BAD WOLVES Drummer: 'We Decided Pretty Early On That We Weren't Going To Be Some 'Purist' Metal Band'

July 21, 2019

Holland's FaceCulture recently conducted an interview with BAD WOLVES bassist Kyle Konkiel and drummer John Boecklin. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether Boecklin envisioned BAD WOLVES being able to tour Europe so early into their career:

John: "Sure, but it really wasn't like I had envisioned what BAD WOLVES was going to be. I started just writing music and where it started is completely different where it ended. I can tell you this: I certainly didn't envision the success we've had this quickly. We all know the story of [the cover of CRANBERRIES'] 'Zombie' and how that happened, so that's just beyond an experience that I ever imagined. I always say in interviews, 'I thought we'd be in a van for three years.' Things have moved very quickly for us, so I'm very grateful."

On makes BAD WOLVES "click" considering its members each came from established bands:

John: "I was writing music for a while, but when Tommy [Vext, vocals] joined the band is when we really started going, 'Okay, we had one goal of writing a record that had mainly not all screaming.' I could not find a singer that I thought was going to carry the weight of that. Then when Tommy came in, it was easier to paint the picture of when you hear the voice of what we were actually capable of. We still missed the mark on a lot of things on the first record because we had to keep going and get it done because we had a deal, so the second record was more of knowing what you're doing with your singer. It's weird when you're writing music with no singer. You don't really know… not everything works out."

On the mix of heavy and accessible music on the band's "Disobey" debut:

John: "We thought of keeping some of that stuff off the record, but we made a conscious decision to come out of the gate: 'This is who we are. We're eclectic.' Some people make an all-heavy record, then they start doing the lighter stuff later. We wanted to do that right from the get-go, so it doesn't look like we're misconstruing any kind of plan of being heavy and grabbing those people, then selling out or something."

Kyle: "Even though we've been in metal bands the majority of our careers, especially me and John, we just don't listen to metal. Me and him love HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS, we like power-pop and stuff like that. It makes sense to be playing in a band when you like all those different genres of music and not just metal to do something that's more accessible on the radio. We both enjoy those types of songs as well."

John: "It's interesting. It's still scary when you've been doing metal your whole life. You feel like that trap that you're not allowed to do anything that's not heavy. I remember when we decided to put 'Hear Me Now' on the record, I was, like, it makes you a little nervous because you think you're going to disappoint all these purists, then you just take that step. Then you're, like, 'Thank god that one of the times I didn't go with my gut it worked.'"

Kyle: "We didn't hold back on what we decided to put on the album. Like we said, we like so much different types of music. A lot of bands, like he said, get trapped in the 'metal elitists' type of thing."

John: "Which is awesome because some of [those] records are my favorite. That's what they do, do it. I think we decided pretty early on that we weren't going to be some 'purist' metal band. 'Limit' is not the wrong word. We've all done that enough. The number one goal in mind when we started this is I do not want it to sound like DEVILDRIVER, which is my old band. I wrote a lot of music in that too, so it took a long time to figure out how to change that. Most guys who start another band, it's, like, 'It sounds like they're old band or worse.' We took our sweet time in terms of writing to make sure that didn't happen."

Vext recently revealed that BAD WOLVES have recorded another cover, following the band's massive breakout success last year with its rendition of the 1993 CRANBERRIES classic "Zombie".

Originally scheduled to feature a guest appearance from late CRANBERRIES frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan, "Zombie" launched shortly after her death in January of 2018 and went on to top the rock radio chart and sell a million copies.

"Zombie" surfaced on "Disobey", which came out in May 2018 and has also yielded the follow-up single "Hear Me Now", featuring Diamante, which reached No. 2 on the rock chart.

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