In a genre spilling over with incredible talent, Altwire interviews a band going from strength to strength since the release of their debut album earlier this year...
First of all I feel pretty obligated to mention that Wolftooth’s debut self-titled album released earlier this year ranks pretty damn high on my favorite albums of this year so far. Each track on the album perfectly captures the essence of the Stoner Metal genre, while being more accessible than most by keeping the vocals clean and hooks continuous. The quartet hail from Richmond, IN and each member is a twenty year veteran of the genre. In that time they’ve seen it all and clearly learned from their peers. The result of this experience is frankly one of the best debuts the scene has produced.
Stoner/Doom Metal is a genre which seems to have a presence all across North America. It is a scene containing so much raw talent it is perplexing as to why it does not have a larger spotlight. I’ve personally been of the belief for a while that bands like Mastodon, The Sword and High On Fire deserve higher billing and more focus, but really at this stage the genre is still categorized as niche. Bands like Wolftooth have potential to change that though. Through speaking with them it is clear that they have a vested interest in helping the genre grow.
Check out our interview with Wolftooth below:
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: Tell us a little bit about the background of how you guys know each other and what brought you together to form a band.
Wolftooth: The four of us have been friends for over 20 years and have played in bands together before Wolftooth.
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: Tell us about the music scene where you guys are based.
Wolftooth: Richmond, Indiana is less than three hours from a few major cities in the Midwest. Indianapolis, Dayton, Cincinnati, Chicago, Fort Wayne, Louisville etc. So we are in kind of a sweet spot as far as branching out goes. Our hometown of Richmond, IN is a city of about 35k and there has always been a decent steady flow of bands in the immediate area to gig with.
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: Where’d the name Wolftooth come from?
Wolftooth: We are a pack of friends that have each other’s back always, like wolves. The tooth part was just a little shiny tail to complete the name.
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: Name an album that you couldn’t live without.
Wolftooth: Anything from the Led Zeppelin archive is okay with me!
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: What was your biggest challenge when you were recording your debut record?
Wolftooth: We did things a little different from most bands. We wrote the music first. Once the songs were done as we saw fit, then the guitar solos and vocals were added. The guitar solos and vocals were written organically during the recording process. The challenge was learning our songs all over after the recording was done.
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: What are you most proud of about the album?
Wolftooth: We are just floored by the reception the album has gotten. We had no idea what we were doing would become this special to so many. The positive and uplifting comments from everyone have been very satisfying.
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: I noticed the album artwork very much resembles Rick Baker’s Academy Award winning Werewolf creation from An American Werewolf in London. Was this an intentional nod to the iconic movie monster?
Wolftooth: We found this illustration by Okan Bulbul from Turkey online just in a general search for some ad content and we fell in love with it. We contacted him and got permission to use the image as our album cover. No conscious nod to the movie but we see the resemblance.
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: Do you think your more melodic approach to the genre makes you a bit more accessible to the casual listener?
Wolftooth: Wolftooth throws all influences from all four band members into what music we write. Sometimes it clashes, and sometimes it just gels and feels good. The melodic approach to vocals is not only easier on the ears, but easier on the old vocal chords as well. We aren’t trying to fit in anywhere or sound a certain way. Our chemistry shines in our music.
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: Stoner/Doom Metal is a very niche genre but in the states in particular it seems to be one where every band seems to know or at least know about one and other, and in some ways feels like it’s own community. Despite its massive popularity it still feels like a very underground genre. Parallels with the punk movement have even been made by some. What are your thoughts on this?
Wolftooth: The Stoner/Doom metal community has welcomed Wolftooth with open arms. Every band we have jammed with so far has been top notch professional and just all around good people. Online we all promote each other, have civil discussions, and together we all help GROW THE SCENE. Whenever a band is coming through a city on tour or whatever, there is a show to jump on with someone, a place to crash, and just good vibes all around.
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: If someone was interested in learning more about the genre, which artists would you recommend?
Wolftooth: There are so many…… Void King, Monte Luna, Mothership, Forming the Void are just some of our favorites. There are literally hundreds of great bands in this genre.
AltWire [Luke Morrison]: What’s your touring schedule looking like at the moment?
Wolftooth: We have several dates in September through November to finish the year out strong. Some standout shows are with Eyehategod and Goatwhore, both in September, Descendants of Crom festival in Pittsburgh, and a mini tour with our buddies in Wasted Theory.
Check out Wolftooth’s debut album here.