Saturday, October 08, 2016

10 Questions with Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves

Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves released their excellent sophomore full-length album The Cross and The Switchblade last month on Wiretap Records (US) and Gunner Records (UK).  The band hails from Winston-Salem, NC and plays the perfect blend "of melodic and post hardcore, classic rock, alt country, and straight up punk with undeniable heart, driving energy, honesty, and purposefully poignant lyrics."  The Cross and The Switchblade is easily one of the best records of 2016 and Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves is one of the best bands out there today.

This interview was conducted via email with singer/guitarist Brian Woodall September 12-28, 2016.

For more information on Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves check out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTubeBandCamp pages. 

Dave:  How did the band get together?

Brian Woodall:  It started with just some song ideas I (Brian) had. Me and Kyle (my brother, wx4 drummer) had tried getting something together before this and we could never find a singer, so my frustration sparked 3 or 4 songs. The 2 of us got together and finished 3 of the songs, trashed the other and decided to try to put a band together. We found Derek(the original bassist) via my wife who is a hair stylist and had been doing his hair for a while. His band was breaking up so we asked him if he would be interested in coming to try out and he said sure. So we had a three piece, but I really wanted 2 guitars so we asked Sean a friend in another Winston Salem band The Essex if he'd be into playing with us and he said yes. I wrote a few more songs, we practiced a good bit and had our first show Halloween 2009 in my basement. Sean moved away, Josh joined, Josh left and we had Sean(different one) and Max play with us until we met Ryan through a mutual friend and he joined the band. Derek left and Mike, Sean(the second one), Bodie, and Jonny filled in on bass until our old friend Jake from On My Honor messaged us about wanting to know if we'd found a full time bassist yet, so he hopped on board. And now it's, Me, Kyle, Ryan, and Jake.

Dave:  What’s the story behind the name Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves?

Brian:  It started as a song title for a band before WX4 about televangelists, politicians, and anyone who preys on people's insecurities and fears to make a dollar. When it came time to find a name we made a list of our favorite band's song titles, phrases we liked, and other random things, plus WX4. After doing our due diligence searching for existing name usage and crossing off anything taken, we were left with one name. Wolves&wolves&wolves&wolves. So we decided to just go with it. It's a terrible name, I've known it since day one, but it's very hard to find a good name not already being used.

Dave:  For those who have never heard the band, how do you describe your music?

Brian:  Loud angry emotional rock and roll with a lot of punk influence. I have a hard time defining our style with genre labels because they carry preconceived notions about what you're supposed to sound like.

Dave:  You recently released your sophomore full-length The Cross and The Switchblade. What's the story behind the record? How did you get hooked up with Wiretap Records?

Brian:  When we got home from our European tour last year the plan was to start working on a new album. Subtle Serpents had just released in 2015 there but we put it out ourselves in 2013, so we needed something new. I started working up ideas in Europe and had some pieces from songs that didn't make it on either of our 7"s and worked from there. I ended up with 6 brand new songs plus 4 rerecorded versions and a "hidden" acoustic track.

We worked with Wiretap on the Scars EP that came out in 2015, but first met Rob because of Scorched Earth. When we pressed that we also partnered with a tape only label to do a short run of tapes with that release and we think that's how Rob heard of us, we're not quite sure. He contacted us about our future plans and we did Scars together.

Dave:  Do you have plans to tour in support of the new record? What are some of your favorite places to play?

Brian:  At the moment we are in Europe for 30 days for the release over here, and when we get home we have some shows and a couple runs planned for the U.S. release.

Favorite places to play - The Milestone in Charlotte, NC, The Garage in Winston Salem, NC, The Hook Up in Virginia Beach, really anywhere that lets us in the door. Last year we played Barcelona and had a blast so we would like to get back there, and we just finished 4 days in the UK with The Run Up and Mixtape Saints and are already itching to get back. Germany always treats us well, so we love playing there too.

Dave:  Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?

Brian:  It's all starts with me, if I have something I really like I'll get together with Kyle to finalize the structure and flow, if I like how it sounds at that point we'll demo it, if it sounds good after that I'll pass it on to the other guys to work out their parts. There's no telling what comes first, lyrics, melody, chord progression, so I try not to force anything and let it come naturally.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in North Carolina?

Brian:  It's more a collection of multiple scenes than one united scene. We've been fortunate to play shows with country bands, rap groups, punk bands, rock bands, and any different genre you could think of and get a positive response from most of them. The few that have been less than friendly or full of themselves never lasted long enough to do much anyways. There's a lot of breakups and implosions, the ones that last are the ones that care about music, and not some misguided grasp at fame.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question. What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?

Brian:  Bands:  The Clash, The Specials, Rancid, Bouncing Souls, Spice Girls
Albums:  The Clash - London Calling, The Get Up Kids - Something to Write Home About, Rancid - And Out Come The Wolves, Bouncing Souls - Hopeless Romantic, Hot Water Music - A Flight and A Crash
Movies:  The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, That Thing You Do, Apollo 13, The Dark Knight, A Few Good Men
TV:  The West Wing (and anything Aaron Sorkin), Bob's Burgers, The Office(US & UK), Monty Python's Flying Circus, Red Dwarf
Books/Authors - Here's a list of what I've read recently or am currently reading
Hepatitis Bathtub...-NoFX, Inferno-Dante, Thus Spoke Zarathustra-Friedrick Nietzsche, Common Sense & The Age of Reason - Thomas Paine, Anarchy Evolution...-Greg Graffin

Dave:  What’s next for the band?

Brian:  More shows and festivals, another EP next year, maybe a little rest? Just trying to keep the train moving. We've got lots of plans so we just have to figure out order of importance and what we have the time to do.

Dave:  Any final thoughts?

Brian:  Thank you for the positive coverage and reviews, it's much appreciated. And thanks to anyone who has taken the time to check us out. If you see us at a show don't be afraid to come and say hi or talk to us about anything, we may seem like big angry scary guys but we're just passionate about our music. We had a girl who was scared of Ryan last year in Germany because of his stage presence, and her boyfriend had to convince her to walk over and see that he wasn't evil. I wouldn't have but that's me. We love nothing more that sitting around and shooting the shit with people, when you spend all day in a van driving human contact keeps you sane.

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