Interview with WOLVES IN WINTER

Interview with WOLVES IN WINTER

- in Written interviews

Hello! How did the members of Wolves In Winter come together to form the band?
Izak and Adam started jamming with guitarist Paul Whale back in 2019.

But Paul moved away, so Izak contacted Wayne (who we he’d already worked with in Monolith Cult) to come down and play some tunes with them. It seemed to go pretty well, there was a solid core there pretty much straight away. We wanted to expand the sound a little and add an extra guitar so we put a call out on social media to see if anyone would be interested in the role, and got a response from Enzo (Wayne and Izak are big Slammer fans, so they were well pleased about this). Enzo had a huge impact almost immediately, opening up the sound and changing how we thought about our songs.

Last and certainly not least, Izak contacted Jake about coming in to do the vocals. We knew him from his old band Pigwitch, and we loved what he did, so to get him on board was a real win for us. He completed the lineup and added a real touch of class with his vocals. That’s the band you see today, 5 friends, no egos, incredible good looks

The album title “The Calling Quiet” is quite intriguing. Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind it and how it relates to the themes explored in the album?
The sad truth is that it wasn’t an artistic decision, we just accidentally wrote “Calling The Quiet” the wrong way around on our setlist one day haha.

We realised that we liked the sound of it, and it tied in with the semi title track with a nice little twist.

Can you describe the process of forging a fusion of traditional and contemporary doom metal?
There’s no conscious effort to achieve this, we think it’s probably just accidental occurrence due to our diverse influences and our natural inclinations as musicians. Everybody writes, so when different members write together, their styles meld organically and it creates something unique each time.

Your music video for “Nemesis” is visually striking and seems to have a narrative woven throughout it. Can you tell us a bit about the concept behind the video and how it relates to the song? Was there a specific message or emotion you were hoping to convey through the visuals?
We approached Tim Walker of Voltage studios about making a video but we didn’t have much in the way of a narrative or concept beyond some vague ideas of lighting and mood. That was the main aim we think, to capture the bleakness of the song in a visual way, Tim is very good with lighting and atmosphere and we think he managed to capture the essence of what we wanted brilliantly. Hats off to him.

As seasoned veterans from the UK heavy music underground, how does your past experience inform your approach to music-making in Wolves in Winter?
In terms of music making, we’ve learned over time about the importance of breathing space in songs and even more importantly, to drop your ego, try not to be too precious about a riff and be open minded.

If anything, our experience helped us more in terms of decision making – who to go record with (Chris Fielding), and things like that.

Can you tell us more about your sound and vision for Wolves in Winter?
We all like heavy, heavy music, but we also like the contrasts between dark and light. We wanted to create moments of beauty amongst the ugliness, moments of joy to break the unrelenting misery in the songs. The dynamics keep things interesting, for us and the listeners.

Doom Metal has been around since the 1970s, but it continues to evolve and attract new fans. What sets Wolves In Winter apart from other Doom Metal bands, and how do you stay true to the genre while also pushing its boundaries?
We’re not sure what sets us apart really. We’re aware we sound a little different to a lot of bands in this genre, but it’s an organic process, rather than a contrived one. We guess it’s just what happens naturally when you put different musicians in a room with each other. The results will always be different. We’re just grateful that we’re able to create music together that we all enjoy.

Many Doom Metal bands are inspired by literature, particularly horror and fantasy novels. Are there any particular authors or works that Wolves In Winter draws inspiration from, and how do you incorporate those themes into music?
I don’t mind horror or fantasy but it’s not what I’ve drawn upon for this band.

I had some lyrics I’d been working on prior to joining the band. The cord that ends the pain is about Robert François Damiens, the would be regicide of King Louis XV

And Oceans is about Herculine Barbin, 19th century intersex person. I really enjoy Foucault’s approach to history (archeology) and the way he made past events current and relatable in the present.

Other sources are Edwin Waugh, Lancastrian poet, he wrote a lot about the landscape around where I grew up so it’s interesting to read someone else’s take on something I’ve experienced myself. To see it through their eyes. The line ‘sons of toil ‘ from promised harvest comes from one of his poems

The land that bore me is unforgiving, it cares not for you, You are nothing to it.

Sometimes that’s very hard to deal with. It’s beautiful but completely ambivalent to how you feel. The towns pitted around it have taken a similar attitude: there despite what you feel, living despite all attempts to snuff them out.

Scars are sometimes tougher than the skin it was before.

Lastly I have left my sadness all over the lyrics. Lots of prose that was whittled into song about anxiety and depression. The past few years have left me with a lot of time to think, far too much time infact. It’s been stifling. I’m just glad I’ve had this band to be able to get some of that shit off my chest.

How did the collaboration with Argonauta Records come about, and what do you hope to achieve with their help?
We were pitching to labels to get the record out and we were struggling to be honest. The bigger labels liked us, but we were a brand new band with virtually no following, and the smaller labels also liked what we did, but weren’t sure how to market us. Gero at Argonauta was immediately on board though – he got what we did and was really enthusiastic about it. Really easy to work with and a label that likes to push boundaries, it was a no brainer to team up with them. Along with their PR company Grand Sounds, they’ve helped us immeasurably already and we couldn’t be happier with the work they’ve done. We’re pretty confident that this collaboration will help take us to the next level and get our music more widely known.

What was the biggest challenge in creating your debut release, and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges we faced centered around the time we formed – actually being able to get together in a room during the various Covid lockdowns made things quite difficult – but then EVERYONE at that time had the same problem. We managed by sending each other riffs and recordings in group chat and rehearsing whenever the rules allowed.

Then when it came to recording the album, just the simple logistics of trying to organise five people around available studio time, work and family can be quite a challenge. On top of that, producer Chris Fielding (who we can’t recommend highly enough) has his own duties with his band Conan to take care of, but with a bit of juggling we got there in the end!

Are there any upcoming shows or tours that fans can look forward to?
We’re currently working on/waiting on some opportunities in Europe and the UK. In the meantime, we have a few shows booked 20th May at Helgi’s in London, 23rd July at the Fulford Arms in York with Iron Void and then we head back down to London on the 23rd September to play the Hope & Anchor.

Looking towards the future, what are your goals for Wolves in Winter, both musically and as a band?
Our main focus as a band is to keep on creating the best music that we can and just hope that people enjoy what we do. We’re already writing our next album – pushing our boundaries while retaining that core heaviness and darkness/light theme seems to be the direction we’re heading in at the moment. If we manage to achieve some success in terms of playing far and wide, and the opportunity to take our live shows to other countries, that would be fantastic. We believe that trying a kebab in every single country around the globe is a worthy goal.

Thank you; best!
Thanks for the interview Stanley, there were some great questions.
We appreciate your time (and patience – sorry we took a while to get back to you).

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