Sunday, February 25, 2024

Interview: Goddamn Wolves

Having released their latest double sided single at the beginning of January, North-Carolina based indie rock outfit, Goddamn Wolves have started their year off strongly.

The trio took time to chat with Music Is To Blame about their origins as a band, influences, and upcoming tour plans.

For our readers: who are Goddamn Wolves?

Laura: Goddamn Wolves is an indie rock trio from Raleigh, North Carolina. We are Chris Weilding on guitar and lead vocals, Laura McCullough on bass and vocals, and Drew Foglia on drums and vocals.. 

Talk to us about the band name – where did it come from?

Laura: It's from a song called 'Mania' by my all-time favorite band Throwing Muses. After considering about a hundred or so names and not agreeing on any of them, I was driving around listening to music, heard 'Mania' and threw "Goddamn Wolves" on the prospective band name list without really thinking about it. It turned out both Chris and Drew loved it and that was it. 

Kristin Hersh (of Throwing Muses) later told me the lyric was originally "Fucking wolves" but they went to play it live on the BBC and were told they had to change it for the air. They changed it to "Goddamn" then decided they actually liked that better. So I guess in a parallel universe we could have been called Fucking Wolves. :)

You’ve cited influences from the likes of Pixies and The Replacements – how have bands such as these shaped your sound?

Chris: It’s very unconscious but seems to seep into the songwriting and the vocals and everything else. I think we have an aversion to pretension (at the moment) and we generally try to find good hooks, and be loud which I think stems from our affinity for both bands.

Your most recent release is ‘Older, Slower’ backed by ‘Everything Real Is Free’ – what can you tell us about these tracks? 

Chris: 'Older, Slower' started as a riff. It’s sort of a mishmash of rock stylings I grew up with. I was singing random scratch vocals trying to find something, and one of the first couplets ended with “older” and then “slower” which Drew started repeating. We started calling it 'Older, Slower' so we’d remember it at practice. Then I just started singing about getting older but had nothing for the chorus. Laura came in with her great vocal line and wrote lyrics that I think are addressed to me, basically saying, “Get over it”. After that the song was pretty much done.

With these new releases we noticed Laura stepping up to contribute more leading vocals – what led to this decision?

Chris: Laura has decided I can’t sing.

Drew: Clearly, Laura has a great ear for this kinda thing. Seriously though, I love both of their voices. But together, both when harmonizing and when trading vocal lines or chorus/verse , I think it’s just amazing. Chris has said from the beginning he’s viewed them as dual leads and I think these last songs really achieve that. 

Is this direction something you’ll be continuing with as a band?

Chris: Yes. Every song sounds better when Laura is singing.

We’re a UK based publication so we’re not as clued in with the American underground indie scene as we’d like to be – are there any bands from North Carolina that should be on our radar?

Drew: With three large universities just miles apart, Raleigh and the surrounding area have a fantastic local music scene.  Some of our favorite bands you should definitely check out are: Pie Face Girls, Truth Club, Sweet Homé, Max Gowan, Hammer No More the Fingers, and Ooze Box. Likewise, the other large NC cities - Charlotte, Asheville, and Wilmington - are also cranking out some amazing bands: Wednesday, Superchunk, It's Snakes, Thirsty Curses, Roamck, etc.

Laura: Drew also plays in another band called Dirt Pump and Chris’ son Emmett plays in a hardcore band called Overbite. 

What does the rest of 2024 look like for Goddamn Wolves? Any tour plans on the horizon?

Chris: More recording and gigging around the mid-Atlantic.

Laura: Definitely looking forward to getting back into the studio. We record at Found After Dark, which is run by Max Gowan and Travis Harrington. Both are excellent artists in their own rights - Max as a solo artist and Travis as part of Truth Club. Finding Max was like finding a missing piece to this band. His engineering style suits us perfectly and he always helps us sound our best.  

Sum up Goddamn Wolves in three words.

Chris: “That’s a problem.”

Lana Williams


Image: 'Older, Slower' Official Single Cover

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