The Ghost Wolves
The Ghost Wolves are a new, cutting edge rock duo based out of Austin, Texas. Formed in early 2011, they have been carving their own groove in the independent American music scene over the last 3 years - self-releasing two short format recordings, multiple DIY music videos, and touring relentlessly in the USA, where their earth-shattering live shows have earned them a fiercely loyal and ever growing following. Their first full length album, "Man, Woman, Beast," will be released on Plowboy Records this May, 2014.
Carley, 23 years old, guitar and vocals, and Jonny, 26 years old, drums, met in 2007 and have been inseparable since. But the idea to have a band together came to them in 2011 when their other gigs were on the outs.
"When I met Carley, she had a classical acoustic guitar." Jonny explains. "I wanted to hear her turn it the fuck up. She sold it and bought an amplifier. I came home one night and she was wailing in the living room. It was like unchaining a beast."
Rocking out in their living room quickly led to gigs around their hometown of Austin. Writing their own songs, they began to dig into a sound all their own - an intoxicating blend of blues voodoo, psychedelic rock, and a punk-garage-stomp attitude, with a turbo-shot of guitar fuzz and thud-smash drum beats.
Gigs in Austin led to gigs around Texas - Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth, and then to tours in the rest of the USA. They recorded their first EP, "In Ya Neck!", at a home studio in Bastrop, TX, trading work hours weeding, gardening, repairing fence, and painting for hours in the studio. They self released the EP in August of 2011.
During this time touring in the USA, unbeknownst to the band, their music was being played all over the world. Through the power of the internet, major European radio station FM4 had picked up on their EP and was broadcasting it across Germany, Austria, and the Czech republic. The Italian version of Rolling Stone magazine featured their music, calling it "stomping blues-garage-punk possessed by who knows what kind of demon...". In Ireland, the legendary DJ BP Fallon had featured them on his weekly BBC internet radio broadcast, "The Wang Dang Doodle." Japanese fashion designers from the Hysteric Glamour label, visiting Nashville, TN on location photographing Jack White, saw the band perform, fell in love, and wrote about them in their magazine back home in Japan.
The idea for recording a full length album came from a Canadian - a no-nonsense music industry veteran named Ben Richardson. The Ghost Wolves were travelling for several weeks opening for Austin rock legend Alejandro Escovedo, whom Ben was tour managing for. One night, after the show, he offered to put them in the best studio in Austin for as long as was needed to cut a kick ass LP. "We had written a bunch of songs that year, 20 or so. We lived in rural Tennessee for a while, in a farm house, writing all day, every day. We had spent all of our recording budget on a session earlier in the year, which didn't quite pan out - we had scrapped the whole thing. So we were grateful for Ben to help us." Carley explains.
The band convened in January 2013 at Arlyn studios, the famed large-scale facility just off of south congress avenue where legends like Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, and Frank Sinatra had recorded over the years. Gordie Johnson, frontman for Canadian band Big Sugar, and producer of the last three Gov't Mule records, joined Ben and the band in the control room as engineer/producer.
"Imagine us at this point - we started this band in our living room! Now we're in this world class studio, where all of these huge names have recorded, working with this incredible team." "It was a total trip." Jonny says .
The band cut 10 tracks over the course of 4 days. "It was a whirlwind. It felt good to hear the songs come to life on tape. We got the tones and performances we wanted. Huge guitar and drum sounds. Gordie and Ben were so great at facilitating that." Carley explains.
They dubbed the album "Man, Woman, Beast". "It's who we are. We're big into the team aspect of being in a band - sort of like - on our own, just a man and a woman, but together - something entirely different. The album represents everything we've done as a duo over the last 3 years." Jonny explains.
There's a second meaning to the "beast" part as well - the band has been known to tour with a pack of majestic 100+ pound arctic wolf hybrids, who ride with them in the van to shows, and often can be see hanging by the merchandise table. It would sound like a tall tale if you didn't actually see it with your own eyes. Carley was raised in the rural hill country of Texas with these animals, who were originally rescues taken in by her animal-whisperer father. They inspired the band name and also their ferocious take on music.
"We're all about bands who shake things up a bit when they play." Carley says, grinning ear to ear, "Like, you hear them, and go, what the fuck is that? That's awesome! That's what it's all about."