Three students from Midland University have the chance to make their dreams come true.
Pablo Arza, Will Hastreiter and Will Yindrick are members of the five-member group “Wave”. Even though they’ve only been together for about 18 months, the band is making waves in the local music scene.
“I think we’re all living the dream,” Hastreiter said. “I know that since I was 8 years old, playing Guitar Hero, I always wanted to be a rock star in some sense. There’s no such thing as live music.
Yindrick planted the seeds of Wave in the summer of 2020. In the midst of a pandemic, Yindrick, like many others, was looking for something to escape reality. This escape came in the form of music. “Our bassist (Nolan Jakub) and I grew up playing music together, and we had always talked about starting a band,” Yindrick said. “I knew Pablo from being in the jazz band Midland together, and Tucker Cunningham (rhythm guitarist) and I had gotten to know each other in a speech contest in high school. I was bored that summer, so I contacted everyone to see if they would be interested in trying to put something together. We actually played a 4th of July show together and then a couple of other small community events were discontinued.
Yindrick was the band’s lead singer, but having known Hastreiter from being in choir and acapella groups in Midland, he offered Hastreiter to join the band last summer. “I think Will is one of the most talented singers I’ve ever known,” Yindrick said. “Listening to this style of music and his range, I thought he would be perfect for our band. When I tried to find someone to be lead vocalist, he was the first guy that came to my mind. in mind.
Hastreiter jumped at the chance to be the lead singer with only one concern. “These guys were into heavy metal and classic rock, and I didn’t have any of that music in my background,” Hastreiter said. “I grew up hearing my mom play Billy Joel, and I’m a huge John Mayer fan, so most of my music is acoustic-based. When I first heard most of these songs, it was when they sent them to me and told me they were on our playlist. But it really diversified my listening and broadened my horizons towards the kind of music that I like. I think it helps that we’re very respectful of each other’s music.
The band has a playlist that covers everything from classic early 1970s rock to 1990s grunge sound to more modern music. “Will (Yindrick) and I grew up listening to classic rock like Led Zeppelin and Kansas,” Arza said. “When I first heard this music, I wasn’t really a fan of it, so I never really got into it. But then I started playing Rock Band and Guitar Hero and I discovered all these new songs. Something clicked and I started to become a fan of heavy metal and death metal.
Their extensive playlist has helped them attract audiences of all ages. “My mother told me that a good strategy is to open our concerts with classic rock to appeal to older audiences. Then, once you hook them up, they’ll stick around to listen to new music that they might not know,” Hastreiter said.
Yindrick said it also allowed many college-age students to discover an affinity for the classics. “I think our college-age fans are starting to love classic rock songs as much as they love songs they already know,” he said.
Most of Wave’s concerts take place at a location in Lincoln where they have been dubbed the “house band”. Their schedule can be haphazard because while they want to be rockstars, there’s also being students first. The group had three shows in January and concerts in March, April and May.
“It’s especially tough in the fall because that’s the height of music season, and you really can’t sing at concerts when you have to sing a week later for musicals,” Yindrick said. “We find a lot more time to play and train in January.”
History has taught us that almost all rock bands, those that were very successful and those that never made it into the local scene, face conflict at some point. But in their early days as a band, Hastreiter can only recall one instance where there was even the slightest tension. “I hadn’t been with the band for very long and we were playing a show one night and I started jokingly telling them that they were taking too long to tune their instruments,” he said. “After the show, Pablo pulled me aside and just said, ‘Dude, never do that again.’ I thought I was in big trouble, but everything was fine.
Yindrick said the fact that the five members are close friends is a contributing factor to their ability to work together. “These guys are some of my closest friends,” he said. “What connects us as a band is the energy we feel when we play together. That’s what we all love.
Wave is strictly a cover band at this point, but they are getting closer to writing and recording their own material. Arza said the band recently completed a draft of their debut song, and the goal was for more original material to follow. “We have plans for an album in the near future,” Yindrick said. “We want to test these songs with our audience before they are released on an album.”
Arza, who came up with the group’s name, said he didn’t know what the future held for him and his bandmates, but they all wanted to see Wave continue to grow. “I would like things to continue, but I also know that each of us has our own plans after graduation,” he said. “But I see a bright future for this group.”
As for the present, these friends are living the dream of making music and sharing that music with others. “I love playing music for a crowd,” Yindrick said. “When I’m sitting behind my drums and you look through the steamy glass and see people jamming and rocking to your music, it’s a feeling like no other.”
To learn more about Wave and see upcoming shows, visit wavetheband.com.