Interview: Nothing But Wolves – No thanks, Humanity

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM (PST)

Nothing But Wolves are a band you should know about. This rock n’ roll foursome are dead set on gigging for the love, doing it their own way and upping the ante with every live show. Not quite punk and not quite metal, they straddle all kinds of awesome, tea bagging genre limitations along the way.

I remember a few years ago I saw The Bronx tour with Big Business and High On Fire. The bands were each different but it made sense because they all had a take no prisoners attitude. I recently got that feeling again watching Kvelertak mix up the punk rock and black metal/hard rock onstage for pure onslaught manifested! Nothing But Wolves is less known but also pack that kind of punch and no rules/”no future but what we make” approach. Fans of Cancer Bats, The Bronx, Unsane, High On Fire or Torche should check out these guys.

I talked to longtime scene kid Jesse Van Note (Bass) about their recent release on Manic Progression, playing with great bands, his musical taste and more. Click HERE.

How did this project form and what did you set out to do at the inception? How does it feel to have a new release for the public to consume? What was the writing process like?

JESSE VAN NOTE (Bass): The project formed in April of 2010 when Chris Lindstrom (guitar) and Chris Mills (drums) decided that they wanted to do a high energy rock band. They wrote some songs together and I joined in October on Bass. Through Craigslist we found our first singer Leigh Jackson in early 2011 and started playing some shows. Leigh left because he was having a baby and was replaced by my good friend Vincent Manco. Our goal is to write what we want and do high energy shows. If you like it cool. If not we don’t really care because we are doing this for us! We are really stoked on the new record and getting a lot of good feed back! The writing process in the band is real easy. Chris L. comes to practice with some riffs and we all arrange them into a song. Vinny records it and works on lyrics for a couple days and usual has something by the next practice or two.

Can you tell us about how Manic Progression Records came about?

Manic Progression was the brainchild of our good friends in Dead Channels and we were fortunate enough to be asked to be involved. We say it is a co-op label because we will not be signing any bands. It is for friends of our bands and bands we like. If a band is involved they will attach our name to the release and it will be catalogue numbered. We won’t be paying for recording or pressing or taking any money from the sales of said record. The payoff is exposure through a one point musical community that we will build on overtime. Our hopes are that we can spread good music that is typically overlooked. 

You guys are a little more punk leaning than metal, I would say…but you also incorporate plenty of heavy hard rock. There’s some Bronx style raving and ranting, some classic rock, some chug. Plus, Jesse…you were one of the first people I knew who knew about Isis back when they were only releasing their second album, so that is very metal, hahaha. But yeah, I think it is all about passion and intensity more than genre anyway. A fucking opera can be metal if it is done with more conviction than a cookie cutter metalcore album! Can you talk about the influences in your sound?

Our influences are very wide spread. Both Chris’s are Rock n Roll dudes with metal/punk backgrounds. Vinny is primarily into punk. I tend to drift more towards stoner/doom stuff. So I think our collective influences make up our sound. And I am still very into ISIS! Hahahaha

How did you know the band name felt right for you guys? Is it a philosophy or a story fragment or how you view the rat race world?

I feel the name pretty much describes the human race today.

Jesse, I remember way back in the day when you were in a ska-punk band and I was in a punk band. We played Woodstock Youth Center skater shows in the early 90′s. What kept your passion for music and the scene going so strong? It was cool when I was on a break between bands and was feeling depressed about not gigging a lot to see your band hitting the clubs hard…and it isn’t only about “getting famous”. You do what you do anyway!

Bands have just become a part of my life! It is me. I would love to make music a living some day but if it doesn’t happen I can at least say it wasn’t for lack of trying. We have known each other for a long time Morgan and you have motivated me on several occasions! As long as we can all keep motivating each other I will keep playing!

You guys played with The Reverend Horton Heat and current incarnation of The Misfits. How does that feel? Plus I think you just played with The Supersuckers? But you can also play with heavier bands as well, like Innerdam or whoever. Any shows you have done that really stood out and made you extra psyched to be in this band?

We are very lucky that our music is accepted into several genres. The Reverend/Misfits show was great! Playing with The Supersuckers was an honor. We like playing heavy shows as well because people seem to appreciate the music more and are more receptive. I am always psyched to be in the band and its been a great ride so far!

Any record by another artist that really kicked your ass in 2012 and got heavy rotation? I think it was such a great year for rock, punk and metal…and then right at the end of the year you have sick albums from Deftones, Bad Brains, Soundgarden and Converge!

My favorite release of 2012 was definitely the new Graveyard record! I am also really into the new Converge and the new Deftones. The Dead Channels 7 inch is killer as well as the Afterhours / Clover split CD.

What about the friendships in the band make the project last or got it to where it is today? Where do you hope you can take this band? Or is it about the journey more than the destination? Sorry, that got a little Star Trek at the end, haha.

Hahahahaha! it is definitely about the journey! We all get along really well and try to hang out outside of the band as much as possible. I think it’s really important to just have “dude” time with your band, that’s why tour is so great! Plenty of “dude” time and “band” time.

Our fucking cat won’t stop meowing and it is making me lose my concentration! Ahhh. Ok, what are you proudest about that Nothing But Wolves accomplished on the new release?

I am so proud of the new release all around. I’m so stoked to put a vinyl out! We also did everything separate and DIY to make it cheaper for our fans. Everything worked out so well and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome!

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