Gage Speas, vocalist of To Speak Of Wolves, was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for us at IVM. Check out the interview below & if you haven’t taken the time to check out the band’s new album, Find Your Worth, Come Home, then you’re missing out.
After Myself < Letting Go had been out for 6 months or so it was announced that Rick had left his post as vocalist. How did you end up connecting with the band to eventually fill that spot?
I was working for Oh, Sleeper at the time. A buddy of mine from Albuquerque had told me that they were looking for a vocalist. I had called Lucas (At Night We Strike) who was playing bass for them at the time. He said he was good buds with Phil so he got me in touch with him. I worked one last tour with Sleeper then tried out for TSOW.
How will this new album compare to your last one, aside from the obvious vocalist change? How is it different musically?
I think it’s more raw, emotional, and is a lot darker. We wanted it to sound like we were playing it live. That’s exactly what Matt McClellan did for us. The songs have more structure as well. The old record is very crisp and clean. Find Your Worth, Come Home has more grit to it.
You guys have matured & improved upon your sound since your debut. How was the writing process for this album?
Thank you! Yeah we had been writing for a really long time. Since the time I joined the band, we had riffs we were working on & I was writing lyrics all year so I could have a lot to pick and choose from in the studio. A month or so before we went to the studio Phil, Aaron and Corey were in Florida at Phil’s place writing & they would email the rough tracks and I would tell them how I felt about them. Then a week or so before we left to Glow In The Dark we all met up in NC. We would just work on them constantly all day. So we had a lot of material by the time we got to the studio.
The anticipation of the new album had really grown after releasing the first few tracks online. Have you been getting a similar response elsewhere?
Yeah I noticed that! THANKS EVERYONE! We played three new songs on the Find Your Worth Tour. I noticed that as the CD had been out longer more and more kids were singing along to the new songs. That was really amazing to see other people singing words you put your heart into! We also have received some really fantastic reviews and of course some that weren’t great. But you can’t please everyone man, haha. I’m just really humbled that people gave me a chance and connected to the music. That’s all I wanted for the record.
You went with a different producer on this album. What led you to choose Matt McClellan? What did he bring to the table?
That’s a really great question! Dude, we met Matt last year on the Emery tour. I was changing in the green room and this nerdy looking dude walked in and just started talking to us. In my head I was like like “Uhh dude, who are you?!”. But that night we went to Glow In The Dark and just hung out til like six in the morning. He just became a close friend. He knew what we wanted and how to get us there. It was my first time recording so I was stressing out like crazy, but Matt helped me out so much and totally helped out the other dudes too. He trusted us enough to make a lot of decisions on our own. But knew when to step in and be like, “No, that sounds like crap”. He is totally the sixth member of To Speak Of Wolves. He just made us feel confident and really believe in ourselves. Cause when you’re recording you think everything sucks and you did a crappy job, haha.
One of our readers asked what inspired the new dark sound that is featured on “Stand Alone Complex”?
Well to be honest we were just tired of playing those old songs. They were bright and clean and crisp, like I said earlier. We wanted it to sound like nothing that’s out there. We wanted to want to listen to our own record, haha, as stupid as that sounds. We all listen to dark music. And the whole record is really balanced with heavy songs and chilled out songs.
Once again with “Stand Alone Complex”, can you elaborate more on the lyrics to that song, especially the line “If I’m wrong, I’ll hold my head high, I’ll let God spit in my face”?
Yeah totally! That’s an awesome question. That line is talking about me being so low in life. I felt like it wouldn’t even matter if the creator of the universe spat in my face because to me, things couldn’t get any worse. My whole life was in shambles.
Did you end up handling all of the lyrics this time around? Is there an overall theme of the album?
Yeah I wrote all of them, except for Micah’s part in “Stand- Alone Complex”. The record is mostly about my parent’s divorce, however, there are a few songs that aren’t about them. They split about four years ago or so but I never had an outlet for that until now. I know there are a lot of hurting people out there. I just want them to know that they are not alone.
What inspired the artwork? Did you have a hand in deciding that?
We wanted a symbol, something kids can draw on their notebooks at school when they are bored. We told Ryan from Invisible Creature that and he came up with all the art work. We loved it the first time we saw it.
You released a video for “Je Suis Fini”. Who did you film with? What was the concept behind the video?
Yeah, Iron Curtain Media did it. They’ve done all of our music videos. Awesome dudes! It’s inspired by the Allegory Of The Cave. Like a present day take on that.
Do you know if you will be filming a second video or what the next single might be?
Yeah, we actually shot it the same day we did Je Suis Fini. But it’s a surprise what song we did!
As far as touring goes, do you have any tours lined up for the coming months?
A ton! We just finished the “Find Your Worth Tour” with Harp & Lyre (check them out!). That was super rad! Next we have a ton of festivals! Then we are doing the second half of “Scream The Prayer”. After that we have a tour I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about yet. But it’s gonna be awesome! So we are on the road till the middle of September.
Anything you’d like to leave our readers with?
Thank you for listening to our record and buying it! Thanks for the support! Come to a show and hang out with us! Follow your dreams and be who you want to be cause you only live once! So make it count! Jesus Christ loves you.