The Ghost Wolves are 'Gonna Live' and Melt Faces April 15 2014, 0 Comments
I stumbled across The Ghost Wolves (who, in case you didn't know, are an ultra-awesome band home-grown in Austin TX) watching a KUTX Austin performance posted to youtube of BP Fallon for 'Increasingly Often' where they were his backing band. Intrigued by their chemistry and their stage wear- black & white ensembles- I sought out more videos of their band and quickly discovered that not only did they look cool, they fucking rocked!
Now I won't say 'new White Stripes' but this fab duo definitely brought my long-time musical loves to mind. Obvious comparisons aside, however, The Ghost Wolves are carving out their own piece of Rock & Roll History with their addictive blend of garage punk mixed with the seamy underbelly of the swampy south and that dash of weird that only Austin can provide. Songs 'Big Star', 'Snake & Jake Shake' and 'Gonna Live' give great insight into what this band is all about.
Comprised of Actual Real Life couple Carley & Jonny Wolf, The Ghost Wolves- who list 'melting faces' as one of their band interests- didn't fail to melt mine when I finally got to see them Live & In Person at SXSW this year. Carley's demure demeanor is instantly put to bed as soon as she steps up to the microphone. Kind of Coco-ish from the Ettes, her distinctive vocals will take your ears by pleasant surprise. Jonny’s drumming and interspersed vocals are the perfect compliment to her sass and wailing mastery of blues slide guitar.
Their strong 2011 inaugural LP debut 'In Ya Neck' will soon be followed up by 'Man, Woman, Beast' (Plowboy Records) on May 27, 2014. Boasting 10 studio tracks and 3 bonus live cuts, it promises to delve deep into the minds of these two delivering "music to drive 100 miles per hour to."
Recently had a chance to chat with Jonny about where they've been, where they're headed and the wolves in their lives...What are your backgrounds? How did you two meet and start making music together?
We met at a Cramps show in Houston...the one where Lux Interior wore a Leopard print body suit and crawled around on the floor at the end .... Carley was in the front row with her aunt Jet. We'd been romantically involved for a while before we decided to start a rock band. It's been a great unifier in our relationship and both sides of it tend to feed off each other. Sometimes when we fight, we turn around, make up, and write a song.
Photo by Stephen Ceresia
It’s my understanding you recently married and started a family. How has that changed your dynamic as a band?
We got married but we haven't started a family! That's just rumors! Being married hasn't changed any one thing in particular but feels like it just kind of elevated it all.
I’d love to know the story of your actual ghost wolf.
Carley was raised on a ranch in the Texas hill country where her dad rescued animals from people who couldn't keep them. One of the oldest males, Ice, diedin his sleep right as we started the band and that's where the name came from.
I love this punkish, swampy blues feel mixed with the odd air of Austin you’ve got going on. Who have been major influences in your style?
Thanks! We love : The Cramps, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Iggy and The Stooges, Dead Weather, White Stripes, Black Sabbath, R.L. Burnside, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Captain Beefheart, Dr. John, Fats Domino, Johnny Vidacovich, Ronnie Dawson, ...American music...blues based, all of that - that's where we're coming from.
Like Nashville, Austin is a pretty musical town. What’s it been like establishing yourselves in a town full of musicians?
Well, it's never easy, but Austin's great. There are so many kick ass musicians here...people that just kill it all the time and it's a great community to be a part of. It's maybe not cut throat like NYC or LA but it's still very vibrant, and there's lots of inspiration to check out everywhere. There's lots of little scenes in town with varying genres and vibes, so you can bounce around and see a lot of different stuff.
Photo by Stephen Ceresia
Can you please tell me a little bit about your equipment and set up?
Sure, Carley typically plays through a Musicman HD-130 amp and a 2x15 cabinet. I just play a simple four piece drumkit, ludwig or slingerland, tuned low and thuddy. Two vocals and that's the show!
I’m a huge fan of dynamic duo’s- The White Stripes, The Kills, Hall & Oates to name a few- and I’m always intrigued by the songwriting process (or lack thereof) that can occur in this kind of framework. Do you each have your own roles in writing a song, or do you guys trade off in writing contributions?
We co-write everything. 50/50 most of the time. Team writing really works for us.
You’ve worked a bit with BP Fallon, most recently on his 2014 SXSW showcases. What has playing with him been like?
Oh, well BP is just a hell of a guy first off - I mean first you have his history, which is very deep and deserving of respect - but we're really interested in what he's doing moving forward. As in, here's this older guy, he's worked in and around music all his life, with some real luminaries, but never actually played, and just now he decides it's time to start a rock and roll band. How many people at that age can say that? He has a really unique perspective - I like to think of him like a shaman or a musical witch doctor or something, and he brings that to his show, and I think people love that. I'm a big fan of his spoken word vibes. He's very creative. It's been a really interesting trip to do some music with him. We don't typically let anyone else into our world, it's not easy, but he came into it with a lot of grace and we enjoyed it a lot.
As a huge animal lover, I think it’s important to note that you are also. Please introduce your touring companions…
Winter is our main guy! He sheds 100 pounds of white fur every year and has girlfriends in every town.
Photo by Darin Back
What does 2014 have in store for The Ghost Wolves?
'Man, Woman, Beast' out May 27 on Plowboy Records and then tour tour tour tour tour tour tour coffee taco taco burrito tour sleep coffee beer sleep tour tour tour burrito sleep beer beer tour coffee!!!
Many thanks again to Jonny & Carley for taking time out of their rocking schedule to participate in this Q&A!
The Ghost Wolves are gonna be hittin' the road and (if you're lucky!) may soon be in a town near you. Listed below are their upcoming scheduled gigs thus far:
4/17/14 - Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio w/ Drivin N Cryin
4/18/14 - Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall w/ Drivin N Cryin
4/19/14 - Chicago, IL @ Reggie's w/ Drivin N Cryin
4/20/14 - Newport, KY @ Southgate Revival w/ Drivin N Cryin
4/21/14 - Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlies w/ Drivin N Cryin
4/26/14 - Austin, TX @ Blackheart FREE RESIDENCY
4/29/14 - Austin, TX @ Continental Club w/ Barfield
5/3/14 - Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
5/23/14 - Austin, TX @ TBA ALBUM RELEASE PARTAY
5/30/14 - Pensacola, FL @ Sluggo's
5/31/14 - Birmingham, AL @ Bottle Tree
6/2/14 - Nashvile, TN @ The Basement
6/3/14 - Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
6/4/14 - Asheville, NC @ Odditorium
6/5/14 - Charlotte, NC @ Evening Muse
6/6/14 - Winston-Salem, NC @ The Garage
6/7/14 - Raleigh, NC @ Slim's
6/8/14 - Richmond, VA @ Bandito's
6/11/14 - Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium
6/13/14 - Biddeford, ME @ Oak and Axe
6/14/14 - Portsmouth, NH @ The Press Room
6/18/14 - Lexington, KY @ Green Lantern
6/19/14 - Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
6/20/14 - Dayton, OH @ Canal St. Public House
6/21/14 - Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
6/22/14 - Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballrom & Tavern
6/23/14 - Akron, OH @ Annabelle's
6/27/14 - Ferndale, MI @ New Way
6/28/14 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Mexicains Sans Frontieres
6/30/14 - Chicago, IL @ Reggie's
7/2/14 - Manitowoc, WI @ Music Without Boundaries
7/3/14 - Green Bay, WI @ Crunchy Frog
7/12/14 - Wyandotte, MI @ Wyandotte Street Art Fair
8/8/14 - Pinedale, WY @ PFAC Summer Series
9/27/14 - Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Festival
And last but not least, The Ghost Wolves answer our Official Five WaxO’s Gotta Know Questions!
1) First vinyl memory?
Carley: Cat Stevens albums as a kid - Tea for The Tillerman is a big one. Jerry Lee Lewis also!
2) What is an album you regularly spin for your own enjoyment?
Tan Vampires: For Physical Fitness , it's the perfect album, goddamn, we just love that band.
3) What was the last album you added to your collection?
The Cramps: Big Beat from Badsville!
4) What was your favorite album or new artist from last year?
Really love Diarrhea Planet's work.
5) What artists are you looking forward to hearing more of this coming year?
Well we really love this Austin band called American Sharks, they're doing it so hard. Can't wait to see what they do next.