I am interviewing Canadian Punk/Metal Riffsters – Blair Hammond and Ross Gilmour from the brilliant band Wolfs - who literally knocked me the fuck out with their excellent S/T EP recently. To the point I said the following:
Their last excellent EP - Invocation: Our Dying Days – is a release I rated very highly indeed.
“So Canada have done it again. Deafening my senses with another great metal band to check out. Bands like Fuck The Facts, Alaskan, Pyres, Dopethrone, Titan and Hammerhands have left me in a state of shock, awe and wonder.
Well they have done it again with WOLFS. A brilliant and brutal as fuck Post-Hardcore/Punk/Metal band who go straight for the kill.
Their S/T EP is fucking brutal from start to finish. 7 tracks. 15 mins. And that is your lot. But wait till you have experienced the full power of Wolfs. It will leave violently shaken with the amount of riffs on show.”
I had to get some one-on-one time with these brutal band of Punk-Metallers
BH – things are going good, just enjoying some fine Canadian summer weather.
RG - *Sips ice tea quietly
Q2 – Can you give people a brief history on how the band came about.
RG – me, Jordon (Bass), and Greg (Drums) have been jamming over the past 2-3 years, simply writing music that challenges us and incorporates all of our favourite genres and sounds. The 3 of us have been playing music together since we all picked up our instruments, not to mention we all grew up together.
BH – I’ve known the dudes for quite a long time, but never played in any bands with them. I was the “Roady” for Jordon and Gregs old band, The Diaries of Anne Frank. But yeah ended up coming over to jordons place one day when they were recording with vocals with a mutual friend of ours (who was doing vocals at the time) , and heard it all for the first time, long story short they ended up replacing the other guy with me, and here we are.
Q3 – So. Another loud and angry band from Canada. To join the other brutal metallers I have featured on the blog. What is it with Canada and loud as fuck Sludge/Punk/Stoner Metal bands. You have a wealth of them coming out. Or do you just concentrate on your own thing.
RG – The southern Ontario area has always had a good scene for new, creative, fast, heavy music. I guess a fair amount of our sound is a by-product of the bands we all grew up watching/listening.
Q4 – You released your excellent EP earlier this year. Have you been pleased with the responses you have had so far.
BH – most definitely happy with the response, its cool we’ve had a lot of people that we look up to musically give us some kind words, which is always a cool feeling to see musicians you dig be into the stuff your producing.
RG - we've got a large amount of positive feedback since releasing the EP and couldn't ask for anything less, its reassuring when people get behind something you've worked along time for
Q5 – Was it a hard or easy EP to make. Did you have a lot of fun recording it. Or did you just make an intense atmosphere so it could spill onto the record for everyone to hear.
RG – it was actually extremely easy. We recorded the whole EP in a few hours off the floor with a swell dude named Collin Young, guitarist of Hammerhands. The recording process definitely matched what we were trying to get out of it.
BH – We all see eye to when it comes to the writing process, we rarely disagree.
Q6 – What inspired you to make such a brutal release. Anything in particular that made you all angry. Or was it just what you were feeling at that moment in time.
RG – It wasn’t really anything in particular, we’ve always listened to heavy, fast, techy music so it naturally came out in the stuff we wrote. We always try to challenge ourselves when it comes down to the writing.
BH – Also at the time a lot of bullshit music was being released by bands in our area, a kind of cookie cutter mold of bands coming out, seemed old. So we wanted nothing to do with that shit, and just decided to make music that we would all be into. Distance ourselves from those kind of bands.
Q7 – Which bands and artists influence you guys as musicians.
RG – Capsule, Converge, Textbook Tragedy, NOFX, Propaghandi. Pretty much anything with a clever melody and driving momentum catches my ear.
BH – Code Orange Kids, The Chariot. The other 2 (Jordon/Greg) are into a lot of Everytime I Die, and Despised Icon, Animals as Leaders, all that kind of sharp, technical stuff, heavy riffing and shredding drum fills.
Q8 – What is the gig scene like in your home-town. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform on a regular basis. I have heard mixed things about the Canadian Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal scene from different bands I have interviewed. What are your views.
BH – we’re from a city called Mississauga, and the scene there is weak at the moment, not hating but there just isn’t anywhere to put shows on that doesn’t end up costing you $600 to rent the space, which you then have to charge $10 at the door which kids don’t want to pay that. So we end up basing a lot of our shows in Toronto (The Big City). But we also do a lot of traveling to nearby cities such as Windsor, St Catharines, and Ottawa which is always fun to hop in the van and see new places.
Q9 – Do you guys have full times jobs to contend with. Or is music classed as your full time job.
BH – Hell yeah we haven’t hit the big times yet, still working 9-5ers, me and Ross work at the same restaurant. The other 3 are also in school full time.
RG – The band started out as a hobby and remains that way.
BH – But not to say we wouldn’t take it was far as it will go.
Q10 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music and the decisions you make when performing with the band.
BH – my mum still says I sound scary and it makes her heart hurt, but I guess she still digs what I’m doing.
RG – pretty much a given that our families aren’t going to be into the music, we're not very near George Michael's sound. but they still support what we’re doing. Our friends have been supportive and into the jams.
Q11 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is it down to one individual.
RG – it’s a group effort, we all chip in so that it’s a combination of ideas from everyone, which are then synthesized into a cohesive composition throughout multiple jam sessions. tweaking' and twerkin'.
BH – then we release those mother fuckers (usually half finished) at our next show, find out what didn’t sound good and change it.
Q12 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band. Obviously the reality of how expensive it is being in a band could be considered as a negative aspect
BH – I think everyone in a band would agree the most rewarding aspect is people genuinely digging our stuff, haven’t really came across anything that hasn’t been rewarding.
Q13 – Has the Sludge/Stoner Metal blogging and zine community been a great help in getting your music across.
RG – You guys in general have created a beefy amount of traffic towards our bandcamp, so yeah you guys have done wonders. many thanks.
BH – haven’t really worked with any other blogs, or zines. But if theres any out there reading this, get at us *wink wink all inquiries to be directed to email@example.com *wink wink
Q14 – Has BandCamp been a big help of getting your music across. It did for me when I came across you guys.
BH – Yeah bandcamps a good time.
RG – its been good to a lot of bands. All music, no bullshit (some merch now too)
Q15 – What are you views of record companies shutting blogs and websites down due to illegal downloading. Some people have a very different opinion on this.
RG – haven’t heard much about that happening. hm
Q16 – What do you think of bands and musicians using sites like Kickstart and Indiegogo to help raise funds to record their next release. Would you yourselves ever go down this route.
BH – some serious mixed feelings on this, can’t really say if I dig it or not. I guess its cool just as long as its not abused. But personally I don’t think we would ever take that route, I enjoy the work of earning it the old fashion way.
RG – if its an un-established band who hasn’t done anything before where the people can get behind them to support, then its essentially pan handling. It’s a completely different thing when a well established band who people haven’t supported for some time do it because people know what they’re funding.
Q17 – If you could provide any advice to people wanting to start a band, what would it be.
RG- don’t be a shit head
BH – Yeah don’t be a shit head, don’t just find a popular band and copy them, create what you actually enjoy.
RG – if your going to be a shit head and start a band, don’t start a band
Q18 – So what are you currently listening to on your MP3 Player. Any album that is starting to rock your world big time. Any albums your too ashamed to admit to liking and listening to
BH – OH I got a fuck ton, Hellraiser (friends of ours from Windsor), Code Orange Kids, Nice Hooves, Black Shapes, Bob Marley, Trash Talk, The Armed, Animal Faces, The Physics House Band, Native, Gaza, I am not ever ashamed to say … ENTER SHIKARI, my fucking all time favorite band no joke.
RG – besides the usual Hilary Duff? I have an wide range of tastes ranging from Cannibal Corpse to The Beach Boys, to fat rappers named Action Bronson and MF Doom. Capsules new album is the best ting anyone will ever listen to (capsule.bandcamp.com - everyone must listen), cats purring, cats licking my arm, I listen to me petting cats, I listen to cats petting me. I really liked Moist as a child.
BH – fucking hate U2
Q19 – So what are your future plans for the next 12 months or so. Anything exciting we should be looking forward to.
BH – got a tour to the united states of fuck yeah at the end of August, and then its back to I guess writing and what not.
RG – the rest is a mystery.
Q20 – Finally do you have anything to say to our readers.
RG – don't listen to the news.
BH – SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SCENE, DIY OR DIE!
Thanks to Blair and Ross for doing this excellent interview. Much appreciated guys. Keep up the excellent work.
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