Timo (Timothy Pittard) was one of two friends I knew back in Georgia. We just jammed. He was playing with another band and had a practice space in a warehouse in Kennesaw. And I jammed with him and Wesley (Swanson) was in the other band he was playing in. And then we met Tyler (Hill) in a bar. We’re all from around Atlanta. We just met each other through friends. There’s a pretty tight group of friends that support the music scene here.
One of our first shows was in Savannah at The Bomb Shelter.
In terms of your music backgrounds, did you all starting knowing how to play music?
We pretty much all played music in High School. Me, Tito and Wesley were really into punk and hardcore music, and that was sort of the theme that’s within our friends growing up. We sort of bonded over moshing and hardcore dancing sort of bands. Comeback kids kinda stuff. Ceremony and those kinds of bands.
Tito played in a screamo band and then he played in a hardcore band. We’ve been going through different genres.
I’ve been playing music since I was ten.
So Microwave? What’s the story behind that name?
It’s a pretty stupid name. I don’t know. We didn’t even remember who came up with the names. We were drunk at a house party and changed it on Facebook from the one we’d originally made. And we were like who’s idea was that? We were talking about that a few months later and one of our friends was like, that was my idea. I was at that party and I was like you should call your band Microwave.
I think it would be weirder if there was a good reason to call your band Microwave. I guess it seems like a stale Americana. I mostly cook food primarily in the Microwave. It’s been a big part of our lives I guess, individually.
Is this your first AURA fest?
Yeah. I didn’t know this wasn’t the first AURA fest.
How do you guys feel to be playing in AURA fest?
Super excited. I think we are gonna come down two or three days early to hang out see people and go to the beach and stuff.
Have you taken a look at the other bands that are coming? Anyone that you know?
Yeah, actually, Reed from the Funeral Portrait used to play in a band with Tito and we know the dude fro Native Suns. because we used to be roommates with a couple of them. And then we played with Oh Brother at the last couple of stuff. I actually met them at the last … thanksgiving in Atlanta. I’ve been watching Oh Brother play since forever. Essentially the bands that are from Georgia we are pretty familiar with and have at least been acquainted with.
What are big festivals or shows have y’all played?
We did Riot Fest this last year in Chicago and Denver. We played Wrecking Ball Atlanta for the last two years.
In terms of playing shows, what was the very first show that you guys played?
It was in a basement in Kennesaw, Georgia in a place they called the Four S. It was pretty fun. I used to drink a lot of chocolate milk before I played because I thought it helped me to sing better. So I remember having a big gallon of chocolate milk.
Did it? Help you sing better?
Um, probably not. Haha. I doubt it. I don’t drink chocolate milk anymore,, I usually drink alcohol. Haha. Maybe the calcium in it, the Vitamin D would loosen up your chords. It would probably make it worse. It probably makes your throat viscosity worse. You should ask a local professional.
Do you remember one of the craziest or biggest shows you played?
The show at Sweet Melissas was one of our first out of town shows that was just completely wild. I anticipate that AURA Fest would probably be really fun, too. We have a lot of friends who are from Savannah that live in Atlanta now or vice versa so it’ll be cool to see some people. There are some people who’ve come to out shows since we started that are down in Savannah now.
Nashville is really fun whenever we play Nashville. And Long Island in New York.
The first time we played Wrecking Ball in Atlanta was probably the craziest show pretty fun. The last few times we played Atlanta have been ridiculous. I think our last show in Atlanta that we played at the Drunken Unicorn, some dude got dropped on his head and they had to have the ambulance come in the middle of our show come and take him to the ER. Yeah, it got wild.
To order tickets for the all-day Saturday, Feb. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. festival, visit the AURA fest website.