The Republic Of Wolves Interview (CLICK HERE TO READ)
I recently had the chance to interview The Republic Of Wolves whose debut EP is currently available on iTunes and pre-order for the physical copy. Check these guys out and click above to read the interview!
-First off thanks for the interview
Thanks for taking the time to interview us.
-You guys really gained a large following last year after the Brand New Daisy Demos (which turned out to be your songs). I know by now it’s one of your most talked about things, but if you could kind of let our readers know what went down and how that whole situation came about?
In the summer of 2009 we started working on a project that would eventually become known as "The Republic of Wolves." After recording a few demos we sent them out to some friends to see what they thought. One of these friends took it upon themselves to post the songs on YouTube as "Brand New Demo Leaks." We didn't even know about this until a couple weeks later, and by then the pages had started to explode with feedback. Some people thought it was Brand New, some thought it was a hoax, but needless to say we were pretty shocked at the reaction. We were even more surprised to find out that a lot of people on Absolutepunk.net were talking about our songs, including the CEO, Jason Tate. So we contacted him personally in order to let everyone know that the songs they were hearing were actually ours.
-You often times here about bands getting lucky on viral promotion or just by a random series of events (similar to the youtube daisy demo story you guys have). Did the friend who uploaded the demos ever think he would actually thrust you guys into the limelight and did him actually doing this upset you guys at all or is he now one of your best friends for doing it?
I don't think he could have ever imagined the outcome of those posts becoming what it did. If anything he was just trying to be funny and cause a stir. And yeah, we were a little upset when it first happened, for a few reasons. Partly we felt kind of cheap about it, like our music was being used to trick people even though it wasn't actually our own doing. But also the last thing a new band wants is to be forever seen in the shadow of something else, and we all realized the Brand New thing was going to stick for a while. But I think after we released our EP and the vinyl people were able to hear that we did have our own unique sound, and we plan on continuing to develop that sound as we write and record our first LP. At the same time it's impossible for us to stay angry about the whole YouTube fiasco, since it's done such amazing things for us as a band. It's a strange turn of events to say the least, but we consider ourselves very lucky.
-You released your first EP His Old Branches last year and it was very well received. You guys are currently working on releasing the EP in physical format. What will come with the physical version of the album, in terms of artwork, special packaging, etc.?
The physical release of the EP will come with a download card which allows you to download a demo of a song entitled "Sea Smoke," the full version of which will be on our full length. The packaging will have the same album cover that comes with the digital version of "His Old Branches," with artwork by Ben Kehoe, but the actual layout of the packaging is more detailed and will include the lyrics to all the songs. The layout was done by graphic artist and friend of the band Nick Cuomo. The physical release will be distributed by Vintage Hustle Records and is available now for pre-order on their web site.
-You also just released the Cardinals 7” vinyl. A lot of bands are releasing stuff on vinyl these days and it offers something limited and exclusive to fans. In a digital era why was it important to you guys to put something out on vinyl?
Well just like you said, it offers something limited and exclusive to fans whether they can actually play the vinyl or not. We know plenty of people who bought one just to collect the record and the artwork itself, which we're really proud of. Though we are in a digital era people definitely still enjoy tangible merchandise, and it's just a great feeling to produce something you can actually hold. We're also really grateful to Simple Stereo and we love what they've done with the vinyl. We sincerely hope everyone will buy one.
- One thing I like about the presentation of the EP and the 7” is the artwork. Who did the artwork for both of those releases and what made you guys decide on those particular covers?
For the EP the cover was a piece done by an artist named Ben Kehoe. We stumbled onto his work while recording the EP and really felt like the tone of his work went well with the songs we were writing. The layout of the EP was done by a graphic artist named Nick Cuomo, a good friend of ours. For the vinyl we went in a different direction, using literal representation and a simple color scheme. Artist and band member Gregg Andrew, along with Nick Cuomo, came up with something that we felt flowed really well with the songs. But art in general is an important facet in this project and we plan on keeping it that way for future releases.
- I think something that interest people in your music is you seem to draw inspiration from more bands found in the early part of the 2000’s (mostly from your area of Long Island). Is that a true statement? What bands currently inspire or have inspired you? And why?
Well there's definitely some truth to that, but we actually have a lot of diverse influences that we've drawn from. But in terms of older stuff there aren't many direct ones, except for some lyrical inspirations like Bob Dylan. Some more current influences are Bright Eyes, Radiohead, Sigur Ros and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. And there's no denying that Brand New is an influence of ours, and given the circumstances I guess that's the one that shines through most clearly to a lot of listeners. But from our point of view Brand New is just one of many artists that we've been inspired by.
-After you release the physical EP do you plan on following it up with a full length?
We're actually working on the full length now, and we're aiming for a fall release. Since we have our own studio we're always writing and recording here and there, and at the moment we're working on a couple of different projects (the Wolves LP being one of them).
-You guys seem to handle stuff in a somewhat DIY fashion. At this point have any labels shown you a lot of interest to the point where you might look at releasing your full length on a larger label?
We're having a great time doing pretty much everything ourselves right now, primarily for creative reasons. We've definitely attracted attention from quite a few labels, but we've more or less stayed away from the idea of a contract or commitment for the time being. But if a situation presented itself that looked like it could really be good for us in the long run, I'm sure we'd consider it. Right now the DIY method seems to be working out great, though, and the help we've received from Vintage Hustle Records has also been great. They've done a lot for us and it's a pleasure to release our EP physically through them.
- You are currently running a cover contest. Can you give our readers the details on the contest? The contest sounds like a really fun one how have the submissions so far sounded?
The contest is just what it sounds like: record or film a cover of any one of our songs and send it to INFO@VINTAGEHUSTLE.COM. The first place winner gets a signed vinyl, a signed physical EP, and a shirt from 410 B.C clothing; but the best part of the prize is that they get to choose any song they want for us (the Republic of Wolves) to cover, and we'll cover it. There's also some prizes for second and third place. All the details are laid out here on the flyer: http://www.greggandrew.com/flyr.jpg The submissions have been great so far, but we'd really love to hear some more. The contest ends on April 26th, so there's still time. Everyone submit a cover!
-Some of the members of The Republic Of Wolves are also members of Tigers On Trains. Can you tell me a little about Tigers On Trains and what differs from the two groups?
Well two of us (Mason and Christian) make up Tigers on Trains, but we're all kind of involved in that project in one way or another. So in terms of group dynamics and such it's very similar, just a simplified version. Musically it's really different though, since it's almost all acoustic and the style is more folk than rock. The songwriting process is different as well since the songs are all pretty simple and straightforward, and with two members there's less variables involved and it's a more linear process. But alot of the main musical elements are common to both projects, such as the emphasis on harmony, metaphorical lyrics, and emotion in the music.
-I guess that about wraps it up. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have any closing comments?
No problem, thanks so much for the interview. I guess in terms of closing comments we'd just like to tell everyone to please support us by buying our vinyl, pre-ordering our EP, participating in our contest, and just spreading the word! We really need people to keep supporting us and telling their friends about us, especially because that's how we got to where we are now. And we're so grateful to all our fans for that. It really means a lot to us.