Interview With Sonic Wolves!!!
1. When did the band form and how did you guys meet……?
VITA: I met Kayt in person when she came to visit Italy (until that moment we were only web friends with mutual friends) in May 2012. We started jamming together almost immediately. The band officially began as Tsutar a couple of months later when Kayt moved to Italy. About a year later, she and I decided to re-start the band from the top because it wasn’t really working out in the way we were expecting it to with our former guitarists. We also decided at that time to change the name to Sonic Wolves. Paul, who was the keyboardist in Tsutar, re-joined the band on guitar and vocals. Diniz joined us a month later and completed the lineup, just in time for our first show.
KAYT: As Vita said, when I moved to Italy in 2012, the plan we had made for starting a band was already in motion. In Tsutar, we went through what felt like a lot of trials before deciding to start over and the four of us came together for this Sonic Wolves lineup. Paul not only played in Tsutar with us, but he and I also played guitar in Psyconauts, his former project. I got to work with him a lot and see first hand what he could do with a guitar. I knew he would be perfect for Sonic Wolves. Our first meeting with Diniz was originally intended to be an audition, but it ended as a full blown rehearsal. We never met him before that and we had no idea if or how he would fit in with us. Well, we found our missing link within an hour of meeting him and playing a little bit. Talk about great luck. Bringing Diniz and Paul into the band last year was the best move we could have made. Well worth the one year wait from when we disbanded Tsutar until the formation of today’s lineup of Sonic Wolves. We are really excited about our future.
PAUL: I met Vita years before starting to play with Sonic Wolves. I was already an Ufomammut fan when we met. A few years later my sister got in touch with him to play in Tsutar. I met Kayt at that time, though I wasn’t in the band yet. I started playing keyboard and synth with them, but later on the band crashed and burned. A year later Vita called me back to be in the band as a guitarist. Meanwhile, the band changed the name.
DINIZ: I joined the band in August 2015, after a mutual friend told me about Sonic Wolves and gave me their demo. I was amazed by that kind of sound. So powerful and so rock and roll at the same time. So different from what I was used to.
2.how has the response been on your album wolf witch …? And the single (he said )…k
DINIZ: We have a lot of positive response on the single, which is almost sold out. Positive reviews all around Europe and USA for the demo too.
PAUL: I think we received the feedback we expected from the demo. “He Said” is a kind of mix between the new lineup and the older Tsutar stuff. The B-side, “Song For The Earthbound”, is the first song ever composed in the Tsutar era, while the A-side, “He Said”, is the last one. So it’s a lot of things all mixed together. Diniz and I maintained the original guitar lines of the songs. They were already written but we mixed in our unique sounds. Diniz added his amazing atmospheric style, and I threw myself into the songs mixing in my guitar with solos and all other guitar stuff, like using different tones and effects. We’ve done exactly the same on our debut album. We did a great job, of course!
VITA: “Wolfwitch” had a good response, despite the fact that it was recorded when Sonic Wolves was not exactly a band yet but just a duo. It was in Dec. of 2014 when Kayt and I wanted to record a demo, so we asked Stefano Tocci (ex “I.C.O.” and currently in “Karl Marx Was A Broker” and “Deaf Eyes”) to take care of both recording sessions, as studio engineer and guitarist. The lineup on the “Wolfwitch” demo never even rehearsed together as a band. The 7″ single “He Said” was released to introduce the first full length (Before the End Comes) that will be out in a few weeks. So far, it has had a good response. The Italian label Taxi Driver Records released it as a limited 150 copies and as Diniz said, they are running out.
KAYT: So far the response has been very positive. With the “Wolfwitch” demo, we got a some great reviews on it. Since it was just an introduction of ourselves to the world, we think it did its job by setting the stage for our new and upcoming releases. The “He Said” single has been getting quite a bit more attention. We have been very pleased with the overall responses from fans and reviewers. Hopefully we keep the momentum going with “Before The End Comes” too.
3.what can we expect from sonic wolves in 2016…?
DINIZ: To see us around a lot!
PAUL: The more we play, the more Sonic Wolves becomes a tribe, not just a band. Great things are coming together at the rehearsals. So, stay tuned! Sonic Wolves will surprise you more and more!
KAYT: They said it! We are going to be stepping up our efforts to get on the road in Europe this year and the USA as soon as we can. We have been talking with promoters in Australia as well. We have had a few invitations from various venues and promoters already, so it’s time to consolidate and coordinate a tour. After our full length is out, we plan on moving forward.
VITA: We definitely will be recording the second album as well. We have songs that are becoming “old” already.. haha.. We are focusing our efforts on booking a European tour before the end of this year. It’s a work in progress.
4.how would best describe your music ….?
VITA: I think Sonic Wolves plays heavy rock’n’roll inspired by hard rock from 70’s and heavy metal from 80’s. Personally, I grew up with that music, I was in my early teens in the middle of the 80’s so I love hard rock and heavy metal more than anything.
KAYT: I look at our music as being a culmination of all our favorite aspects of rock and metal- however mixed and varied those influences might be within a single song. Keeps it interesting for us. We just play what we feel and it works because we all agree on what those best aspects are. We are influenced by heavy rock, metal, blues and psychedelic stuff from the 60’s/70’s through the 90’s. Our objective is to combine these elements in a heavy style and try to do the music justice. Oh yeah, and to rock out!
5.who are some of your major influences ..?
PAUL: I started playing guitar at the age of 6 because of my father and mother. They used to listen to country and folk music. Sometimes we would all sit on the floor together singing and playing those songs. That’s how all began for me. Over the years I have listened to a lot of music and I fell in love with thrash metal at the age of 12. A friend of mine gave me the “Black Album” on cassette and I spent more than a year listening to that awesome record only. One day I decided to start to playing metal. I went to a record store searching for a good book to begin studying this music with. I found the “Kill‘em All Tablatures Book” and you could certainly hear my “Kirk Hammet side” on the upcoming album. In these last years I moved on to 60’s/70’s music, including the southern rock of that period. In particular, I love The Doors, Jimi Hendrix , Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, Steppenwolf and many others. I had my grunge period- I love Soundgarden and Pearl Jam which are my inspirations, in particular due to Eddie Vedder’s voice and lyrics. I also dedicate a very large part of my life to the study of vibrations, mantras and Eastern-European religions. I started practicing Traditional Chinese Kung Fu which is a very important part of my life. I also love ambient music. I used to listen to Indian mantras while preparing myself for an important event or just when I go to bed at night. About a couple of years ago, I discovered God Is An Astronaut, and they also became one of my greatest influences.
VITA: My personal influences for my drumming in Sonic Wolves come from all those hard rock bands like Deep Purple, Sir Lord Baltimore, Grand Funk Railroad, Captain Beyond, Rainbow, Steppenwolf, MC5, Lucifer’s Friend, etc, as well as heavy metal bands like Motorhead and AC/DC (I know, they do not play heavy metal), Metallica, Iron Maiden, Anvil, etc. I love how those bands punch you in the face with their attitude and playing style. It is exactly the same goal that Sonic Wolves has.
KAYT: All of what Vita mentioned plus Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Hard Stuff and Bloodrock. I too love metal and thrash. Everything from early Metallica, Slayer and DRI, to more sludgy bands such as Grief and Unsane. Lately though, Dickie Peterson’s vocals and playing style are a big influence me. He always appeared to me to be so relaxed and in control while he played. He was a really nice guy too as I had the pleasure of conversing with him at a few Blue Cheer shows. He seemed like a beautiful human being to me and that makes it easy to admire and be inspired by him. I also dig Janis Joplin a lot. Her vocal intensity and attitude are both things I can identify with. She inspires me every day. Lemmy, Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) and George Biondo (Steppenwolf) are also huge inspirations and influences for me. In my way of thinking, each of these musicians left an unmistakable mark on music and the world by bringing a very real and intense style- something that we as a band try to carry on in our music.
As you can see, we all have similar influences and some different tastes and inspirations as well. I think that’s awesome because it helps us to bring a more varied approach to our music.
6.can you tell us about some of your touring experiences…?
VITA: We started to play live less than a year ago so we have only had a few shows until now. But, we will be touring at the earliest opportunity. I’d like to mention that last December we played a festival at Forte Guercio, in Alessandria, Italy, close to where we live. There were a lots of bands that night and our set, according to the schedule, was to begin at 1 am. Then it was pushed back to 2 am, 2:30 and so on until we finally got to go on at 3:30am. We couldn’t even put our ultra heavy gear on the weak stage because it wasn’t safe, so we had to put everything on a bumpy and very uneven cobblestone floor. It turned out to be a great show surrounded by the crowd on the floor. It was really funny. We loved that show and the crowd was really into it.
KAYT: Yes, the Forte Guercio show was somethin’ else. I tripped many a time on those cobblestones through the course of our set. Midway through our set, during the bass intro of “Obscured”which is not a loud intro at all, one of the more inebriated ladies started talking to me as I was playing and slurred in a loud, yet very sweet way “Kayt…you want some more wiiiiiine??” hahahaha..good times. Of course I said “YES!”. I am certainly looking forward to having more stories from the road for you sometime soon.
7.can you describe the metal scene in Italy ….?
PAUL: We had a very good scene in the 70’s and 80’s. In northern Italy we had a lot of good metal bands during that period. At the moment I think there could be a great chance to have a good metal scene, but we have to start cooperating between bands to have it.
KAYT: My band mates obviously know how to answer this question better than I do, but I will share with you what I have learned and seen. I’ve only been here in Italy for 4 years and so far and I have mostly paid attention to the immediate scene that Sonic Wolves is involved in. For now, anyway. It’s still a somewhat new country to me and there is a lot to take in and understand fully. I see that there is an influx of newer and/or younger bands which seem to be paving the way to a better future here for underground musicians. There’s Temple Of Dust, Psychedelic Witchcraft, Krownn, Tons, Black Rainbows and Eremite just to name a few. I have seen some great shows here full of love and enthusiasm for the music. I have found it to be full of supportive people from the fans to the labels to the sound engineers. Of course it’s not perfect and there are some who don’t share the vision of making a more united metal/rock scene here. However, I mostly see people here trying to make the scene work and I think it’s really encouraging.
VITA: Despite the fact that Italy doesn’t have a strong rock culture, it has always had great heavy/hard rock bands. In addition to the Italian prog rock scene from the 70’s (Goblin, P.F.M., New Trolls, Le Orme, Area, Biglietto Per L’Inferno, Osanna, etc) there’s also the hard core/punk/metal scene from the 80’s and 90’s (Raw Power, Negazione, Upset Noise, Extrema, Bulldozer, Death SS, etc). The big problem is that Italians in general think that rock bands coming from other countries are always better than Italian rock bands, which of course isn’t always case. It would help a lot if some of the more established bands would support and help other bands more, while trying to create a real and solidified Italian metal scene. Currently Italy has many others metal bands that have been getting their names out and traveling around the world, such as Secret Sphere, Cripple Bastards, The Secrets, OVO, Zu, Ufomammut, Morkobot, Paul Chain, Lento, Isaak, Zippo, Doomraiser, Mortuary Drape, OJM, I.C.O., Lacuna Coil, etc., so we have a lot to work with when it comes to building a better scene here.
8.can you tell us about what your listing to or would like to share ….?
DINIZ: I listen to a lot of different stuff, psychedelic rock, post-punk, noise music, modern electronic and punk rock. Two of my favorite albums ever are Low by David Bowie and Unknown Pleasure by Joy Division, but I’d like to share some Moby, Sonic Youth and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club too.
PAUL: I think that Mark Lanegan is a very good artist and that Dave Grohl could be an inspiration for everyone. I started to listen to the stoner-rock music such as Kyuss, Josh Homme and his QOTSA which is an amazing band . “Songs for the Deaf” is on the top of my list of my favourite albums. Sleep of course is another, but my favourite bands are Acrimony and Spirit Caravan. I also listen to Ufomammut a lot, but I can’t define myself as a doom listener.
VITA: I could mention some albums that inspired me a lot as drummer, as they are always in my car stereo. I’m talking about Closer To Home and E Pluribus Funk (Grand Funk Railroad), Rainbow- Dio’s era, Slow Flux and 7 (Steppenwolf), Atom Heart Mother (Pink Floyd), Lucifer’s Friend (self title), Restrictions (Cactus), the 3 MC5 official albums, Revolver (Beatles), Iron Fist, We Are Motorhead and Sacrifice (Motorhead), Master Of Puppets (Metallica), The American Way (Sacred Reich), etc.. Holy ravioli Batman, I almost forgot one, the debut album “Before The End Comes” by Sonic Wolves, that will be out very soon.
KAYT: Holy ravioli Batman…Vita keeps stealing my answers. We love the same music obviously. Lately, I have been listening to Hard Stuff, Savoy Brown, Grand Funk Railroad, Lynryd Skynyrd, Janis, Bloodrock ,Clutch and Mothership. I am really into watching 70’s cult biker and horror movies and studying their soundtracks. A lot of that music is incredible. I’m always looking for “new” old stuff to inspire me. As long as it’s real and it rocks, I’m into it. We’d like to thank you so much for the interview. Rock on!