Rogue Wave Biography

Rogue Wave is an indie rock band from Oakland, California, (formerly signed to Sub Pop, now to Brushfire Records), and headed by Zach Schwartz (a.k.a. Zach Rogue) who created the band after losing his job in the dot-com bust. Their first album was Out of the Shadow which was released privately in 2003 and re-released in 2004. In the fall of 2004 they went on a national tour of the United States. Their second album Descended Like Vultures was released in October 2005. The band's third album, Asleep at Heaven's Gate was released on September 18, 2007, though it was available one week earlier on iTunes. Permalight, Rogue Wave's fourth full-length album, was released March 2, 2010 through Brushfire Records.

Formation of Rogue Wave and other projects

Rogue Wave began almost by accident. In early 2002, faced with the sort of existential crisis unique to the newly unemployed, Zach Rogue decided to take some time off from his home base of San Francisco. He set off with a one-way ticket to New York in March with the intention of recording one or two songs with a friend, in an effort to exorcise his demons both artistically and personally. He came away with both a new lease on life and an album's worth of material that would later become Rogue Wave's debut, Out of the Shadow. After returning to the Bay Area with a nearly completed record in hand, Zach decided to leave his former band, the Bay Area based Desoto Reds, in which he played guitar, and form his own group. At the end of 2002, while preparing the album for release, Zach rounded out the band’s lineup with the addition of Pat Spurgeon (drums,keys,samples,vocals) Sonya Westcott (bass,vocals), and Gram LeBron (guitar,keys,vocals).

Pat Spurgeon has played with bands Antenna, Stranded at the Drive In, Ramona the Pest, Brando, Steve Kowalski, Lessick, and has also released solo work as The Phantom Drummer.

Gram LeBron has been involved in the bands Long and Golden, Schrasj, Sad Like Crazy, Conundrum, Jessica Six, All Transistor and has also released solo work as Golden Gram.

Sonya Westcott was in the band Venus Bleeding before her time with Rogue Wave.

Evan Farrell played with The Japonize Elephants, Mega Mousse, Amaldecor, Big Mule, Hunted Haunted Bazergahn Klezmorchestra, Grande Rouge, Kentucky Nightmare, Mama HooHoo.

Patrick Abernethy was formerly a keyboard player with Beulah before joining Rogue Wave.

Departure and death of Evan Farrell

Evan Farrell left Rogue Wave after the recording of Descended Like Vultures, to pursue his other project The Japonize Elephants, but remained a friend of the band. Farrell died soon after on December 23, 2007 in Oakland CA, suffering from "massive smoke inhalation" in an apartment fire caused by a dangerously obsolete gas-fired floor furnace. Farrell himself had replaced original bassist Sonya Westcott in 2004. Patrick Abernethy joined the band in 2007 to take Farrell's place on bass and was later replaced by Cameron Jasper in 2009.

Television and film appearances

Most recently, Rogue Wave appeared as themselves in the 2009 movie Love Happens, starring Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston. In the movie, set in Seattle, Eckhart’s character is disappointed that tickets to a Rogue Wave outdoor concert are sold out. However, Anniston’s character surprises him by borrowing a friend’s utility truck with a “cherry picker” boom. She parks the truck near the large open-air amphitheater, and the two of them enjoy a great view of the concert from the elevated bucket.

Rogue Wave is featured on the Stubbs: The Zombie Soundtrack performing a cover of Buddy Holly's "'Everyday'". Their cover of Buddy Holly's "Everyday" was also on a television commercial for the movie Rachel Getting Married.

A live version of their Out of the Shadow track, "Every Moment", appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Napoleon Dynamite, but not in the movie itself.

The song "Eyes" was featured in the movie Just Friends.

Rogue Wave's songs have also appeared in episodes of Heroes, Friday Night Lights, Scrubs and Chuck. They also had their song "Kicking the Heart Out" on an episode of Weeds on Showtime.

The Fox show The O.C. has used "Publish My Love", "California", and "Interruptions" as well as included "Publish My Love" on Music from the OC: Mix 5, a collection of songs used in the show.

Recently, the song "Lake Michigan" was used in an ad for Microsoft's MP3 player Zune.

The third episode of season five Nip/Tuck featured "California".

Their song "Harmonium" is used in an ESPN commercial for the UEFA Euro 2008.

In 2008, the band filmed and released a video for the song "Chicago X 12" (from Asleep at Heaven's Gate) which was directed by actor/comedian Bob Odenkirk.

A documentary about Pat Spurgeon's battle with kidney failure and daily need for dialysis while on tour was featured on the show "Independent Lens" on PBS. Spurgeon was born with a single kidney.

The song "Love's Lost Guarantee" is featured on one episode of One Tree Hill's seventh season, as well as in the trailer for the indie-film Wristcutters.


The band is featured extensively in the documentary, D-Tour, which chronicles Spurgeon's struggles with kidney disease and his wait for a transplant.


On November 18, 2009 Zach Rogue announced the release date for their fourth full-length album, Permalight. It will be released on March 2, 2010 through Brushfire Records.
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Closing this message or scrolling the page you will allow us to use it. Learn more