Gene the Werewolf have just released their debut album ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Animal’ on Frontiers. It is a perfect album if you love bands like Kiss, the Darkness and Van Halen…
What are you currently up to?
As odd as it may seem, we are currently in the early stages of writing a new record already. The reason being is that a lot of the songs featured on ‘Rock N’ Roll Animal’ were written and recorded between 2009-2011 and released on two separate albums here in the states. So, what Frontiers choose to release was sort of a retrospective compilation of the bands catalog up til now. In any case, I’d say that we’ll have a new album ready to go by late 2013. Outside of writing, we hope to hope the pond next year to do a tour in support of ‘Rock N’ Roll Animal’ in 2013!
Brief history of how the band formed and how did you hook-up with Frontiers?
Gene The Werewolf formed as a fun departure from our previous bands. We all played in different bands back in the early 00′s. We knew of each other from said bands as we used to share the stage together often. The concept came along in 2007 to start a project together as our bands at that time began to slow down or die off. We wanted to do something insanely different from what was going on at the time as well as give a nod to the music we listened to growing up in the 80′s. One of the more important aspects of the new project was to not take ourselves too seriously and have fun with it. Not to mention that the connection between the guys in this band was immediate as we’d just as often share a beer together as we would write songs.
It didn’t take long for people to gravitate towards the band as local media outlets began referring to the band as Pittsburgh’s ‘Supergroup’. Furthermore, the band’s first show sold out within minutes of doors opening. At that point, we never really looked back and the rest is history!
Frontiers reached out to us earlier this year and said they wanted to put out our record. They were actually really forward about making the deal happen and were confident in us from day one. We knew they would service us well and took the deal with open arms. The story I got from Serafino (Frontiers President) is that a fan of the label played him some of our songs and he was instantly hooked. It’s kind of crazy to think that a record deal still comes together as such in this day and age, but that’s what makes it so cool. It’s an ‘old school’ deal, from an ‘old school’ label, with an ‘old school’ band! Dig it!
Could you take us through the new album ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ Animal’…
The whole concept behind ‘Rock N’ Roll Animal’ was to throw away the songwriters rulebook! It was an ‘anything goes’ type of writing process. It seems that young bands nowadays just craft songs for radio and so few bands actually turn up on the radio, right? So why not just write killer songs that are fun to play live? That’s exactly what we did!
For example, take a look at the album opener ‘Wicked Love’ we have an all instrumental breakdown in the middle of the song that lasts over a minute, a tempo change, and a freakin’ drum solo! Need I say more?
Who have been your musical influences and what made you first want to start making music?
We all come from similar musical backgrounds having all grown up in the 80′s. I think a lot of that youthful classic 80′s rock shows up in our writing. Additionally, we all played in punk bands growing up so I think in some strange ways those tendencies show up as well.
Is rock and metal doing well in the US or is it more a case of established/classic bands still doing well tour wise but a lot harder for newer bands like yourselves to get a break?
Unfortunately, rock and metal are damn near dead in the States. You have a handful of rock bands that still draw strong numbers and they are older acts (i.e. Clutch, Rise Against, etc.). I’m having a hard time thinking of one ‘new’ rock band that has broke onto the scene that draw huge audiences? I guess that’s the point! There are none!
We’ve been lucky to have such a great fan base here at home (Pittsburgh), but outside the immediate tri-state area it’s tough to draw. I guess this is the reason that we don’t tour like we used to?
What have been the live highlights to date and why?
Last Christmas we played our hometown to a sold out 2,500 venue with our friends in The Clarks…that was a pretty incredible date for us! It’s actually still hard to believe that many people turned up to check out some local bands! That’s the great thing about people from Pittsburgh, they are tough to win over but once you do, they stick by your side!
Where would you like to see Gene the Werewolf this time next year?
In a perfect world, we’d be able to quit our day jobs and take this freak show on the road more often. I’d also love to see Japan…I’ve never been on a tour over there!
What do you enjoy doing in your time away from music?
We all work day jobs, so there is little time between ‘the grind’, being in the band together, and our personal lives. But, in my free time I love to get together with old friends for some drinks and to catch up on a couple of laughs. Nothing beats getting rowdy with a few old buddies!
Anything else to add and a message for your fans…
2013 is the year of the Wolf…if we come to your hometown, buy us a drink…make it a double!
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk (Sunday 27 June )
More about Josh
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 4 July 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
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14:00-16:00 DAVID CROSBY For Free (BMG)
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