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OF WOLVES


OF WOLVES “Pack Mentality” 


By Theron Moore


Dr. Mality mentioned this band on his Facebook page.  He posted the video they made for “Moot Point.” Great clip.  Indie made, professional looking, fit the song perfect.  Soon after I was talking to band leader Steve Wolves who I had a lot in common with regarding bands and music that’s been a big influence in both our lives.  Of Wolves is just another great Chicago metal band which doesn’t surprise me since that scene has been on fire since the 80’s.  Johnny Vomit, Mortar, Zyklon-B, Usurper, add Of Wolves to this list…


WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:  How long has the band been around? 

STEVE WOLVES:: I started the band in the summer of 2007 it took a long time to find the right guys to make it what it has become. 

JON:: You found me pretty early. Probably the fall of 2007 huh?  I can't believe it’s been eight years already. 

SW: Yeah it really has. So glad we found Ivan!

WC:  Who’s in the band? 

SW:  I play guitars and sing. Jon plays drums and does backing vocals, and Ivan plays bass and also has backup vocals

WC:  What demos / records do you have out?  Where can fans find them?   

SW: We had one single that sold out quickly.  It’s still available on iTunes and our first full length album “Evolve” is available everywhere from CDbaby to iTunes to our Bandcamp store. Http://ofwolves.bandcamp.com

WC:  You’ve done two self-made videos, one for “Moot Point” which is amazing, very pro looking.  How you doing this, what tech / software are you using? 

SW: THANKS! I did that one and the one for “Shit Sandwich” myself! To be honest that computer died on me so I’m not sure what program I used? But I have used iMovie on all of them as well. We also had a new one done for our song “Dead Wait”. It’s the most recent video from” Evolve”. But we had John Howe make this one for us since he’s so good at the lyric videos you can all check him out at www.facebook.com/johnhowemedia and the first video for “Red Skins/Buffalo Nickels” from Evolve was done by our friend Dameon Keller. I hope to have one more (at least) video made and released why we wait for the new album. But we are always looking for people who want to work together for videos or any visual art to add to our music.

WC:  What's the metal scene like in Chicago right now? 

SW: It’s great, both the Metal & Punk scenes are really going strong, tons of killer bands and clubs, lot of great promoters. I think it has a lot to do with how all the bands and promoters work so well together and help each other out. And of course I have to mention the killer independent, DIY and underground. We have completely destroyed the “Pay to Play” scene and run them all out of town. Which is better for everyone involved. So many great places to have shows, house parties etc. when you put it all together every night of the week there are tons of great bands playing in every direction and for every palate. We are very lucky to be part of it and we all love Chicago.

 IVAN: the Chicago Metal scene is a melting pot! There are a great number of killer bands and many of them have a very unique sound! Two of my favorites are Electric Hawk and Anatomy of Habit.

 J: Reggie's and Cobra Lounge are a couple of great local venues that host both local and national punk and metal acts. They treat the bands great. We are lucky to have those spots as well as many others. 

SW: Yeah, Reggies and Cobra have always had out back and bring in tons of great shows while taking great care of all the great talent that comes through. Double Door, Bottom Lounge, Beat Kitchen, Subterranean, Livewire and so many more… same with MP shows which I just saw a killer show they put on 1st Ward Events at the Chop House (our buds in Pegboy KILLED IT). Lots of new great venues popping up and so many great promoters….

WC:  Besides yourselves, what bands should we be checking out that you're recommending? 

SW: So many great bands! Well everyone should check out Trials, Mexican Werewolf, Pig Champion, Making Ghosts, Snow Burial, Whut?, Pale Horseman, In The Weeds, Eske, Disrotted, Deepspacepilots, Elbow Deep, Scientist, Taken By The Sun, Czar, Catapult The Propaganda, Ihatepeople, Ribbonhead, Lost Dog, Johnny Vomit, Faces Of The Bog, Jar’d Loose, Svlphvrvs, Anger, Jungle Rot, Yakuza, The Atlas Moth, Bongripper, Jucifer, Elder, Black Cobra, Stonecutters, Wayfarer, Serial Hawk, Lo-Pan, KEN Mode, Broken Hope, High On Fire, Gorjira, Doomriders, Old Man Gloom, Oxbow, Wovenhand, The Jesus Lizard, Shellac and last but not least Pegboy! We could go on and on about bands and music as there is always more and you could search your whole life and never hear it all!

WC:  Have you had any opportunities to open for any of big name bands?  If so, which shows / bands stand out as most memorable to you? 

SW: We have been very lucky to open for and play with so many great bands! Playing with Chimaira was awesome. Black Cobra and Elder are both great guys and killer live bands. Playing with Cancer Bats was a shit ton of fun. Most memorable would have to be Jucifer because they are such a great band and great people and we always play with them when they are nearby. 

I: Yeah I agree, the opportunity to play with Jucifer for a few times now has been a great experience and we look forward to doing some touring with them soon we hope. 

J:  MOD! Billy Milano was awesome and a ton of fun to hang out with.
 
SW: Oh yeah! That was the best! He’s fucking hilarious. We have played with so many great bands. We have been very lucky. One of the best bucket list like experiences actually just recently happened in the studio with a guest appearance for the new album…

WC:  What's a typical Of Wolves gig like?  What's the average crowd size? 

J: The shows vary a lot depending on who we are playing with and when and where the show is. It’s been awhile, but we have played late night Tuesday gigs for smaller rooms/groups, but when we play with some of the bands Steve just mentioned, there are hundreds of people. Our crowd has been growing overall and steadily though. 

SW: Because we play so many styles of heavy music we attract a wide span of people and we love that. We do our own thing, and tend to find diehard fans each show. We don’t play music for everyone, we play it for ourselves. Most of my favorite bands are not huge and have day jobs. So I don’t expect any different. We don’t want to be the flavor of the week or join the Cookie Cutter band in a box club haha! And I am ADHD so we genre jump around a lot so with all of that said It is a nice steady growth of fans that feel like family. Going back to what Jon was saying for whatever reason it seems we have a nice fan base overseas, which is cool as hell! Now if we could only afford to get over there! 

WC:  Are you all full time musicians or do you work day jobs?  If so, what day jobs do you guys work? 

SW: We wish music could support artists but those days seem to have passed. Which in a way is a good thing, then money doesn't dictate the art and it can be more honest and unique as it goes forward. But as musicians it does make things hard, especially as we get older and have families. At the same time, the stress of daily life and bills helps to keep us stressed and or angry and needing the therapy that making this music provides. I used to own my own business but after many successful years and my near death experience I have lost the passion for it and am moving on to new things. I currently work at a brewery. 

I: I work as a kitchen manager. I like the fact that music is still my passion and hobby and not my job. 

J: When I'm not playing the drums I'm a fire protection engineer.

WC:  Your band is described on your Facebook page as “Genre: Punk + Metal + Hardcore/Crossover + Stoner/Doom + Grind = Therapy.”  Can you talk about the various bands that have been influences to the band? 

SW: Oh yeah! Well for me, it all started off with Metallica back when Cliff was alive. From there I have never stopped trying to find more great music of every style and genre. I found Punk through Metal and it’s all turned into a big circle for me. I'd say as a guitar player besides Metallica, John Haggerty from Naked Raygun and Pegboy was and still is a huge influence.  Sepultura, Clutch, Fugazi, Jesus Lizard and Big Black are all influences for both for guitar and vocals. Lots of other things play into it for me as well like Godflesh, Agnostic Front, S.O.D., Cro-Mags, D.R.I., Tom Waits, PJ Harvey. As a band I think we would say Danzig, Misfits, Faith No More, Brutal Truth, Ministry, Clutch & Shellac. Of course daily stresses, such as money and bills, mental illness, suicides, killing sprees, disillusion, greed, corruption and injustice, a deep seeded frustration with the current issues of our world, bigotry, hatred, tyranny and corruption, our governments, our economies all heavily influence us as people and as a band. The concepts constantly come up in the music and help and give us a therapeutic release that is so badly needed in this fucked up world we all are a part of…..

J: I have to agree with Steve that growing up Metallica was a huge influence. Same with Megadeth (Steve yells in “And Slayer!”) I would have to say Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Shellac are all huge for me. All that nasty life stuff Steve mentioned; I play the drums to forget about that shit. 

I: I'm more influenced by life than I am by any band. But listening to other bands is a great way to bounce some ideas off from. Regardless of the genre of music.

WC:  Are you doing Of Wolves for fun or are you guys trying to look for professional management, a record deal, etc.? 

SW: Well of course we do this for fun. We love it and we have to do it because it is therapy and it keeps me out of jail and off the news. I feel like no matter what I have to do this. It’s part of me. At the same time, we do want to get our music to as many listeners as we can. Besides that, we have no delusions of rock-stardom, but it would be great to have some tour and promotional support. 

J: We are looking for a label to help us put the new album out on vinyl. (It’s being mixed as we write this) We have a killer concept for it and we know our fans will dig it. 

I: It would be great to be able to become an influential band. So to an extent I do take the band seriously. But just like anything in life…never take anything too seriously. 

SW: It’s a huge leap forward for us as we have been playing catch up and already have another albums worth of material (at least) ready but this album really shows more of who and we are as a band. It’s bigger, and much more defined. (A lot of that goes to working with Bricktop Recording and a bigger budget this time around) It has come out so much better than I could have hoped it would. Everyone keep an eye out for some sort of teaser out soon….

WC:  Has there been any serious record label interest for the band? 

SW:  As of late we have had quite a few labels approach us to help us get this new album out so we are excited as we really want this one on vinyl this time. So far  no one has offered to release the new album on CD and digitally but we have not started shopping it yet since its we actually just put the finishing touches on it last night so it is actually done but now we are in the mixing phase… 
So now who wants to help us put it on vinyl!? 

WC:  What are the recording / live show plans for the rest of the year? 

SW: As I mentioned, we are currently wrapping up the new album with Pete Grossman at Bricktop in Pilsen. We couldn't be happier with how badass the tracks sound! We love all the new tunes and we know our fans will love all the twists and turns we are throwing at them this time! We really went at this one very differently, we wanted to make this album really reflect us as a band at this moment. Not just bigger, but louder, heavier and going further out in more directions. 

J: We are stoked to get the album out! We have been playing many of the new songs live and the response has been great. As far as live shows go, we are really looking forward to getting a tour together to promote the album. 

SW: We will start with a Midwest tour later in the year and branch out further from there. We love to hear from fans who let us know about cool venues and underground spots we should incorporate into our touring plans. We have a large following overseas and hope that someday we have it in the cards to make an overseas tour happen as well. 

I: Yeah, agreed. The plan is to finish the new record, keep writing music and play some tours.