Shortly after the release of the band’s debut full length album, Wolves At The Gate’s Jeremy Steckel took a little bit of time off from their tour to discuss the new record.
Wolves At The Gate recently signed with Solid State Records, and then months later released their debut full length titled Captors. Check out the interview below and see how this band feels about their success so far and their plans for future endeavors. These are some pretty nice guys so be sure to check them out on their Facebook page as well to scope out their tunes!
For fans who don’t know, how long have WATG been together? How did the band start?
We’ve been been together since the beginning month of 2008, so a little over four years. Steve, our current guitar player and then bass player, and myself went to school together at a small Christian school in Ohio. None of us were super tight friends up until the band started. We met each other and realized we all liked the same kind of music. Steve had written some songs with our buddy Ryan, who used to be our first drummer. He asked me and Ben if we wanted to jam with them. So we started playing songs and writing together. We essentially created Wolves At The Gate then, and a couple of line up changes later we became who we are now.
You’re currently on tour, do you have any big tour plans for next year? Any bands you are hoping to tour with?
Well, we’re at an interesting transition period right now, we actually just signed on for the first time with a booking agency (Pantheon Agency) a week or two ago. Most of the tours we have done up until now have been word of mouth or our manager has helped us find bands to tour with. Starting right now we are in the process of figuring out who we want to tour with for next year. We don’t have anything nailed down yet but we plan on being on the road for the majority of next year.
What’s your favorite thing about touring?
The best part about touring, that all of us would agree with, is expanding our knowledge of the country and getting to meet people. We’re in Portland for example, I don’t think any of us have ever been to Portland. It’s one of those things where we’ve all wanted to do at some point of our lives and now we’re here. We’ve just been exploring all day. There’s a street fair so we’ve been at the street fair trying food that’s not in Ohio. The west coast so far has killer food for us to try
You recently released your debut full length, Captors, with Solid State Records. How has that experience differed from your self released EP?
With the EP, we had written those songs a long time ago. We recorded that album the summer of 2010. So we recorded it two years ago and have played those songs for a while at shows. We really wanted to put out a full length because the EP was just a little slice of Wolves At The Gate. Because it did well enough we toured on that for a while. We were just dying to get in the studio because we had all this material. I think Captors is who we are today and the EP was who we were a little while ago. As a musician it feels really good to finally have a full record out.
What or who have been your influences for this album?
Great question. I would say that the main influence that’s a band we all listen to is Thrice. That’s one band we’ve all really gained a lot from listening to their music. They’ve been a huge inspiration to us.
You have gained quite a bit of momentum in a short period of time, what do you think contributed to this? What advice do you have for fans who wish to do the same?
I think being on the road helps a lot. One of the main distinguishing points about a signed band is that they can get fans all over the country, or really all over the world. So I think touring really helps bolster bands’ fan base. That has helped a lot, we’ve been touring on Captors now for a couple of weeks and we have copies of that record all over the country now. The label has been incredible with their promotion and we did a music video which has really helped us.
Do you have a favorite song on the album? Which one? Why is it your favorite?
I love all of them so much. I think one of my favorite songs on Captors is “Slaves”. It turned out really cool because we were able to get guest vocals from our buddy Shane from the band Oh, Sleeper. The song is really a dynamic song and is reallly fun to play live. It starts off really soft and builds up a lot then it comes back down to soft again. With a hardcore band you don’t really get to do that, you kind of have to go 100 mph all the time. It feels really good to just be able to spread our wings a little bit in terms of a different sound and to utilize different aspects of the band. That’s probably one of my favorite songs we have ever written or will ever write.
Any plans for a future album? What sort of expectations would you have for yourselves if you were to produce new music?
We haven’t thought too much about that, we have been so focused on getting this record out. But something we tell ourselves is we never ever want to write the same record twice. So whatever it’s going to be, it would be an upgrade from what we’ve already done. I’m sure we’ll always be a relatively heavy band because we just love that kind of music but we really don’t want to limit ourselves.
When you’re not making music or touring, what are some things you guys like to do in your free time?
We love spending time with our friends and family back home because we don’t get to do that for a while.
What inspired the album title for Captors?
The titled was inspired from a lyric in one of the songs, “Safeguards”, there is a line in there that talks about when safeguards turn to captors. That image really summed up a lot of the lyrics on the record so we went with that. In a sense, a lot of times we are captive to other things besides the grace of the Lord. It’s kind of a call to ourselves to remain captive to one thing, not being rockstars or touring the world and all that but we truly believe being captive to the heart of the Lord is really where we need to be as people. And that is the kind of message we bring, that’s really why we write music and why we do music.
It seems everyone nowadays release dubstep remixes or cover pop songs. Do you find that your fans are looking for this from you? Do you plan on doing the same?
That’s not something we’ve really discussed. We’re much more excited about putting out original music, we’re not really keen on that stuff anyway. I will say, that we are thinking about doing some acoustic versions for some of the songs. That would be a different twist to what we do that would be very feasible for us to do. There might be a chance of us coming out with that in the future. We don’t have plans yet, but we’ve done it before.
Written and conducted by: Kriston McConnell