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Spotlight – Bad Wolves

Today we Spotlight – Bad Wolves. John Boecklin took some time to sit down and chat about the band and their music with us. With a new album release and an epic tour with the legendary Bush and label mates Eva Under Fire which can only mean some epic rock shows are on the way to close out the year. Check out what makes them tick and show some love!

How did the band get its start?

While I was in a band called Devil Driver, I started writing music for a project that was unnamed at the time, around 2013. I knew that I wanted to leave Devil Driver and start my own thing. So, it was me, and then Chris Kane got involved, and Max Karon. It was the three of us for quite some time writing music, trying to formulate a sound that wasn’t derivative of what I had already done. Eventually we found a singer in 2017 and signed in 2018

What makes Bad Wolves unique?

Our versatility and heaviness. In 2018 we were doing a lot of heavier sounds but then as we kept going we found a cool niche with very down-tuned guitars and very melodic, borderline pop choruses and we further experimented with the melodic side of the band. There’s a lot of technicality mixed in with traditional rock radio sounds. I think that formula is becoming more known, almost expected now. We started out with the purpose of starting a heavy-metal band with a lot of heavy, heavy sounds, with not much screaming, that was the goal. This is what separates Bad Wolves, a lot of heavy riffs with no screaming

What’s the story behind the new album “Die About It”

The story behind the album is: fuck everybody, yeah we got a new singer, get over it. If you’re gonna cry about it, fuckin’ die about it. There is a part of me that enjoys the other narrative of what “Die About It” can mean to someone and to me, if you’re going to go for something then you might as well go all the way and die about it. Be prepared to take things to that extreme to cross the lines from sanity to insanity for something that you really believe in.

What is the band’s process for making new music?

We all write music. We take our time to generate good ideas and then the process kicks in. We re-structure, re-group, rewrite and rewrite again. As we go through that process, we identify parts of the song – could be a vocal section or an instrumental arrangement – stand out as parts for us to improve, or change and so we do it. Through that process a song becomes reality. It’s a pretty normal band-process. We write on computers with guitars, and drums come last usually in our writing process.

How has Bad Wolves evolved leading into the new album

We’ve extended our sound in the rock world. The first record was more technical. On this record, we tried new things. The intro to the album sounds nothing like anything we’ve ever done. The song NDA sounds nothing like we’ve ever done – it kinda has a bit of a Weeknd vibe mixed in with Kenny Loggins and it has a saxophone solo at the end, really expanding our sound. Songs like Hungry For Life are very Peter Gabriel-influenced and I think Set You On Fire is very 1975. Our heavy side is still all over the map on this album, but we’ve definitely taken some leaps with some of the songs on this album that certainly don’t sound like anything we’ve ever done.

How important is it to tell stories from the platform you’re on?

It’s very important to us. We needed to let people feel the anger from our end, instead of this “say-nothing, don’t react, don’t do anything” position. Eventually when you’re pushed into a corner, you’re gonna push back, so the message was “release”; that we’re not the bad guys here. We don’t think anyone’s really the bad guy here, so to speak, but if you’re going to place blame on us for everything then you can go fuck yourself.

How do you stay grounded outside of music?

It’s an ongoing process in any line of work. Staying grounded is not easy, whether you’re rich, poor, successful or not. I work on staying clean, and sober and getting the work done. And then I counter balance that with letting loose and having fun with as much effort as I have to stay-focused when getting the work done. I try to balance my life like that.

Are there any artists or groups out there that you’re into that you think should be more on people’s radar?

The band’s that I listen to in my free time aren’t unknown garage-bands. I’ve been listening to White Reaper quite a lot lately, they have a Tom-Petty-meets-Def-Leppard thing going on and they have some rock n roll moments that are pretty Thin Lizzy sounding. There’s a lot to White Reaper that I think is pretty special. A Heavy Metal/Death Metal band called Alluvial is an artist that is very close to me and my heart. Musically, they sound like they come from the very depths of hell.

What is something on your playlist that people wouldn’t expect you to be listening to?

Jane Wiedlin “Rush Hour” from “Licensed to Drive”

Who plays you guys in the BioPic on Bad Wolves?
  • Vince Vaughan plays me
  • Vin Diesel plays doc
  • Jason Statham plays DL
  • Kyle plays himself
What do you hope your fans take away from your music?

I hope they can identify and form a relationship with the music through the lyrics. The way the riffs can be mean, and the way they can also be subtly sweet. I hope they feel like it’s something they can relate to. We used simple messages on this album, like Bad Friend for example. Everyone’s had someone who has screwed them over, stabbed them in the back; can you forgive them or not?

Advice for younger musicians trying to get their career going?

Write good music, and don’t do anything else until you feel like you have something that’s special and unique. Don’t be afraid to get out there and play shows. Get into a room and learn your instruments, don’t be a computer band that can’t play live.

What motivates Bad Wolves to keep making music?

My music is actually what makes me happy, nothing motivates me more than my own mental sanity. The more music I write, the more accomplished I feel and the more I have to offer to the world – that circles back to me. Either they love it, or hate it, but it’s something I offer people.

Big thanks to John for taking time to chat for the Spotlight – Bad Wolves

Check out the music right here!

Keep up with Bad Wolves here and if you can get out and check out the tour in a city near you

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