The Diverse Influences of Hundred Waters

Photo: Jennifer Jones

Something intriguing happens near the end of Hundred Waters’ impressive debut album. The serene mood gives way to “Wonderboom,” a hollow procession of stuttering drums that quicken dramatically, giving the album its most potent dose of electro-pop. Until that song, the Gainsville, Fla., quintet’s self-titled LP is a collection of lush melodies, each one layered with just the right amount of ambiance  There’s some soul music in there, avant-garde, and a whole lot of chill. That’s a far cry from the group’s label boss, EDM golden child Skrillex, who signed Hundred Waters to his OWSLA imprint after touring with the band earlier this year. “We were already in some sort of label negotiations with other people,” said band member Zach Tetreault. “It was a left-field move for them and for us. We just kept the conversation going, and it became more serious.” With so much diversity in the band’s sound, we rung them up to find out what their five greatest influence are. If one thing’s certain, they’re all over the map, just like their music.

1. Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Painter

His name translates to “Hundred Waters.” He was a painter from Europe; Paul [Giese] and I found him in high school. He’s had a great effect on how we approach music. He’s really interesting. We found out he wanted to be buried — not in a coffin — but like straight in the ground and I’ve always wanted that. Not that I’ve ever wanted to be buried ever. He does beautiful pictures, very cultural and exotic. –Trayer Tryon

2. Arthur Rubinstein, Pianist

I think I first heard him play Chopin, and I was in complete awe. His whole philosophy as an artist was a big influence to me — his approach to music, knowledge of what he’s playing, and knowledge of the instrument behind it. A part of my life was piano and he was the biggest influence. He was the picture of what an expert was with his piano. – Nicole Miglis

3. Jaga Jazzist, Norwegian jazz group

I think we’ve all have a lot of influences growing up, playing a lot of classical music and going into the world of jazz in high school and college. Jaga Jazzist is this Norwegian group, and they fused the idea of 15-piece orchestration. They’d have these really intricate drum lines and these really well produced electronic songs. I think that’s the thing I’ve continuously gone back to. I’m really moved by it. – Zach Tetreault

4. Robert Fripp/Brian Eno’s The Essential Fripp & Eno

It has a lot to do with the way I look at music and play the drums. It’s music that is really interesting texturally, and it’s unlike anything I’ve heard before. The songs are really long, really strange, and I just know that the album has done a lot to influence who I am musically. –Paul Giese

5. The Wall of Sound (made famous by Phil Spector)

I grew up being a chorus person, and with that type of music running through my family, I’ve really come to appreciate the detail that goes into a sound like that. –Samantha Moss

Stream Hundred Waters’ self-titled debut below:

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