Powerful lyrics, soothing, genuine vocals and serene instrumentals that combine so perfectly that they penetrate immediately to your core. These characteristics are what make up Badass Band 73, Wires in the Walls.
Wires in the Walls were on my radar for quite some time, I’d seen posters of theirs at multiple venues, as well as had a few friends mention them to me, but they were on that ‘List’ of mine and I had not quite gotten to them yet. That all changed one night at The Satellite when I randomly met Warren who had heard of BBB as well. We chatted for a few minutes, he handed me some tunes and I knew it was time to bump them up the list and take a listen. A personal connection definitely makes a difference in wanting to take a listen to a band, take note of that musicians, it can be as simple as a hello in person.
Their newest EP is titled, ‘Leap, Timber, Leap’ and the first song I listened to was ‘August Parades’. This track starts off with mellow, regal instrumentals, which showcase lyrics like, ‘All that I wanted to say, is I’ve got your back at the end of the day. A true believer that if you love something give it away.” The song builds up to an emotional instrumental climax that that takes you into its grips and holds you there, before plunging back into the mellow melodies and a final hard hitting ending that will have you singing at the top of your lungs. I moved on to ‘Roadshow’, a guitar driven track, with trembling vocals (In a good way!) spouting lines like, “This is the year of the roadshow. This is the worst of my bad ideas, in the aftermath, star studded and photographed, who cares.“ ‘In the Rain’ shows off a crisp drum lines, deeper guitar and a hook comprised of, “I was a student of the strange idea that says I’ll just come crawling back again some day.” And finally, ‘Woodsy’ appropriately titled considering the shimmering guitar backing the vocals. The echoing rhythm section adds a gloomy undertone to this song about being lost and broken. However, because of the combination of the shimmery guitar and melancholy rhythms, the song is both sad and hopeful. Which is a surprising and unique combination. Overall, their songs are beautiful, raw, and genuine in all aspects and though they evoke the deepest of emotions, keep you with a smile on your face. After listening to ‘Leap, Timber, Leap’ I went on to purchase their full-length album ‘New Symmetry’ which could be a whole other post in itself. Just take a listen for yourself.
Wires in the Walls is made up of a hodgepodge of musicians from all over the country: Warren Sroka- vocals/guitar, Denton Biety- bass/vocals, Bryan King-drums/horns, Dave Irelan- guitar/vocals, and Dave Sicher- everything. Clearly, this is a stunning combination of talent.
Wires in the Walls took some time to answer questions for BBB, so read on and get to know more about them like, how they balance “being artsy and being catchy”, where the name came from, and why they really started the band…
When and why did each of you start playing?
Let’s not kid around, none of us were any good at sports and it was our middle school years so the only way to get girls was to be in a band. Who knew we’d actually fall in love with playing music?
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? How does that differ from what you listen to now?
Lots of classic rock and folk that our parents were into, like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, etc. Which isn’t very different than what we’re into now, we’ve just added many more modern influences to the list such as The National, Band of Horses, Explosions in the Sky, Radiohead, etc.
Which musicians do you admire? Why?
Beyond the ones mentioned above, Dave Grohl for being an all around bad-ass and super nice guy, Eddie Vedder for standing up for what he believes in, and Jeff Tweedy for battling his personal demons and emerging out the other side the better for it.
Why the name Wires in the Walls?
It’s a reference to an Elvis Costello song. Doesn’t have a ton of significance, just sounded cool and was the name everyone could live with at the time.
Describe your show visually & musically for those who have never been.
Five dudes rocking out with glee while playing intricate parts over driving drums and bass with lots of flourishes from instruments like accordion, banjo, and organ.
How does your creative process typically work?
We’re very collaborative when it comes to writing. Usually Warren and the guitar-playing Daves will come up with an idea, flesh it out, and then do a simple demo to bring to the rhythm section. We’ll jam on it a bit, try out different ideas, and try to hammer out a basic arrangement, then get down to the nitty-gritty of writing specific parts and adding all the little bells and whistles. It’s a long process, and many times a song will go through many different versions over the course of its birth. Sometimes we even end up with two finished versions of the same song – this happened with the song Soft Shirt off our full-length record New Symmetry. The song on the record is a softer folk ballad, but there’s also a harder atmospheric rock version that was the B-side to our single for The Ringer. We liked them both so much we couldn’t decide which one to choose!
What do you think you biggest break or greatest opportunity has been in your career so far?
The music video for our song Tremolo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOOe5yDyh4A) went viral and ended up getting tweeted by some celebrities with big followings, which really helped us expand our fanbase. It’s funny how the most random things that you never expected can end up being such huge hits.
What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
Maintaining a consistent lineup of like-minded players that are dedicated to putting in all the hard work necessary to making a band successful. Finding cheap food on tour that’s actually healthy.
What are you working on now, and what can we expect from you in the coming year?
We’re working on our next EP, which is looking to be much more of an upbeat rocker of an album than our last EP “Leap, Timber, Leap” which was more of an atmospheric breakup record. We’re also working on tour plans for the east and west coasts as well as Europe and trying to get to CMJ in the fall. Should be a busy year!
Why should people listen to your band? What makes you unique? If your band had a slogan, what would it be?
We put so much care and love into our songs to reward fans who listen closely and intently, and we’re constantly trying to find that sweet spot between being artsy and being catchy. So I guess our slogan could be: “With a focus on catchy melodies, powerful beats and lyrical storytelling, Wires in the Walls deftly navigate between broad appeal and creative distinction.”
If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
More money to the artists, less to the middlemen.
One song you never get tired of.
‘All the Wine’ by The National
What is the best live show you have ever gone to?
Wilco at Red Rocks
Favorite things to do NOT musically related.
Grill delicious food while drinking beers.
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?
What kind of jobs did you have before (or currently) you were in the music industry?
Working in the TV/film industry.
If you ran Badass Bands Blog, what is one band you would feature? (Exempting yourselves of course.)
George Glass – local LA band, great musicians, nicest dudes ever.
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