REDWOLVES (from l-r): Kasper Rebien (drums), Simon Stenbaek (guitar), Rasmus Cundell (vocals), Nicholas “Randy” Tesla (bass)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Over the past couple of years, Copenhagen four-piece Redwolves have made waves on the Danish music scene with a hard-hitting, rather psychedelic blend of classic and modern heavy rock that is topped off with distinctive vocals and frank, relatable lyrical content, and with the release tomorrow of their debut album, ‘Future Becomes Past’, the band spoke to me about how that was put together, what can be expected from it, and much more.
How did the band first get together?
Rasmus and Simon wanted to start a docile rock band up again in late 2011, so we contacted Kasper and Nicholas (we knew each other from our hometown of Sorø), and started the band up again. We wrote and recorded the ‘Wake Up’ demo EP, and from there, we just kept writing music.
How did the name Redwolves come about?
We had to change our band name in 2014 due to legal reasons. We have always been fascinated by wolves and wanted to keep that in our band name, so we came up with the name Redwolves.
The red wolf was an animal that was considered extinct in the 1970’s, but is somehow still around to this day. It is kind of symbolic for rock music as a genre, and symbolic for the resurrection of the band in 2012.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
We usually start off with a riff that Nicholas or Simon come up with, and then we take it to the rehearsal space and play around with it together. We write most of the song structures together in the rehearsal space, and then Rasmus writes lyrics and comes up with melodies.
When everything is done, and the song has taken form, we take another look at it, and from there, we make tweaks and change parts to make the song sound more together and whole.
We often have an urge to write the songs in a certain style, like a fast energetic song, or a slow banger, so our riffs reflect a feeling of a song more than a final product at the beginning of a songwriting process, and on our new album, ‘Future Becomes Past’, all of the songs was written like this.
What inspires the band lyrically?
All the lyrics are written by Rasmus and are inspired by events surrounding his personal life.
The lyrics on ‘Future Becomes Past’ are a mixture of real events and imagination, and reflect the state of mind Rasmus was in at the time of writing and recording, for instance, ‘Plutocracy’ and ‘Rigid Generation’ are a political criticism of our current society, ‘The Abyss’ and ‘Fenris’ are about personal demise and despair, ‘The Pioneer’ and ‘Voyagers’ are parts one and two of a sci-fi story revolving around a character named The Pioneer who experiences the worst outcome of his good intentions and a failed relationship with the love of his life, ‘Farthest form Heaven’ is about the worst day of your life, and ‘Temple of Dreams’ are about the best times of your life – both of them conclude that everything becomes past.
Speaking of ‘The Pioneer’, which was the band’s most recent single, how has the response to that been so far?
We chose ‘The Pioneer’ because we wanted to show people a different side of us and our music. The response has been great, and the reactions we have got have been as we suspected – it has been positive with a hint of surprise and wonder, and we think this song is a great way to show people what ‘Future Becomes Past’ is about as a record.
And how has the recording process been for the upcoming album?
The recording process has been a long one! We recorded all the instruments for ‘FBP’ in April 2017, with the vocals being recorded later that year, and we finalised the record’s mixing and mastering last June.
All in all, we have spent a lot of time to make sure this album would be as good as possible, and we took our time to make sure it became what we wanted it to be. The album has been recorded at three different studios, we had the absolute joy of recording the instruments with Jacob Bredahl at Tapf Studios, and recording the lyrics with Kaspar Boye Larsen (of Volbeat fame) as producer, which was awesome!
How will the new release differ stylistically from your older work?
This album contains a wider spectrum of dynamics and feelings than our previous releases. In addition to this, we’ve also experimented with different guitar effects and sounds, and the bass has become more intense and dynamic.
The focus on the sound of the band, as a whole, has been more refined, and we feel like this album manages to capture a lot of different styles of rock music as a genre, which we think defines the sound of Redwolves.
Rasmus, you have had a few traumatic experiences in the past. Would you say that music has provided an effective coping mechanism for this?
It certainly has. As I described earlier, I have the freedom to write very personal lyrics in this band, and through the writing of these lyrics, I have been able to describe my thoughts and feelings without any filter, which has helped me immensely in dealing with these horrible experiences.
When I write lyrics, it gives me an outlet to describe feelings and topics a lot more in depth than I would ever be able to in spoken language.
In my most personal lyric, which is in the track ‘Farthest from Heaven’, I touch on the most uncomfortable event I have ever experienced through metaphors taken from ‘Dante’s Inferno’.
Lyrics make it possible for people to understand and relate to an experience and the feeling involved, without having to experience the specific trauma themselves.
I have always been writing about traumatic experiences, even before I had a band, and it has always helped me cope with them, and to write lyrics and make it into music with the band is amazing, and hopefully, they make those experiences relevant to others.
How is the live music scene in Denmark at the moment?
The live scene in Denmark is thriving, and we have a lot of young bands making an impact on the music scene right now.
The radio is far behind on this, and usually only play what is popular in a more mainstream sense, but the underground music scene in general is doing really well, and there are a couple of indie labels who are doing great right now too!
However, we feel that we need to play more shows outside of Denmark following this release, as Denmark is a rather small country, and we might not appeal to everyone here, so we would love to play more shows around Europe.
How is the overall experience for you all of performing on stage?
We love to play live! Performing our music live for people is amazing, and we feel that this is a great way to connect with someone you don’t know at all. Our music is meant to be played live.
And finally, what are you plans for the future?
We are playing our release show on the March 22 in Copenhagen, and after that, we are going to play more shows around Denmark.
Also, we are currently working on setting up a tour around Europe this autumn, and while we are doing all of this, we are writing songs for a future release, so we hope that people will follow us in our future endeavours!
‘FUTURE BECOMES PAST’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM REDWOLVES, WILL BE RELEASED TOMORROW, VIA ARGONAUTA RECORDS, AND YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BAND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: