To Speak Of Wolves

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E-mail interview with Phil Chamberlain of To Speak Of Wolves. We discuss signing to Solid State, the new album, touring plans, and his old band This Runs Through. Read the full interview below.

First off, how did the band come together? You guys had all been in touring bands prior to To Speak Of Wolves correct?

Yeah man, the band came together about a year and a half ago after my old band Sullivan broke up. I started playing music with some friends from all over the place and eventually found the right group of guys to play with and make heavy music with again. All the dudes in the band have been in bands from my home state and I’ve known most of them for years.

Who are the various members of the band and what instruments do they play?

Aaron Kisling plays guitar, Corey Doran plays guitar and sings, Rick Jacobs is our lead vocalist, Will McCutcheon plays bass and sings and I play drums.

Since the prior bands were all from different areas, it would seem the members would all be quite spread out? Have any members moved to be closer together? If not, what affects does that have on the band?

Well when we first started the band we had some members that lived here (in North Carolina) and some that lived in New Hampshire. We’ve gone through a few changes since that lineup and now everyone lives in or around Greensboro, North Carolina. It did make things complicated at times when we were dealing with the distance, I’m glad we’re all in one place now.

To Speak Of Wolves is an interesting name. Is there a story or meaning behind it?

Haha, its kind of a long story but I’ll try to summarize it. We wanted originally to call the band “wolves” but after doing some research there were about a million other bands out there, including one somewhat successful band in the 90s, with that name. I’m a big fan of the movie “the village” and we all really like the story behind “those we don’t speak of” in that movie, so the name kind of came together as a combination of those two ideas.

Tragic Hero stepped up and released the band’s first EP, Following Voices. How did you end up hooking up with the label?

Tommy Lacombe who runs the label is a great dude and actually lives about an hour or so from me. I met him through some mutual friends when I went to see my buddies Sent by Ravens at a show in Raleigh NC and played our demos for him. He really dug the music and wanted to release our ep. Over the course of the past year plus we have become good friends and still talk regularly and do our best to help each other out. He’s been and still is a huge help to tsow.

What was the overall response to that album? I know a lot of people really liked it and it would seem that it drew some attention from other labels.

I think we were pleasantly surprised to the response, its really rad when we play somewhere and kids know our lyrics. We did have some interest from a couple labels before and after the ep with Tragic Hero and I think we made the right choices for our band with each release.

Had you planned on moving to a bigger label following that release or did you have plans to release more with TH?

Originally we had planned on releasing our first full length with Tragic Hero, and when we started tracking the record that was where it was going to end up. After we had a couple songs finished I played them for a friend of mine at Tooth and Nail/Solid State and she put me in touch with our new a&r at the label who was really interested in the band. They ended up working out a deal that was beneficial to both the band and Tragic for us to move up to Solid State. We were really stoked on the opportunity to move up to a larger label and Solid State was a place that we felt was a great home for our band.

Obviously, you have prior connections to the Tooth & Nail family from your time with Sullivan. How does it feel being back with the label, though this time on Solid State? How did all of that come together?

I’m really stoked on how it all came together, Solid State was a place I felt the band would fit in really well and would eventually most likely move to, I didn’t know that it would happen so fast but I think that rules and we couldn’t be more stoked to release this record with them.

Your Solid State debut, Myself < Letting Go, releases on May 18th. What can you tell us about the album?

Yes the record comes out May 18th, I know everyone in every band says this, and I guess if you don’t you’re doing it wrong but, it really is the best record that I’ve been a part of to date. Its a collection of 10 new songs that I love to play and I still listen to the tracks and get excited. Ryan Clark at Invisible Creature did the artwork and it rules! It feels like forever since we posted new music on our various pages so I’m really pumped to get some new music up and share it with anyone who wants to listen.

Should we be expecting a similar sound to your EP or have you guys changed anything up?

Hmm, well it is a bit different, and every band matures over the course of time/releases for sure. I’d say its definitely the same genre of music and everything but I think the heavy parts are heavier and the pretty parts are prettier haha. On our ep theres only one line of singing, this record has more singing but its def still in support of the music where its called for. My brother also came in to hang at the studio while we were tracking and he did guest vocals on one of the songs so that was awesome, the song turned out to be a really creepy almost portishead meets tsow vibe. We went through some lineup changes as well since the ep so that plays a role, but I def think if you liked the ep you will really dig this record and at the same time we feel it is light years better than our ep so hopefully we can capture the attention of some people that didn’t necessarily dig the ep.

Where did you guys end up recording the album and with whom? Who handled the mixing?

We recorded the album with Brooks Paschal and Tyson Shipman (for those of you who knew Sullivan they were our singer and guitarist), they have an incredible studio down in Winter Springs Florida called The Fort. We spent about 5 weeks tracking the record with them and had a killer time, they really helped make our songs better and see things from a different point of view thats tough to have when you’re operating from inside your own band. The record was mixed by Jason Seucof at his studio which also happens to be in Florida. He did a killer job and hes done some huge heavy records (August Burns Red, Job for a Cowboy, Trivium) so we were beyond stoked to have his help on this record.

Have you guys picked the single yet? When can we expect to start hearing new songs?

We have picked the first single on the record, its the first track called “Darkness Often Yields the Brightest Light” and we will be posting new songs weekly from the record starting the second week of April and leading up to the relesase.

Do you plan on doing, or have you filmed, a video? Are there any details you can share?

Yes we actually just got the final cut back for “Darkness” and it looks rad! We shot the video with Iron Curtain Media Group, they recently did Inhale/Exhales video for “Did You Ever Have a Touch to Lose” if you are familiar with that. We had 3 days to shoot the video and a ton of rad props/set design so it was a really awesome experience and def more was put into this video than anything else I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of.

I’m assuming you’ll be hitting some of the summer festivals, but what kind of touring plans do you have once the album is released?

Yes that’s the plan, right now we have a ton of stuff in the works starting with some CD release shows in NC then we will be hitting the road. I can’t say who will we be with yet but I can tell you that we will be hitting as many places as possible this summer throughout the US and Canada. Then we have some Australian plans in the works as well for after!

Before we wrap up, I have to ask a few questions about This Runs Through, since that is how I first met you years ago. You had just signed with Facedown Records and recorded some material before breaking up. What brought the band to its early end?

Man that was such a great time in all of our lives, we were young and didn’t know much about the music industry and were just out there having a blast touring and making friends. It was at a critical time in our lives when a few people wanted to get real jobs and not tour anymore, that was pretty much it, I know a lot of people probably think we broke up because Spencer got offered the Underoath position but the truth is that had nothing to do with it. We had been broken up for a couple months before Spee fronted UO and I was already jamming with the Sullivan guys.

Are the two songs on their most recent CD/DVD collection the only ones you ever recorded for Facedown?

Yes those were some demos we recorded to show the direction of the new material, we had writen a few other songs but those were the only two that ever got recorded or played out live.

El Shaddai Records recently announced that it re-releasing Until Forever Finds Me (Indianola Records). The label has hinted that there will be some extras on the album as well. Do you know what those extras might include?

To my knowledge it will be the first time all 7 songs we recorded will be available on the same disc along with some new artwork. I’m not sure what else is going to be included but I’m looking forward to seeing the cd!

Any hopes for a TRT reunion/side project in the future?

Man I have no clue haha, we’re all pretty busy currently but I can’t say it won’t ever happen, I think we’d all have a blast getting together and trying to remember the songs.

Thanks for doing the interview, is there anything you’d like to share with our readers in closing?

Thanks so much Josh, I come and check IVM out pretty much every day and enjoy reading it! To anyone out there that took the time to read this, thank you so much, seriously you have no idea how much that means to me and all the dudes in tsow. We really enjoy doing this and without sites like this and people like you it wouldn’t be possible.

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