Summon: How did the band get started?
Steve: I was playing a local show with my other band and there were some really bad metal bands playing. They were total hacks, no originality, playing the same old bad covers; the whole nine yards. Complete lame assed cookie cutter flavor of the week clichés. Needless to say I got drunk and annoyed enough that I walked around to all my buds and told four of them we were starting a new metal band to be a mix of everything heavy while staying original straight forward and honest. I really needed therapy at that point! ….one of those guys ended up being our original bassist.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Steve: Hmm, that’s a hard one! We don’t know! hahaha! All we know is it’s what we want to play. It’s a mix of everything we love. We have free reign to go in whatever direction we want with no walls or box around us. So, what do we play? We play all forms of metal and punk. We have been told we are too punk for metal and too metal for punk! What the hell does that mean?! Haha! Oh well…. I’ve always hated genres as I feel all of it is really Rock anyway. To try to describe where we can or do go here are some genres we identify with some of the time; Sludge/Doom, Stoner, Crust, Psychedelic, Grind, Thrash/Speed, Hardcore, Post Punk and Post Hardcore, to Shoegazer, Math, Djent, Death and Noise. Very often we are a couple of those in one song! If I left anything out, add that too. I hope along the way we touch on or even better invent more!
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Steve: It has been great, the album has been very well received.
Jon: We are surprised at the attention we have got overseas as much as locally and nationally.
Steve: We have been at this before so we know how over-saturated the market is and do not expect or want to be rock-stars! Hahaaha! We also realize we do not like popular music or the big thing everyone is into. Many of the bands we like are not very “big”, they stay underground so we expect the same. The internet, Facebook and Bandcamp have all been very helpful, years ago we didn’t have all that so it’s refreshing to see it all working.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Steve: That is a good question. We were all shooting names back and forth for awhile and one night after practice we were hanging out after having a beer and my German Shepard walked by. I have always had a love for wolves, so when the conversation about dogs and where they come from came up, Pat, our first bassist, suggested “From Wolves”? I replied no “OF WOLVES”! And that was it. We all agreed and never looked back. It fits me, the band and our music in many ways. Including our pack-like/wolf mentality and how we react to others and each other haaha! It’s kinda funny, in a way we are really called Dog,… but then again not really…. Hahaha.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Steve: I play guitar and sing. Haha. Well, scream….. Jon Kulpit, plays drums and does back ups vocals. We recently found this motherfucker Zac to play bass. He’s been doing some back up vox too. I recorded the bass as well as the other strange sounds and instruments you hear on Evolve.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Jon: Steve writes the lion’s share.
Steve: you mean Wolfs share! hahaha
Jon: Typically we jam out each forming our parts organically. Some are random jams, many if not most are Steve bringing in his ideas whether they are preconceived riffs or song concepts and we build on those. Some of the older songs he had everything in his head or had already played or recorded them etc. Very often Steve has a direction or thoughts on how he wants a song, but I like to think we all do our part.
Steve: Ha! We?! Hahahaha.
Jon: Anyway… Yea, Steve writes almost all the words and does pretty much everything. He’s a really hard working dude and never seems to stop. When do you sleep?
Steve: hahaha, yeah I’ll sleep when I’m dead, nah I get sleep, enough anyway and yeah I write the music and the lyrics, Jon writes the rhythms. Of course we all give each other input as well.
Jon: Yeah, after his accident he quickly (I think in one sitting each?) wrote and played all the tribal, acoustic and psychedelic stuff on the album at the last minute after I thought the whole album was done. I am glad he did, some of my favorite parts and our fans too.
Steve: Hahaha. I got three more albums waiting!! I am looking for side projects!
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Steve: Everything is about shit that pisses me off! Everything from religion, stupidity, ignorance, greed, politics, traffic, killing sprees, drug addicts…… I got stories about that…..NEVER TRUST A JUNKIE!
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Steve: Well, I do not believe in God or Satan anymore than I believe in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. I do think there has to be one if there is the other so it defeats both fairy-tales for me. Although Anton Lavey was an interesting read and not at all what I expected way back when I read it, some of those concepts are good ones and things I also believe in, some not so much. I am not a fan of rules or traditions so religions themselves are just a thing of the past to me, a form of control. The Illuminati believe Lucifer is the enlightened one and the actual one true god where as Jesus is the fake! As Lucifer was a Roman God, the bearer of light and the personification of enlightenment, later Jesus’s story was based on this concept. Why else would THE real god not want you to eat from the tree of knowledge (why would god not want you to have knowledge, if he is the one who gave us this brain to think with in the first place?) hahaha Anyway, the concepts however hold true in many ways. I believe in balance; good/evil, right/wrong, up/down, hot/cold, etc… Energy is very real. Maybe Jesus and Satan are aliens! Id be more inclined to believe then! ahaha! I have been interested in the occult most of my life and have found myself to be what I like to call a Naturalist. Like I said, energy and matter is everything, I am not religious in any way, but I am quite spiritual. I meditate daily. Everything that exists is made of matter, we all come from the same building blocks. Energy exists in everything and ties us all together whether we know or understand it, it is a fact. Nothing is solid, color does not exist; everything is just how we perceive it to be. Jon anything to add?
Jon: No you said more than enough
Steve: like that’s ever a surprise! ahahaha
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Jon: This was our full length debut. We released a 7″ early on that sold out very quickly. We are about to go back in the studio this summer to keep the momentum. Like Steve stated earlier we have lots of material just waiting to be recorded.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Steve: The songs vary from frustration with the human race for its ignorance and laziness to theft and junkies. Many are about the sins of our fathers, of man.
Jon: One song is about bad breath….
Steve: haha yeah! But more specifically, we have a song on the album that deals with prejudice and hate and another that is about religion and how it holds us all back. For the most part they all deal with mankind’s evolution.
Jon: Except the bad breath….
Steve: That one has a story all its own
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Jon: Yes. We all have multiple side projects.
Steve: I have my other band called Halftone. Its very different than OF WOLVES. Like I said before, I believe in balance, and I am working on a couple more right now as I am constantly writing.
Jon: I play drums for a couple different bands, City In A Garden and band. They are also very different from OF WOLVES.
Summon: Who are some of your musical Influences?
Steve: Well as a kid Metallica made me love metal and want to play guitar. The Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat and Fear made me love punk. Then things just kept mixing; guitar wise, John Haggerty from Naked Raygun and Pegboy was a huge influence on my style and sound, as well as Tim Sult from Clutch, and Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth, Paul Leary from the Butthole Surfers, Ian Mackaye from Fugazi, and everything Steve Albini has done. Other major influences? Danzig, Godflesh, Scott Ian, I LOVE S.O.D.!, Alice Donut, Sleep, High On Fire, Brutal Truth and Napalm Death, Obituary, Pink Floyd, Nuclear Assault, Cro-mags, Bad Brains, The Accused, Max and Sepultura, Agnostic Front, Captain Beefheart, Suicidal Tendencies, DRI, Pailhead, Slayer, Neurosis, At The Drive-In, Refused, Tom Waits, Nick cave, Pj Harvey, Electric Wizard, QOTSA, more recently The Young Widows, These Arms Are Snakes, Daughters, Hot Snakes, Disfear, Doomriders, Baroness and stuff like Red Sparrows and Shipping News.
Jon: I agree mostly… what about Megadeth!
Steve: Oh yeah, Megadeth!
Jon: And Fu Manchu, Melvins, Big Business
Steve: Man! How’d I forget those…?!? Well shit, we could go and on and on I love music and there is so much out there you could search and find more till you die and still not hear it all
Summon: Which current bands?
Steve: Well since we hit that in the last question…there are also tons of really cool and unique bands in Chicago, bands Like What?, Arbogast, Making Ghosts, Faces of The Bog, Pale Horseman, Eske, Jar’d Loose, Rollo Tomasi, Shifting Totem, Vicious Attack, Johnny Vomit, Pig Champion, I Hate People, Spare Change, Cokegoat, Those Mutherfuckers, In the Weeds, Scientist, I know I’m forgetting some.
Jon: Yea, like Czar, Beak, Indian, Hot Dang, Terminal Man, Idecline, and don’t forget the almighty Splooge Witch!
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Jon: Sweaty stinky and passing gas! Hahahaha.
Steve: Yeah, sweating buckets for sure but stinky? that’s you Jon! Dude’s always passing gas and doesn’t even know it!
Jon: Fuck you man! Hahaha.
Steve: We have a saying in the band, if you’re not hurting, then you’re not doing it right. We push ourselves close to the point of blacking out.
Jon: Yea, and sometimes we get way too close! We were told by one promoter we scared the crowd.
Steve: haha That made us laugh! Because we don’t see ourselves as a scary band, we are just getting things out of our systems, letting it all out….when we explained she said that’s what she meant. This is therapy for us and we think it shows.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Jon: No. We are looking for the right opportunity to get out in front of our European fan base, but we are pretty sure Steve is on the no fly list.
Steve: Anyone got a boat?
Jon: shit a boatload of money!?? ahaha
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Steve: We are growing quickly. Faster than we expected and we are finding many hard core fans along the way! The size of the crowd depends on who, where and when ya know?
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Jon: We seem to catch some people off guard but we draw them in and they seem to almost absorb us.
Steve: We always joke that many people seem to look, at least at first, like they don’t know what to think! haha It seems like as things start off jaws are hanging open and there are looks of surprise. Its the same kinda thing, depends on when and where, but we always grab a couple really die hard fans and we like that.
Jon: Yeah, we hear great things, but when we are up there we are in our zone, a lot of time we don’t really even notice what’s going on.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Steve: Lots of great Death Metal Bands, I mean in general with genres etc, but there are some great bands for sure, so much has changed over the years… But its great to see so many great newer bands just getting stringer and stringer on each release and many of our old favorites as well! Like Jungle Rot, The Black Dahlia Murder, Dying Fetus, Misery Index. We just recently played with our buds in Macabre. Master! Shit I could go on and on here as well, then I want to get into other genres like Grindcore! Brutal Truth! haaha
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Steve: There has always been so much great music coming in from overseas… I mean growing up to stuff like Kreator, Sabbat, Destruction, Raw Power! Lots of great things happening musically all over the globe and we see many great bands coming in. Gorjira is a big favorite for me for a long time now. hmm what else…stuff like Rotten Sound and Martyrdöd. Boris was just here…. and Bolt Thrower too! Dammit i missed em this time. Cancer Bats were just here again and Voivod just released a new one that is killer! Sabbat! Amon Amarth and One Man Army, Turbonegro, I suppose we could go on and on, but we love that we have fans overseas and really hope we can figure out a way to tour out and about more.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Steve: Well first thing that comes to mind is Obituary! We’re Dying! My souls in helllll Cause of Death is still one of the greatest death albums of all time to me, we hope to work with James Murphy in the future. Entombed. Do people consider them death? Genres are so weird to me. Same with Napalm Death, I kinda think of them as grind or grindcore……Pungent Stench! Master! Gorguts, Brujeria, Carcass! Dying Fetus! But new? How new?
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Steve: We are constantly writing new material and are about to record the next songs very shortly. We always have more and we still have a fairly large back catalog we are trying to catch up on, there is an over abundance as we really do consider this therapy and life gives us lots of inspiration!
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Steve: A LOT! As we mentioned back in the studio shortly. I think we said most of this already but we will be going further and further out musically, we have a grind/blast beat song we been working on and a really really slowed down cover that we have been told is the most vile song ever and we agree. We think it will be perfect for a slasher film! Aahaha So we are also working on a badass covers record but that will be away down the road as we are going to be picky about what ends up on it and there are so many awesome songs we can butcher!
Jon: In the immediate future, and in between recording, we are planning on a small tour or 2, and playing in the Midwest and around our hometown, Chicago
Steve: Besides local and Midwest tours, we plan to go as far out as our budget can get us. We really want to hit the coasts and dream of getting overseas but talk is much cheaper than gas! haahha Seriously though, with our buget being what it is, besides putting on the shows and tours we can ourselves we are looking for representation and tour management… but we are realists and are concentrating our efforts. Either way we will continue the therapy so you don’t end up seeing us on the news…
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