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Werewolves Interview

I recently got in touch with the band Werewolves, possibly the best damn music from Athens, GA at the moment. Similar to Animal Collective in sound, and yet with their own beautiful originality, Werewolves are an up and coming band that deserves success in any sense of the word. They're working a new EP right now, and have already released a full LP: Someday We'll Live In the Forest.

Hres: What kind of process do you go through when writing a new song?

Wyatt: I honestly don't know if I could describe the process. I usually forget how and why I wrote most songs although a lot of them are inspired by random thoughts that pop into my head, like seeing a bunch of birds chillin' on this dormitory across from the bookstore I work at gave me the idea for Acrophobic Birds. As for the rest of the band, I usually just ask them to do something with it and don't pay too much attention to what they add. I'm not big on micromanaging the what everyone does although some people prefer me to write parts for them, and in that case I usually just make up something on the spot. I think a lot of the characteristics our sound come from the really lax attitude we take toward what we're playing.

Hres: What are rehearsals like? Is there a list of things that get played when you practice, or does everyone just get together and hang out?

Wyatt: A lot of the time we operate under the assumption that it will all come back to us when we're at the show, so rehearsals are few and far between. There's like 8 of us now and we all have jobs and are all in like 3 bands and so it's hard to schedule real rehearsals. And of course when we do get together rehearsals usually consist of equal parts of playing music and talking about the internet. My strategy is to have super low expectations and as long as we sound reasonably adequate I'm satisfied and then we go do fun things like play N64 or get Mexican food.

Hres: What's the best show you've played so far, how was it like, where was it?

Wyatt: Probably a tie for me. One of them was in Geneseo, New York at a house that was called the Fart Farm and there were all these weird kids there that were really into our music. Most of them are my friends now. The other one was at a movie theatre in downtown Athens during this Athfest festival thing. It's weird because all these bands in Athens play at the same time and then all these people that you've never seen before come downtown just because it's a festival and a big deal. My friend Sam (from Athens band Titans of Filth) was doing the door and told me that there were distinctly non-Werewolvesy looking people asking specifically to see Werewolves so that was a cool thing because I got to play music for all the people that called me gay in high school and apparently they liked it. So now I feel pretty vindicated. Also like half the band was wasted and yet we messed up way less than we usually do.

Hres: What are your future goals for the band?

Wyatt: From my perspective, I'm hoping that I can eventually make enough money off of this band to get all my cavities filled. I had to stop drinking soda because I'm afraid of all my teeth falling out. Other than that we're already doing the shit we want to do so I'm not too concerned about the future. Hopefully we can get someone to make our CDs for us in the future though because putting them together is a huge pain in the ass. Oh yeah I hope we can one day get a van or something so we don't have to bring two cars on tour.

Hres: What are some of your new songs like compared to the old ones?

Wyatt: Probably pretty much the same except that I'm a lot less embarrassed about my lyrics now. SWLITF has songs on it that I wrote when I was 18 and the lyrics are really stupid in my opinion. That and I guess I'm continually being influenced by the stuff I get interested in so that probably has something to do with it. Like I say, most of the stuff on our first album was written a few years ago, like back in 07 and 08 and I was still transitioning from kid in high school to the college drop out I am today, so I probably have a better feel for writing the kind of songs I want to write now.

Hres: What is the band munching on during rehearsals?

Wyatt: I used to live across the street from a restaurant called Barberitos which is a Mexican food chain based out of Athens and so we typically ate a lot of that. Not to mention beer and 'cigarettes'.

Hres: Have any songs of yours been written by band members who weren't sober at the time?

Wyatt: Well I write all the songs and typically when I'm not sober I want to do something more interesting than writing music. Not to say that some of us aren't drug enthusiasts, but some of us don't even drink so I don't think our sound has that much to do with being under the influence. I think a lot of people expect that because we like distortion, and weird noises, and lo-fi recordings and noise pieces that our direction with the music is really influenced by drugs, but it's not really a direct cause and effect, just coincidental. I've always been into weird sounds, sober or not.

Hres: What are some of your influences, or what are you listening to at the moment?

Wyatt: Well let's see, there's 8 of us and we all like different things so it's hard to say. I think in general some common threads are that we all like indie pop, obviously but aside from that some of us are really into folk and traditional music, as well as Motown and Specter pop and other shit from the 60s. I really like the Zombies and the Hollies and I've been getting really into early protest music from the 50s and 60s. I feel like in general we all tend to gravitate to stuff that feels humanistic and unpretentious so whether it be Malvina Reynolds or Heavenly or some Elephant 6 crap or hardcore punk if it feels like it comes from a place we can identify with we usually get into it. Particularly if the place is being incredibly poor, or anti-racist/sexist, and has a strong anti-consumer or anti-corporate sentiment. We're very big on DIY ethics and the idea that art and music is something everybody should be doing, so that's probably the easiest way to hone in on what we're influenced by.

Hres: If you could have any member of any band in your band at the moment, who would it be?

Wyatt: Everybody in Werewolves now or in the past has been a really good friend of mine so... I don't really know or care. I have enough psychological hangups trying to keep together a band with 7 of my friends, I don't need to introduce any strangers into the mix.

[End Interview]

Go see their shows and stuff.

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