“We are still continuing to find our identity” – Interview with Bad Wolves

Author Arto Mäenpää - 14.2.2024

Platinum-certified hard rock outfit Bad Wolves started the year 2024 with a bang by releasing a new heavy song “Knife“.  The track features scream vocals from vocalist/guitarist AJ Rebollo (ex-Issues), who recently appeared on tour filling in on guitars for Bad Wolves on their winter 2023 tour dates with Bush and Eva Under FireChaoszine interviewed the band via email about their latest album “Die About It” which saw the daylight in November and you can read the entire chat with drum maestro / band founding member John Boecklin below:

How has the year 2024 been so far with Bad Wolves?

John Boecklin: With the release of our new record “Die About It” we did a tour with Bush in 2023, we released a new song called “Knife” in the top of 2024 and we are now plotting a new tour, which we’ll be announcing soon. And we have summer festivals here and there in America. So that’s about how everything has been.

What were the highlights of 2023?

John Boecklin: Releasing our new record “Die About It”. Being at radio with “Legends never die”, which is now at number three at active rock.

Obviously there was a lot of great albums released in 2023 so were there any albums you would like to recommend to our readers which you came across last year or some new bands that you discovered?

John Boecklin: My favorite new band that’s been around for a couple years now is a band called Alluvial and they
released an EP recently last year that is called “Death is but a door”. That is what I really like.

You also released a new album with Bad Wolves “Die About It” in November. What kind of feedback you guys have gotten on the album and have you been pleased with it?

John Boecklin: I don’t know. I don’t really read feedback.

How closely do you follow what the media writes about your band or do you try to stay away from it?

John Boecklin: As I just said I don’t really follow it. Sometimes you can’t escape comment sections and the comment
sections have been overwhelmingly positive.

Your album feels very personal to you and I feel that you sort of found your own identity as a band on this album. Do you agree with me?

John Boecklin: Yeah, I think we tried more things, experimented more on this album and this album was very.. it took a long time to write, but I didn’t feel challenged by it. It was a lot more fun than writing “Dear Monsters” that way, so I think we’re still gonna continue to find our identity. I don’t think this album will shape who we are, but we will continue to experiment.

Musically the album was very diverse. Was that also the plan that you wanted to push the boundaries a bit more musically or did it just happen naturally?

John Boecklin: I think it happened naturally out of boredom of writing what we had been writing before. I think we
wanted the heavier to be heavier and the soft to be softer, but the soft stuff feels more oriented towards 80s synth stuff rather than like Staind or Chevelle or just like rock. We tried to put a modern twist on pop music with it.

Do you spend a lot of time on social media yourself? What’s your own opinion about it?

John Boecklin: No, I do not. No, I think there are rockstars or people out there that are very good at it, singularly.
But I think a band’s social media, specially on Instagram, I think is declining in importance. Tik Tok is a great, great medium to spread, to have luck and spread your song out whether a person, you know, makes the song go viral or not. But I feel that Tik-Tok videos of bands following trends is dying. I feel like, Instagram, you’ve got bands like Bad Omens who can wipe their socials and stuff like that. I think it still stands as the most powerful tool for a band that is starting off, to spread the word and get that stuff out. I think once you’re really solidified as the top artist and stuff like that, I think social media becomes less important. But then there’s people who are like Ronnie Radke who are just straight entertaining to watch no matter what. If he was in music or not, I’d be watching his Instagram and his stories and stuff like that. So it just depends on the person and how much I can connect to what you’re doing.

This is the second album you have done with Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz as your vocalist. Do you think that you can hear it somehow from the album? Was it easier to make this album with him since you knew him and his abilities as a vocalist better?

John Boecklin: This album was not as rushed. This album was easier to make than “Dear Monsters”, it just took longer. And I think we were all very excited to get “Dear Monsters” behind us, so this album came to us with a bit more freedom. There were some internal disagreements here and there about directions in the earlier process but other than that this album was smooth, those disagreements being certain members wanted things to be heavier and certain people didn’t, so that’s that.

We made news to our website last September about your former vocalist Tommy Vext saying that he would like to make amends with you. How did this come along? Has he been in touch with you after that and have you been able to make amends?

John Boecklin: Yeah, I saw that video. He didn’t reach out to me. He didn’t reach out to any member. He just made a video. That’s that.

What does the year 2024 hold for Bad Wolves? What kind of future plans do you have?

John Boecklin: I kind of already stated that earlier. We just released a song called “Knife”. It’s a little EP with some other songs off of “Dear Mo… Sorry, off of “Die About It”. We’re gonna be hitting the road in May, or April through May and we’re gonna be doing some other summer festivals, this in America. We just announced Incarceration and a festival with the, you know, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, a bunch of bands, so we’ll be busy.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to talk with me and all the best for the year 2024 to you and your band. Anything you want to say as a closure to all the fans?

John Boecklin: Continue to check out our stuff if you’re a fan and if you’re not, because, you kind of never know what we’re gonna release, as you can tell you’ve got a song like Legends never die” number three at radio and then we hit a song in January called “Knife” that is very very heavy. So we’re kind of always all over the map and having fun with that, so check in with us. Make sure you’re still a fan.