PropertyOfZack Interview : : The Republic Of Wolves

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 26, 2010

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I am extremely happy to be posting the PropertyOfZack interview with The Republic Of Wolves. I was fortunate enough to sit down with all six of the guys before they played with Sainthood Reps, Robbers, and The Felix Culpa in Brooklyn not too long ago. Check out the interview to find out their upcoming LP’s name, details on the album, touring plans, and more! 

For the record, could you state your name and role in The Republic Of Wolves?
Chris: I am Chris Wall and I drum.
Gregg: I am Gregg Andrew and I play guitar and I sing.
David: I’m David Kaplan and I play bass and I do some backup vocals.
Mason: I’m Mason Maggio and I also play guitar and sing.
Billy: I’m Billy Duprey and I play the keyboards and occasionally I do auxiliary percussion. I also scream.
Christian: I am Christian Van Deurs and I play lead guitar and do some harmonies.

You guys today are playing a one-off show with Robbers, Sainthood, and The Felix Culpa. How’d it come together?
David: I was looking for a show for us in July. Because we just played at the very end of June and there were some talks of a tour going on in August and we were just trying to line up a show in between to kind of fill it out so people could come in and see us live. So I asked Neil Rubenstein to see if he could help us out with a date and he got back to us.
POZ: Will there be a tour in August?
Mason: It’s not gonna happen. We’re still trying to set up a couple dates in Boston, or Philadelphia, or somewhere.
Gregg: It would be five or six dates if anything. It would be more northeastern.
Mason: As of now nothing is set.
Christian: We’re still trying to get something set for October or November. We’re doing school and stuff, but we’ll try to get weekend gigs.

Since the release of His Old Branches the band has played very few shows. Are you guys still trying to get into the swing of things in regards to playing live?
Gregg: Yeah, I think we’ve definitely been getting more and more comfortable as shows go on. I think our live shows have definitely been developing. It’s just been tough recently because we’ve just been working on a full-length album so I think partially the reason we haven’t been playing a lot of shows is because we’ve been focusing on our full-length release. We definitely plan on hopefully playing some more shows once we get that out of the way.

For the view shows that you have played, how have fans received you guys?
Full Band: Great
Gregg: It’s been a great time, every time.
Christian: I don’t think anybody’s said anything bad to us.
David: Nobody’s said we’ve sucked yet.

Rumors that your demos, of what is now His Old Branches, were demos for Brand New’s Daisy began to occur about a year ago to date. What was that situation like for you guys when it took place?
Mason: As you know, we didn’t know about it until it had already generated some buzz. It turned out that a friend of a friend had posted them, and we found out about it when the friend that we originally gave the demos to told us about it. And we went to the YouTube page with all these Brand New fans wondering if this was Brand New, and we were shocked. Then we saw that we were posted on AbsolutePunk.net and it was just a crazy shock to us because these were just demos that we threw together. So we realized that we had to come out and say that it was us and these were our demos that somebody posted, and it was just huge for us. It got the hype out there.
Christian: Like you said, that happened a year ago, but we’re still kind of going through it. We still get the Brand New comparison.
Gregg: It’s hard to shed that. Even though we do our own thing a lot of people think we sound like Brand New. People are gonna always associate us together and that’s the hardest thing to shake I think.

Due to that, that obviously intrigued a lot of people and now that your EP has been out eight months, how has all the reception been?
Gregg: 95% positive it seems.
Christian: It’s positive. People say “I really like this” or people say “it sounds like Brand New, but I still love it.”
Gregg: People who do make the Brand New comparison say “I still like it.”
David: A lot of people I notice say they like it more. I think a lot of people weren’t too happy with the direction they took.
Mason: Yeah, that’s actually one good thing that some Brand New fans were kind of disillusioned by Daisy.
Christian: I think Daisy’s great.

You guys released a 7” with a previously unreleased track. Is it pretty cool to already have something on vinyl while being such a young band?
David: It’s insane.
Mason: Simple Stereo came to us and said they wanted to do a vinyl with us, it was like a gift. It was great for us.
Christian: Doug Castro, who runs Simple Stereo, paid for it.
Gregg: He pretty much paid for the whole thing.
Mason: It’s great to have these people coming to us with offers to do things like that.

Last week you guys posted a studio update and mentioned that you are currently recording your debut full-length. How far is the writing process along?
Mason: When we’re in the studio a lot of the writing goes on along with the recording, so it’s hard to say that the writing process is finished, but it’s getting close to being finished as most of the album is pretty much tracked.
Gregg: We have like a skeleton for the full-length now. Just filling it all in.
Mason: We just kind of go with it as we’re recording since we have the studio right in Gregg’s basement, we hang out there and just write and record.
David: The songs are written as they’re recorded pretty much.

How many tracks are you guy’s hoping for?
Mason: Either 14 or 15 tracks.

When would you like the process to be finished?
Mason: Mid-August to the end of August we’ll probably be finished.
Gregg: We’re hoping for a release hopefully by November. We want it out before the end of the year.
POZ: And it’s all self-produced?
Mason: Yeah.

Has there been any label talk?
Christian: We’ve spoken to people.
Mason: There’s been some offers to talk about deals and stuff, but we’re cautious about actually signing to a label.
Chris: There’s still talk about it.
Gregg: We’re doing okay for ourselves. Definitely, if anything, we’re looking for something that we can do distribution wise. It’s hard to find something that’s inclusive like that where they’ll just be distributers without the fine print.
Mason: And since we’ve gotten this far just staying independent we’re hoping we can continue to do most of this stuff on our own, but have labels do distribution and promotion.
Gregg: We do work with a small indie label called Vintage Hustle Records and they put out physical copies of our EP. They took care of all that, but that’s as far as they go. They pretty much did do an exclusive distribution deal with us.
Mason: So we’re looking for stuff like that.
Christian: I also feel like one of the big points of a label is that they pay for you to record an album, but we do it for free. So we don’t need that aspect of a label.

Can you talk a little bit about the differences sound and writing from His Old Branches to the current?
Mason: The demos of His Old Branches were basically just kind of thrown together on the spot. We wrote some songs that weren’t even for any specific project yet. This album is definitely going to be more cohesive as we kind of put it together as an album rather than just making some demos. So it’s definitely going to be more of its own project. His Old Branches was kind of all over the place in terms of writing and this is more of an almost conceptual kind of thing.
Gregg: The themes will be related throughout the album.
Mason: It’s all going to kind of flow together.
Gregg: There will be ideas that we’ll constantly turn back to. It’s kind of a journey.
Christian: I feel like it’s also more musically complex.
Mason: Definitely. 
Gregg: Definitely that EP we put together rather quick. As we blew up, we wanted to make sure we had something out there. Not to say that we didn’t take time and put effort into it, but we definitely did it pretty quickly. I think the production on this album is gonna blow it out of the water. I think that the songs are going to be, if not as good, better. We have definitely a lot of high hopes for it.

When did the process start for the new album?
Christian: May?
Mason: Yeah. We were kind of writing stuff throughout the spring, little ideas to bring into the studio. We started recording towards the end of May.

Even though it is just in Gregg’s basement, is it fun to just get all together in the studio and play around?
Gregg: We’ve been doing it for a year and a half now. We started with the Tigers On Trains LP and from there we branched off into Wolves. And it’s just fun, hanging out with your friends, doing shit that you’re really interested in. There’s nothing better than that.
Mason: We really love the recording process too, just trying shit out and doing whatever we can.
Chris: Also, for every real song there’s about two joke songs.
Gregg: We plan on releasing a compilation of joke songs. It’ll probably be a ten-disc collection about 40 or so songs.
David: It’s also good because we don’t have to worry about being in a studio and being on a budget. It’s a studio, but we’re also kind of hanging out with our friends. It’s very comfortable. It’s a very social aspect more than it is a professional, business mindset.
Christian: Also, in that aspect, we can get the exact sounds that we want because we can sit there and fiddle with them as much as we want.
Gregg: I feel like it’s a huge part of our sound. The fact that we can do whatever we want.

If the album is done mid-to-late August, might we hear a couple songs before the release?
Mason: Definitely.
Billy: Before the summer is over, for sure.
Mason: Hopefully a music video. Perhaps.
David: We’ve also been playing one of the songs live, getting it out there.

Did you guys say that the album name was finalized?
Mason: The album’s gonna be called Varuna.

You guys are on tour and stuff, but will we see more dates more frequently when everything’s released?
Mason: I don’t know about more frequently, but definitely as frequent. Hopefully we’ll get a lot of weekend gigs.
Gregg: Hopefully in spring there will be more.
Mason: By winter break hopefully we’ll be doing some touring.
Gregg: We would be playing more, but we really want to finish this LP. We really want to get it right.
Mason: That’s our main focus.

Is it kind of hard to believe that you guys also have such a strong fan base just on sites like AbsolutePunk and you guys have only put out an EP?
Gregg: It’s unbelievable. It’s like a dream.
Mason: It’s hard to process actually, at this point.
Gregg: We’re still constantly googling ourselves.
Mason: It’s kind of our first little taste of fame. And that just drives us to do more and to do better.

So by spring next year or winter break you guys would definitely like to branch out more?
Christian: We were supposed to tour in August. We were supposed to go south to Florida and back, but that didn’t work out.
Mason: So hopefully we can work something out in the winter.
Thanks so much for your time, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Christian: Thank you, Zack.
Mason: Thank you. We appreciate everyone’s support so much and it means a lot to us.

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