Seattle Weekly: Your first record was basically a solo album, where last fall's Descended Like Vultures found the band—which you gathered from Craigslist—coming together. What's satisfying about the group dynamic?
Zach Rogue (vocalist, multi-instrumentalist): I think it makes the potential greater; it broadens what we can do in terms of style. I don't claim to have all the greatest ideas, and different personalities allow us to make more varied music. And it's more fun to not do it by myself—to have other people validate the idea and sympathize with where it's going, and share the excitement if we get to an arrangement that's really working; it's fun arriving at that together.
How does it feel to be part of the new wave of poppier, more mainstream Sub Pop artists?
It's hard to answer that because I don't really know any different. It's definitely surprising to be on a record label, let alone one that I like as much as Sub Pop. Their label is as strong as it's ever been, and as varied. It's exciting, and much more than I could've asked or hoped for.
A lot has been said about your transformation from dot-commer to successful musician. Now that you've experienced both worlds, what's more fulfilling: job security or creative freedom?
Having been thoroughly entrenched in both lifestyles now, I'd say they both have tremendous trade-offs. I was making great money before [doing Web development] and was pretty effective at what I did, and I hated it. I was some guy just doing something that gave him no creative stimulation, and I'm much happier now. It's given me a glimpse of another side of me, and all of us. Everyone is capable of making art and creating things if they want to.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to quit their job and pursue a creative vision?
The thing that guided me when I was doing the first record [Out of the Shadow], alone and with [friend and producer] Bill Racine, was I tried to be myself. I'd kinda given up the game of trying to be cool. I guess, "Write about what you know."
Did you legally change your last name to Rogue in solidarity to your project?
No, my dad doesn't want me to. It doesn't mean that I won't, but I haven't felt the need to. In a way it feels nice to have separate lives, but I know who I am, and I'm OK with how things are now.
It's a very superhero kind of thing to do. Have you made any other symbolic changes?
I don't tuck my shirt in anymore. There's no reason for it now. I'm comfortable.
Rogue Wave play the Showbox with Nada Surf and Inara George on Sun., Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. $12.50 adv./$15. They also play Easy Street Records (20 Mercer St., 206-691-EASY) on Sun., Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. Free.