Instead of pinching me, just BITE ME instead! And I’m telling you now, this was not a dream but instead pure reality as I caught up with Jack, Harry, Joe and Sam from the Adelaidian theatrical, vampire-y, emo pop-punk band Wolf & Chain who chatted all things about the Taste of Blood song/video, vampire love metaphors and myths, and even some tour shenanigans!
Interview date: Monday 16 August 2021
Now guys have released a new single, and being Wolf & Chain you’re known as a very theatrical emo/ pop-punk band, where does the theatrical inspiration come from? Did you do drama at school?
Jack (vocals): I never did theatre or anything like that, but growing up my dad was very into theatrical sort of music, like he was a huge David Bowie fan and like his favourite band was The Cure, so just that kind of like dark/ larger than life sort of imagery was always sort of involved in my upbringing with music. I also just drew a lot growing up, the first job I wanted to do when I knew what I wanted to do was be like a comic book artist, or do some sort of drawing and stuff like that. I think also that I am just a very visual person in that regard, so that’s where I draw theatricality and drama from.
So I want to get into this new single Taste of Blood, Jack you had previously said that ‘Vampires feel like such an appropriate metaphor for this concept of deadly love’, that Vampires are romanticized often as spending eternity in love together and the new single twists that idea instead into a bloodthirsty stalker. Could you expand a bit more on the meaning behind the song?
Jack (vocals): yeah so that was one sort of aspect of that thing being romantisized a lot, I mean you could talk about Twilight and all of those kinds of things all day, but I think that it was a metaphor that I was drawn to because I found it not-so much romantic and beautiful like how the movies make it out to be, instead I found it to be quite tragic and dark. Where I found that you’ve got someone who’s almost like they’re a drug addict, who’s got this compulsion, this thing that they have to do to live! Or to feel alive! And you know, they’re kind of just cursed with it for eternity and that’s where I found this sort of bleak outlook from it where they are looking for a partner, you know, FOREVER! Like I don’t know, it didn’t seem very romantic, I can hear the romantic side of it and I feel that as well, but I just felt like there was this other side to it where I just really responded to it.
So it’s just exploring the other side of that and how that all connects with how people feel, I think a lot of people would often relate to those sorts of metaphors. Those larger sort of dark metaphors.
Yeah it’s looking at it from a different angle. Can I ask why vampires specifically?
Jack (vocals): I think with us being a part of the generation of Twilight, True Blood and Buffy, and this sort of vampire obsession that kind of happened in like the early 2000’s, I think that it’s something that has been quite prominent in pop culture for a long time. I was always just thinking about it and why I was drawn to it, like this was something were I was like awah I kind of get that feeling.
Harry (bass): I think that you’ve summed it up pretty well, and in terms of where you come at it with song writing it makes a lot of sense. I like vampires a lot because they are a bit of a metaphor for our music style as well, you know, we very much have a lot of pop influences as well as having a lot of heavier influences too, and
it’s like bringing those two things together. We love the dark side of things and we also love the romantic and exciting side of things,
so it works really well on that level for the music, and lyrically with the themes that Jack writes about it’s kind of the perfect metaphor to explore those things with the two sides of the intoxicating and dangerous love. Plus we are also just big fan boys for the vampire content haha!
Like I’ve grown up loving all that kind of stuff with the examples that Jack gave, like Buffy was a big favourite of mine and of Joe’s too we both loved that show
Joe (guitar): Yeah for sure, went hard on that, Buffy and Angel, and like Harry got me into Trueblood in highschool.
Harry (bass): I think that it’s the mix of all of our influences and then it’s sort of spearheaded with how Jack goes about writing on those themes. It all works pretty perfectly and we are all into those sort of over the top/ slightly theatrical kind of style, with vampires definitely front and centre of it.
Do you guys find a lot of joy playing off that umm not childhood nostalgia, but teenage nostalgia in your music?
Joe (guitar): absolutely!
Jack (vocals): Yeah I think that for all of us, a lot of the intention with the band was just like, you know, we are doing this for us so essentially at the end of the day what music would I want to hear? Like when I was in highschool I had like a vision where I was like Man! If I could be in a band like that- that would be so rad! I think that yeah it’s sort of self serving in a way haha
we are in a way making music for us, making music for the 14 year-old boy inside who’s sitting on a bus smashing his way through some emo tunes.
I want to talk about the music video because it is a very high quality cinematic piece, it;s almost like a short film within itself. Who did you work with for that?
Jack (vocals): We worked with a guy called Justin Broughton he’s a part of VisionWorks here in Adelaide, he did our first video as well, he’s a very talented director, it’s very comfortable working with him. He’s really good at translating my ideas, because often I do have some sort of idea of what I need to give him, like i’ll write a shot-list, storyboard and I’ll tell him all the sorts of references I want, like I want it to look like this and want this kind of lighting and blah blah blah. He’s just an absolute gun, he’s really good and really efficient at taking what I’ve put down on paper and just making it work on the day and just *snap* making it happen.
Where did the idea some of the parts in the music video, particularly with the bartender being drained for blood ‘alcohol’ type drinks and the vampire rivalry- like I got some Twilight feels from that haha. Where did these crazy ideas come from?
Jack (vocals): With the vampire behind the bar haha… we got a friend of ours, other Jack, and it was really funny because he’s just one of those people who just can’t stop talking, he just loves to chat haha, he’s a very loud guy…
Joe (guitar): He legit has ADHD, and so we obviously strapped him to a thing and told him to be as still as possible please sir! haha
Harry (bass): it’s kind of cruel in retrospect haha, but… yep we ah didn’t really think of it at the time.
Joe (guitar): but he was so down for it, cause we needed someone to put on a tank top and…
Harry (bass): and be the blood drain victim haha.
Jack (vocals): so a little bit of backstory with that sort of idea is that he is basically like a human keg, so he’s propped up behind the bar and it’s like a vampire run bar and they obviously bring their victims there and they all drain them, you know, it’s like this little community amongst the underworld of vampires.
So yeah, you mentioned things like rivalries and things like that, a lot of inspiration for those kinds of ideas… I mean while there is Twilight which often had things like that and I’m sure there are other examples of vampire gangs. But me and our manager Jayden were talking about this idea from a movie called The Warriors, I don’t know if you’ve seen it but it’s an 80’s movie, over the top as fuck! But you should watch it haha. It’s about all of these different gangs in New York and all of these gangs are just super kooky and weird, like one of them is just like a gang that dresses up like Native American indians, and then another gang dresses up as baseball players and they have weird make up haha.
I just really liked this idea of this “crazy” city full of these weird gangs, and I was like Man, wouldn’t it be cool if they were all vampires as well and you have that sort of narrative play out between them, and it’ll be just this massive larger than life story.
It sounds like it should be a TV series or something, Wolf & Chain could do a spin-off vampire series haha
Harry (bass): I’m not sure we have the budget for that hahaha
Jack (vocals): Yeah, this comes back to the theatricality of things, I think that everything we sort of go into it’s always a strong concept/ narrative that we want to portray. With the first EP that was like a little comic that went along with the songs and detailed the narrative there, so with that I think that we are a very cinematic band in that regard.
Harry: We love having that sort of extended universe where we have a bit more to the band besides the music, there’s a bit more to dive into if you’re someone who’s just listening to us there’s more to discover.
Do you ever get fans turning up like vampires at your gigs? Or are you not at that stage yet? Haha
Jack (vocals): Uhh like.. I mean the video’s just dropped so I’m sure we will get some vampire-y things happening soon. We’ve had a few cats haha.
Joe (guitar): Everyone comes out in their best emo/goth throwback attire, for sure.
Jack (vocals): it’s really funny cause when we get put on a line up with a bunch of other bands that aren’t necessarily our genre, it’s very obvious who there to see us haha because you’ll just see them standing there with their black, their chains on, and you know make up. They do get dressed up and come out, I think that a lot of them obviously are drawn to that in that sense.
Joe (guitar): We try to encourage that in the kind of shows that we try to book. Earlier in the year when we did another show we booked it as ‘night at the prom’ and had everybody get dressed up like a highschool prom theme to match our music video for that launch show.
People really dig it, and everyone showed up in like their best-dressed and we even had a balloon arch and took photos, everyone just gets super involved when we make it more like an event.
It’s sounds like a party! It all about the costumes, dressing up and the music.
Jack (vocals): the theatrics
Exactly, the emo theatrics haha.
I’ve got one more question about the music video, with the fangs did everyone have to wear them? Was that uncomfortable as a prop?
Harry (bass): we cheated them for a bit, we only had them in for probably like 50% of the time. But they’re not too bad once you used like the dental paste and they mould around your teeth and then you hold them there for a bit, and then you can pull them out and put them back in, I think they stayed in there pretty much for the most part.
Joe (guitar): I’m pretty sure Jack had a bad time with it haha
Harry (bass): yeah a bad time singing with it cause everything sounds really slurred and so it was hard to do haha
Joe (guitar): they fell out A LOT for Jack
Jack (vocals): with some people they were fine, like with Tash who’s in the first shot as you walk in she’s the blonde girl. She had them in all day and she was like forgetting she had them in, because they just fit nicely in her mouth, it just didn’t affect her at all! But when I put them in I was just like *slurring*, and that was the thing I kind of had to have them in all day as well because I was fucking singing a lot…
Joe (guitar): in all the shots with your mouth open.
Harry (bass): we did get a couple of shots where we were like awah that was great! Hang on a second… No one’s got their teeth in
Just missing a fang (hate it when that happens)
Jack (vocals): I lost soo many fangs while singing! Well just one that kept falling out. But I feel bad for Sam because Sam got in, but he’s on drums so you couldn’t really see them haha
Joe (guitar): There’s a shot of him with his teeth in, was it like a roll shot?
Sam (drums): yeah it was a roll shot
Jack (vocals): yeah when you’re rolling on the snare and you can just see it.
Joe (guitar): I think some of us copped out in some of the band shots on day 1, and just left them out cause we were just like thrashing our bodies around with our mouths closed.
Yeah just don’t smile haha, mouth closed and no smiling!
Joe (guitar): That’s what I was thinking about the whole time, just be moody. Stick to the mood.
Sam was it worth it to have the fangs in just for one shot?
Sam (drums): Yeah, definitely! It wasn’t that bad, I had no problems with it but the paste stuff tastes terrible. I kind of liked the fangs, it looks a bit scary!
Because you guys are very a much a theatrical emo band with a vampire aesthetic going on especially for the new single Taste of Blood I want to crack some vampire myths with you guys and I want Wolf & Chain’s opinion on it. Is that okay? Are you ready?
Do you think that vampires should sparkle when they go in sunlight? (like as in Twilight)
Harry (bass): I think they should burn to a crisp!
*A lot of yeah’s from the other band members haha*
Jack (vocals): I’m pretty into the vampire law stuff, so apparently they’re not meant to burn up in the sun, their powers just go away. So that was the original Bram Stoker like Dracula and that vampire era when they were first coming out. I don’t think they should sparkle.
Okay so no sparkles, but either burn to a crisp or lose their powers?
Jack (vocals): 100%
Follow up question to that! If you see the movie Blade with Wesley Snipes and it’s about vampire bounty hunters, there’s a scene where the evil vampire guy is talking to Wesley Snipes like outside on a park bench. The evil vampire guy is wearing sunscreen to stop from burning to a crisp or losing powers haha. Do you guys think that would be a good idea to do?
Jack (vocals): I think so.
Joe (guitar): With a high SPF, at least 30+ haha
No surely 30 is not good enough haha, you need 50!
Okay one last little ‘myth’ thing, so with pop-punk everyone loves their pizza, should pop punk vampires be allowed to eat garlic pizza? Or is that a definite no? And it was the only pizza.
Jack (vocals): look, it’s difficult… I think it depends on where you are getting it from, lie if you’re going to a gourmet nice pizza restaurant with the ‘real’ garlic then it’s like ah stay away from that, but if it’s like Dominos or that kind of ‘fake pizza’ stuff than they could probably get away with it.
Joe (guitar): Yeah like garlic paste, minced garlic is okay.
Harry (bass): Just not fresh garlic
It’s okay if it’s not the fresh stuff, not the good shit, right?
Jack (vocals): Exactly!
Moving on, you guys recently toured with drastic Park and Clay J Gladstone on the Wolfstone Park Tour, you’ve sadly had The State Invaders Tour with Paperweight and Isotopes get cancelled, but happily enough you’ve got a single launch coming up in Adelaide (originally on the 20th) and I believe Jayden from Yeah That Agency! Just announced another show with your guys doing a double launch with Alt.
Jack (vocals): Actually the one on the 20th is now moved to the 27th, that has now become that new one.
Joe (guitar): we had to move it due to capacity restrictions
Right, so are Alt. crashing your single launch?
Harry (bass): we are definitely crashing theirs haha, cause they had a date ready.
Joe (guitar): They are doing us a huge favour
What can people expect at a Wolf & Chain show?
Jack (vocals): I think it’s super energetic, that’s something that we really pride ourselves on, you know with having a lot of energy and putting a lot into our performance. Whether it’s a 30 minute set or a longer one, we always go super hard and you know it’s a big theatrical experience, I think that there is a lot of drama and intensity to it.
The last couple of shows in particular have been insane, particularly mentioning the Wolfstone Park Tour, those were some of the best shows we’ve ever played, I think that the last one on Adelaide was
THE BEST SHOW! Everyone just gets super into it, they get dressed up and so we have a room of these emo and angsty sad boys and girls.
Just on Clay J Gladstone, I interviewed those guys the other week and at that first show of the of the Wolfstone Park Tour their singer took his pants off mid-show! What did you guys think of that?
Jack (vocals): I just thought like this was him haha, cause like if you speak to him and hang around him and see them perform, it just felt very like… I wasn’t surprised, and when it happened I looked at it on stage and was just like Yeah…
Joe (guitar): … It just made sense haha
It was pretty fun to meet them that afternoon for the first time when we got to Sydney, he’s just like *crazy* super has big hand movements and he’s all up in your face. He’s soo lovely, like the funniest dude, and then going straight on stage because it was their (Clay J Gladstone’s) hometown show they were like cracking jokes at all the locals and their mates and stuff, and then it just made sense… like yeah sure take your pants off haha
How was it touring with both Drastic Park and Clay J Gladstone on tour?
Harry (bass): it was just all full of these really awesome people, both bands and the crew they had with them! That was our first ever set of interstate shows, our first ever mini tour and it was a prefect introduction to it because they were all great people
Jack (vocals): They are amazing performers as well, it was great to watch them play and stuff, like we would go around and watch their set and they would watch ours a bunch of times, but it was still always exciting. They are really good people to be around as well, and I think that we really learnt a lot from them.
Joe (guitar): they had just such energy! When we played in Melbourne (Drastic’s hometown), we played two shows, and at that 2nd show we played an all ages show at Wrangler Studios and just like all of the kids, and the family friendly vibe, and Drastic Park even censored their songs so they could play for the kids and they’re all up on stage drumming around and stuff. It was just hilarious!
Jack (vocals): Can we tell a story?
Harry (bass): nah… *nervously*
You can tell a story! I like tour stories!
Joe (guitar): ahh… look we drove across… and tag teamed… woah I’m not telling the whole story but we had shenanigans and there were two buses, Drastic Park’s bus and our bus, and shenanigans were had on the road during some overtakes…
Sam (drums): Would you say it was a full moon that night Haha?
*full band laughter*
Joe (guitar): According to official reports.
Yeah when you said ‘overtakes’ I was like hmm there was some flashing involved, wasn’t there? Haha
Jack (vocals): there was, and there were some marker pens involved haha
Harry (bass): it sounds worse when you don’t explain it!
No we are going to keep it as no context, and move on haha. Let everyone who reads this interpret it with their imagination in their own way.
Okay, what is next for Wolf & Chain? What are you up to?
Jack (vocals): well we are gearing up for the show and our launch. The next step after that is.. Umm I’m not too sure how much we can give away yet? But we definitely have got stuff happening, so keep an eye out on us on the socials, and yeah just be weary of that and that things are happening like with the video we’ve just released.
Is Taste of Blood going to be a part of an EP?
Harry (bass): we have to keep tight lipped on it for now, but there will be more content coming for sure, and
Taste of Blood feeds into that, like you know with the To Be Continued in the music video, so there will be a continuation haha.
Joe (guitar): we have more things in store real soon.
Jack (vocals): We don’t mean to be like Ooooh we can’t say anything Oooh haha
Do you guys have any final things you want to say about the band, the new single, upcoming shows, or anything you want to say to fans?
Jack (vocals): If you are around Adelaide we would love to see you and come out to a show, it’s a really fun experience and I think it’s just a really nice community that we have at the shows. Even if you’re just looking for friends or just to find new music, I think that coming to a Wolf & Chain show is a good place to be.
It’s also an experience, it’s not just like Oh I’m going to watch a gig, I feel that it is more like a show, like we have something to say and a purpose to it, there is direction with everything.
So yeah, I would definitely say come out to a show and see us!
Harry (bass): I think that there’s not too many tickets left for that show? There was a pretty small amount still left.
Sam (drums): 23 I think (at time of interview: currently as of 26/8/2021 that Fri 27th is sold out, and a 2nd show has been announced Sat 28 still has tix left)
Harry (bass): Yeah so jump onto that, and HUGE THANKS TO ALT. for letting us gate crash their launch, there’s many great bands on that night, with Chelsea Manor and SIGNV/S on there too, they’re are both bands that I absolutely love so it should be a really fun night!
And stay tuned for more goodies to be dropped soon!
Joe (guitar): I guess also come out to any show you can that is actually happening, because who knows before we will be able to play again.
Jack (vocals): If you are in other states sit tight and we will get there!
That was my extremely fun, slightly moody but so mythically vampire-y deep chat with Jack, Harry, Joe and Sam from Adelaide band Wolf & Chain. These guys have some shows coming up this weekend, so if you’re looking for something to do go dress up like a vampire and lurk in the front row of the Jive Bar.
WOLF & CHAIN SOCIAL MEDIA
WOLF & CHAIN TOUR DATES
Alt. x Wolf & Chain Single Launch
Feat. Chelsea Manor, and SIGNV/S
Adelaide/ Friday 27 August 2021/ Jive Bar/ SOLD OUT
Feat. Lola, and City Feet
Adelaide/ Saturday 28 August 2021/ Jive Bar/ Tix still Available
Froth & Fury Festival (heavy, alternative music & beer fest.)
Adelaide/ Sunday 3rd October 2021/ Pirate Life Brewing- Port Adelaide/ All Ages
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