Local Focus: We Came From Wolves

LocalF

 

By Andy McCall,
Music Editor

 

1.Hey! So first off, We Came From Wolves started out in Perth, but I think it’s safe to say, your breaking into the Glasgow scene these days. Could you give us a quick pre-history to the band, how you came into being and also could you sum up your sound in five words?

Hey! So yeah, we are all Perth born and raised, except Rob (Bass) who grew up in Leeds and moved north of the wall as a child. A brief history of WCFW would be a collection of like mind individuals from a sleepy town with a once buzzing music scene, taking ideas and inspiration from past projects and experiences to create the music they want to hear rather than trying to squeeze into a genre or scene. Starting out with a UK tour (and one date in Paris) in our first year, we then recorded our debut EP which was put out on Engineer Records, last year we embarked on a much larger, 30 date tour of the UK with our Celtic cousins from Northern Ireland, A Plastic Rose.

Our sound in five words would have to be…Melodic – Emotive – Ernest – Catchy – Eargasms

2. You released the album ‘Cope’ last year. Could you tell us about that record? What were its main influences, how was it received and what have you been up to since then?

Cope was an EP recorded and produced by one of our best friends and a super talented producer by the name of Tom Mitchell from back home. It was a collection of songs written during a tough period in my life due to a number of factors, it helped me address a lot of issues…loss, fear, insecurities, paranoia, anxiety, regret and the contributing factors to a lot of those problems but also served as a reminder that things would get better, all of the songs have optimism in the face of despair…I guess the title summed that up.

3. You embarked on small UK Tour a while ago. Is that the first time you took on something like that, and how was it taking on a tour on that scale? Have you come back with any on tour stories, or have you had any learning curves?

We had all been on tours of varying sizes across the UK (and in our then drummer – John’s case Europe and Canada) so had all had a taste of what it meant to cram all of your things into a small vehicle and spend time traveling…so in terms of had we done it before, yes…but the rewarding part of our two tours with WCFW thus far was the progression. The first tour was a decent 2/3 week stint all around Scotland and England ending with Paris in a beat up ex postal van with no heating/radio and seats barely big enough for a child, although a fantastic experience and some great memories, it was a struggle and we knew we had to try and secure something better for the next time out. We got COPE recorded, played a bunch more shows across Scotland and got picked up by Free Trade Booking agency who put us on the second tour with A Plastic Rose, this was a game changer. We were now playing some of the best small venues in the UK, most of the O2 academy second stages and were getting a good fee and plenty of food and beers in a dressing room every night. I don’t care who you are or if it rubs the “DIY” kids the wrong way or not, the whole process is made a DAMN sight more rewarding and enjoyable when the people running the shows make you feel comfortable and thank you for your efforts.  We are under no illusions; I’m fully prepared for the toilet circuit shows again.  When you’re out of the shop window for a minute you have to climb that ladder all over again.

Telling all the funny stories would take forever but a few highlights  would be eour stand in (at the time…but now permanent) lead guitarist, Taylor breaking his arm wrestling after a good night off in Birmingham and him complaining of a sore arm for the next shows but us telling him to suck it up until he got home and had it checked out.  One of my favourites…our bassist Rob eating a coronation chicken sandwich (which contained cashew nuts…he is highly allergic to nuts…and cashews are like his Kryptonite!) then realizing it contained said nuts, and swelling up like a balloon whilst driving on the motorway, having to pull a u turn and drive himself to the hospital in Leeds… the doctor said if we’d been five minutes later he would have died due to his windpipe closing over and prescribed a two week rest… we continued the next 14 shows in a row without a peep of discontent.

4. Wow!  Who would have thought a coronation chicken sarny could cause so much carnage.  In fact, We Came From Wolves recently underwent a pretty major upheaval in its lineup – thankfully not due to any coronation chicken related deaths.  You’ve acquired a new lead guitarist and drummer. As far as you want to explain, what caused the decision to change half the band?

Yeah I guess it does come across as a pretty major upheaval, but in reality, we are as close as ever with our brothers who have left the band and the guys who have come in are from our hometown and the same scene, so it’s really been a pretty smooth transition, obviously parting ways with anyone you care about in any capacity will always be hard, and the guys (Greg ex lead guitar and John ex drums) were two of the best musicians I’ve ever met.

Greg got the news he was to become a father near the end of our last tour, last year…from there he made the decision to step back so he could fully commit to being a great dad and husband to his family, a decision we wholeheartedly respected him for.

Then drummer, John, had various other projects on the go that had all been put to one side when WCFW took off so he used this time, quite rightly, to get back into his own material and other projects. After some time passed we realized we needed to get ourselves back on track.  John’s other projects were getting busier and we decided it was best for both parties for him to concentrate on that and for us to bring in someone new.

Again, we couldn’t have more love or respect for Greg and John and we all continue to be close friends but moving forward we brought in Taylor White, who filled in on some of the dates of our last tour for Greg on lead guitar and to complete the line up, his brother Harrison White.

 

5. How has the process of integrating two new members, who may have different ideas and influences been?

The enthusiasm and ability of the White brothers has rubbed off on us and given us a new lease of life.  We all have different influences but also share common ground with a lot of our tastes so there is enough diversity to create new ideas and structures but the common denominator to bring it all into relevance with regards to our “sound”. The pressure on being the sole writer has been lifted and it’s gonna be great to start putting all of our ideas together and start writing a tonne of new material for an eventual album once our release shows and tour for the new EP have been completed.

6. You’ve probably had quite a hectic few months, as you’ve not only gained new band members, but you’ve just finished recording a new EP. Can you tell us a little bit about that new record? How was the recording process, what were its influences and how does it differ from things you’ve done in the past?

Yeah it’s been pretty full on getting Taylor and Harrison up to speed with the current tracks and as a band getting the new songs for this release ready for the studio. I’d say we’ve spent a solid three months getting things right…This weekend is the last set of rehearsals and then it’s show time. We are really excited to get back out there!

The recording process for this record was thoroughly enjoyable, we have recorded most of our material to date with our good friend Tom Mitchell back in Perth, however a culmination of Tom taking some opportunities in London and wanting to challenge/test ourselves in a new environment, we scoped around for someone we felt could take our songs, get the vibe and bring them to another level, after a scope around the Scottish scene it became very apparent that Bruce Rintoul was the guy we wanted to record with.

Bruce instantly got the vibe, pitched in with great production ideas and most importantly, got a fantastic sound for the tracks…we spent four LONG days noon till 4am on average, armed with copious amounts of spicy ribs, monster munch, red bull, fruit gums and throat tea.  Bruce really pushed us hard to lay down the best of our ability …I really enjoyed working with someone as pernickety as myself when it comes to notes…I’m a note geek.

The sound he got out of our guitars, mixing different amps together, using old delays for Taylor’s leads, changing up Harrison’s kit to make it sound fat as fuck and the bass….the bass sound is just incredible….we have really lived by the old cliché that this EP is filled with songs we recorded for US, I really hope people love the songs but honestly…we love them and I’m really proud of how they have turned out.

There’s a mix of sounds on the new EP…there’s super catchy melodic pop-rock, a straight up ballsy punk-rock track, an atmospheric/ambient post rock track which crescendos into full on emo-angst (on reflection very much inspired from one of my early loves in music – Further Seems Forever) and the first track we all wrote together as a new band, the title track from the record, which is a laid back, slick indie-rock vibe which builds up to an epic chorus and outro nodding to more familiar sounds on previous material.

This song is a look to the future and is just a really cool track, it’s gonna be a go-to for cruising in the summer with the window rolled down…shame it will be out in the winter! Ha ha!

Influence wise, these songs are reflective, and a progression in sound and subject matter nature of “COPE” to a more optimistic outlook to the future.  I’m comfortable where I am currently; not so much that I’m content, just that it’s the start of a new journey, moving cities and changing environments.

7. Which venues do you enjoy playing in Glasgow, and why?

King tuts is always a winner, it’s such an awesome vibe! Back in the day I’ve played the Cathouse a few times which was great, the Garage once which was also fantastic as I’ve seen so many awesome bands there…Sleazys has a really cool and dingy kinda vibe too….it would be a dream to play the ABC or Barrowlands, the sound in the ABC is phenomenal and the Barrowlands is just legendary…I can see the famous lit up sign burning bright every night outside my kitchen window…at times I cast it a hopeful glance in moments of romantic optimism.

8. Finally, as well as having a new release to look forward to, what else can we expect from We Came From Wolves in the future?

Well we are gonna be playing some pre-release shows to debut these new tracks and get back on the road before Christmas etc, we’ll then be playing our hometown on Christmas eve which will be an awesome night filled with old friends who always come back for the holidays.   Next year we will be booking up as many tours as possible, booking our first shows (bar the fabled Paris trip) in Europe, writing a tonne of new material together and planning the next record, whether that be another EP or planning for a debut album…we will essentially be looking to pack our year out as a band…time to go to work.

 

“Paradise Place” the second EP from WE CAME FROM WOLVES is out Feb 2013

Catch WCFW at The Art School, Glasgow on Sunday the 3rd of November…£5.00…£3.00 with student ID.

Facebook – www.facebook.com/wecamefromwolves

Twitter – @wcfwmusic

Bandcamp – www.wecamefromwolves.bandcamp.com

And check them out on Spotify