While the band itself is quite young, all members of Wolves And The Radio are well versed in their chosen art. The Boston four piece came together in the summer of 2009 and have been creating intelligent and emotional punk rock songs ever since. The band dropped their self-titled album this month on Anchorless Records and in between work stints at the brewery (so jealous) spoke to Dying Scene all about it.
The whole band chipped in for the interview and we talk about the formation of the band, their physical surroundings, recording their debut album and the process involved, 2011 for the band and running away to Adelaide. You can read all about it here.
What are Wolves And The Radio up to at the moment?
Matt: Eating a banquet microwavable dinner, drinking some beer, and talking about our need for a van in the very near future.
Wolves are a relatively new band. Were there any foray’s into music by any members before WATR formed?
Matt: We’ve all been doing bands and music since we started middle school. Steve and I were actually in our first band together, and been playing music together ever since.
Ian: I got tired of being a stoner and doing nothing, so I decided to start playing drums. Ever since I’ve been playing music with friends, but I only moved to Boston a little over a year ago and met Matt and Steve. I’ve been thinking about going back to making music with actual friends.
How did Wolves come about?
Steve: Matt and I moved to Boston about the same time, leaving behind old bands in Upstate NY. We both decided we needed a new band and started playing songs we had been writing individually together. For a while it was just Matt and I, but eventually we needed to have a full band. Several months after the band technically began, Ian wandered into an early practice and hopped on drums. Since that one night, we work at the same brewery, live in the same house, and play in the same band. It was love at the first drum stroke.
The Wolves bio talks about how Upstate NY & Boston is the setting that lends to the natural desperation that is ever present for Wolves. As someone not familiar with the area, how do your physical surroundings affect your songwriting?
Matt: Shiiiiiiiiiit. But seriously, it’s based on coming from small mill towns in Upstate NY that stopped being successful mid-20th century, and the blue collar workers that are still around trying to pick up the pieces and make a living. Boston showed us that it’s still the same wherever you move, and you still have to struggle to survive. It doesn’t matter if it’s a desolate country town, or a busy metropolitan area. The whole point of the band is to find one thing to make our efforts worthwhile.
How did you sign to Anchorless Records?
Matt: What really sold us was a good friend of ours ended up signing to Anchorless, and recommended that we pursue the same. Neil remembered us from the first show, and we became good friends beyond just a business relationship. When we recorded the record, Neil offered to have us on board and we joined.
The self-titled is due out in Jan. Was this the first time that you had been through the recording process?
Ian: Well, as WATR, yes. Like we said, we’ve all been in bands before and recorded various projects.
What do you find most difficult about recording?
Steve: We had to cram a whole full length recording into three days, so we put a lot of effort into practicing to sound proper when were in the studio. We took a month or so to just practice, write, and mentally prepare for the weekend. I guess the hardest part was getting past our own anxiousness of so little time to get the finished product we really wanted.
Did you have the album complete when you walked into the studio or were you still working on elements of it?
Matt: Everything was complete for the full band songs. Afterwards, Neil suggested we put the acoustic tracks we had been working on towards the album. Since we had left the studio, we decided we would just record them at our house in Steves room.
Did any of the songs change drastically once you entered the production process?
Ian: Not at all. We had spent so much time preparing and analyzing the album that we just pretty much hit it head on. It’s the only way we could feel comfortable getting everything done in such a short period of time.
Now that it’s all finished, is there anything you would change or do differently next time?
Ian: Having more time in the studio always helps.
Matt: Especially with our engineer Jay. It’s really hard to not just wanna hang out and have fun for as long as possible with him, and he did an awesome job for us.
Steve: Next time I think we would set aside at least twice as much, if not more time for a similar length project.
Matt: Also we definitely would like to think about releasing on vinyl. It’s been a life goal for all of us, and now seems like a better time than ever.
Who did you work with on the album?
Steve: Our friend Jay Duguay at Project Sound in Haverill, Massachusetts. We also had our friends Jon Schoeck and Adam Haut help out with some moral, and instrumental support.
Matt: Jon Schoeck deserves a big thank you. He’s always been a great friend to all of us, ever since we’ve known him. He even did all of our artwork (CD art and merch art) for a case of beer that we forced upon him when he refused to take anything for his work.
Why did you chose to work with that particular person?
Ian: We had heard about the studio and Jay from fellow musicians who suggested we go to him because of our limited time frame.
Steve: A few had also told me the particular way he likes to record would fit the bands sound better than anywhere else we could find.
Lyrically, the songs on the s/t evoke serious emotions. Are they written with this intent or does this content stem from personal experiences?
Matt: My songs are a great way for me to put into words anger that I don’t or can’t express in everyday life.
Steve: All of our songs come from our personal experiences. Same as Matt, I use these songs to express emotions that might not make sense in everyday function.
Ian: I like screaming with them, because I know they are real life experiences I can share with my friends through songs.
What prompted you to include the two acoustic at the end of the album?
Matt: Neil recommended it, but they were songs we were gonna do in the future anyways.
Do you still hold down day jobs while putting effort into Wolves and the Radio?
Steve: Yes. All of us actually have at least two jobs. We all work at the same brewery for the same shifts, so that makes that job a lot easier on us.”
Is it difficult?
Matt: Fuck yeah it’s difficult. With that many schedules to work around, it’s really hard to work in anything for the band. It also makes a ‘personal life’ INCONCEIVABLE (said in the Princess Bride voice).
Ian: ANYBODY WANT A PEANUT?
2011 looks to be a big year for the band. Do you have a lot of touring planned off the back of the album release?
Steve: Once again, schedules have made things really difficult. Though springtime is looking like a prime-time for us to do a lot of traveling.
Where does the name ‘Wolves And The Radio’ come from?
Steve: First the band was called, ‘AM Radio’, then it was called ‘Wolves’, but both of those names were taken. So we put the two together and came out with ‘Wolves And The Radio’.
Of all the cities in Australia, why on earth would you run away to Adelaide? Has any member of the band been there or was it a random city choice?
Matt: Honestly, it was a random city choice. The song isn’t about the place that you’re going, its about the constant daydreaming to get the fuck out of where you are and away from everyone you know. The want to just drop everything even though you don’t know where you are going and what the fucking point would be, except to escape. The truth is that it won’t work out and your problems will follow you everywhere you go.