Coffin Wolf have finally dropped their first long player; Talk Amongst Yourselves.
The band have spent the last six years as a mainstay of the Melbourne Rock scene. They've released several singles and EPs. Coffin Wolf is one of those bands that is almost impossible to lump into one genre. They're one of those bands you have to hear or see live. Trying to describe their sound is no easy task and you expect the unexpected with each song.
Their first album combines elements of trash, hardcore, punk and metal, providing an experience that most Rock pigs will come out enjoying. Singer/guitarist and band founder Braiden spoke to us about the new LP and the band's history.
Munster: How did Coffin Wolf start and also where did the name come from?
Braiden: The name doesn’t have an amazing story. It’s simply two dumb words put together and see what happens and that’s where we ended up...after a few beers of course. It started back in 2014. We’ve had a lot of lineup changes, but we still have Matt who is our original guitarist and founding member. He’s been on and off but he’s back which is great.
Munster: So with all these lineup changed did you ever consider changing the name?
Braiden: We did play with the idea of changing the name, going down a different road or whatever. We thought we put a few years into it and we didn’t feel like it was worth it. We’re proud of everything we’ve ever done so far so we might as well stick with it. If it was something we’re ashamed off we might have changed it. (laughs)
Munster: The presser for the new LP describes Coffin Wolf as 'Dead Rock underdogs'. Do you feel that is a true description?
Braiden: I like that one. That’s good. We kind of always danced a line between Punk, Hardcore and that sort of thing. This LP is more Rock n Roll influences. So like every band it’s hard to put a finger on what it is they do, so Dead Rock seems to be the one now.
Munster: When I was listening to the LP I heard shades of punk, hardcore and doom metal.
Braiden: Yeah bit of a cross over in-between here and there. It’s the way to be.
Munster: Before the LP you had put out plenty of releases, a few EPs, some singles and also a split 45. Why did you wait so long to put out a LP?
Braiden: The main reason behind waiting had to do with lineup changes. It had been a little while in-between releases for us at the moment. We actually went into the studio and recorded a EP and then got rid of it as the recording wasn’t up to starch the line up wasn’t good enough so it put us back. It was never the plan to wait and wait to release a full length. It’s just the way things pan out sometimes. Hopefully we can do another one next year. We’re sort of in our stride now.
Munster: I guess one benefit of doing singles is its only two songs you need to record and you can do maybe two or three a year. That way you can keep the content pumping and a few big launch shows in the one year.
Braiden: Yeah that’s right. Releasing stuff frequently is good for the band. It’s good to have something out. Albums have more longevity out of them I think as opposed to a single or a split. It comes on quickly and can wear off quickly as it may only be seven minutes of music.
Munster: you mentioned you and Matt are the two mainstays and various different members have played in the band, how does that impact you guys when you record? Can different members make or break a recording or do you and Matt kind of direct them
Braiden: Every member has there attitude that makes them play the way they play, it’s part of there make up and that can be a good or bad thing. We recorded an EP and realised with that recording the songs weren’t done justice so we starched them and we held on to them and redid a few of them, I think two songs we held on to.
Munster: Tell us about the recording of Talk Amongst Yourselves.
Braiden: We had our lineup set to record. And then we were stuck with another lineup change as our drummer had an accident so he couldn’t play gigs. And we understood, and it put us back a bit as we went from a four piece to a three piece. I stepped away from guitar and got on the drums so we got all the writing up to speed before we went into the studio.
Munster: How does the band work when it comes up with new songs? I know you play several instruments so do you write all the music or do you come up with a riff and take it to the band and take it from there?
Braiden: It just depends what we come to the party with. Sometimes I’ll come with a full song and either I demo everything at home, bass, guitar, drums and vocals and all that sort of stuff. That said it can all be there from the get go. That’s fine, doesn’t mean it has to stay there. I would never bring a song and say this is how it goes now record it. It’s not like that. It’s more; "I have these ideas layered down, absolutely nothing has to stay and I would prefer it if you did change it because it’s better to have more than one person's eyes and ideas on a song." You have people in the band because they're good at what they do and you like their ideas.
Munster: My favourite release you guys have put out is that split you guys did with the Fuck Ups.
Braiden: That’s fucking awesome that one. We threw that together in my old share house that I lived in in Brunswick. My housemate recorded that in our bedroom. We did it over a weekend. A mate mastered it and that was it.
Munster: With the new LP I was reading that the vinyl was going to contain some cremated ashes is that true?
Braiden: We’re doing a limited run of 50 with cremation ashes in the record. One of the songs is called Brain Tumour and its about when my dog got a brain tumour and he passes away. It was this period that lasted two weeks was really intense. So I hung onto the ashes. He hangs out with me in the lounge room. So we decided we’d like to put them in the record and honour him that way, and the label was up for it.
Munster: As mentioned; the band is a mix of various genres and your vocal style changes from song to song. How do you deal with that when recording? Can you just do it on the spot or do you need to warm up and be prepared?
Braiden: I always find with every recording the vocals are the hardest part. For many reasons. The amount of different ideas you can throw down on there, whether you want more melodic, more trashy or more brutal, or whatever. You really need to spend the time to get your voice strong and do the warm ups, otherwise you’ll find that you get into the studio and after 90 minutes you're done and you’ve wasted the day. But if you’re ready to go you can go in and get a good eight hours.
Munster: I’m the Fucking King is my favourite song on the LP. Is there a story behind that?
Braiden: It’s a story about going to a funeral and watching the family of the deceased tear each other apart, basically because they want the money, they're all after the inheritance.
Munster: I think we’ve all been there.
Braiden: (laughs) Yeah we’ve all heard stories or witnessed stories.
Munster: What else does Coffin Wolf have coming up?
Braiden: We’re trying to put together some live streams, there no certainty under the current climate. We have 40 songs ready to go, so when we’re allowed we’ll record, and also get onto the live streaming.