Maxim Meyer-Horn

2 Jul

Interview: Wallows is the newest American Indie Rock sensation

Have you heard? There’s a new indie rock band in town and they’re fabulous. Wallows is a three-piece band from Los Angeles consisting of Braeden Lemaster, Cole Preston and Dylan Minette (Yes, that’s Clay from ’13 Reasons Why’). The boys have released their fun debut album ‘Nothing Happens’ this year and just toured through Europe to present their first long player.

Ahead of the last stop of their tour, we met the guys in their green room after they had a quick shower. We talked with them about opening up towards each other, songwriting and tour life and might have some good news for fans that can’t wait for new music.

Hi boys, how are you?

Cole: Very good and refreshed!

Your European tour is coming to an end. How has this tour been?

Braeden: It’s been really great. The crowds have been very responsive wherever we went. It’s blowing us away that we’re going to completely different places and feel that people care about our music and band. It’s been very humbling and exciting!

Do you have a favorite moment of the tour?

Dylan: Glasgow and London were pretty up there. The UK is really nuts and the crowd there is always great, but all the shows have been super fun for different reasons. I think London and Glasgow were just the craziest, but they were all so fun.

People always assume that a tour life is full of sex, drugs and Rock’n’Roll. How’s the tour life of Wallows?

Braeden: It’s vegan options…

Dylan: …finding coffee in the morning…

Cole: …and getting a decent night of sleep, which is hard… I guess our tour life is pretty tame, because we don’t live the party on tour. I don’t really see how any band even could party every night, because I feel like we would die if we did.

Nothing Matters is your first album. Give us a little bit more context about the album.

Cole: We’ve been a band for basically ten years, but the album is really a collection of ideas, songs and thoughts from that entire period. There are certain songs on the album that were participant written for like five or six years, and there are songs we’ve written while we were in the studio recording the album. It’s an album about all the things we’ve experienced, done and written when we were growing up together

Dylan: Perfect, that was a great explanation. (laughs)

You’ve written all the songs yourself. Is it difficult for you to open up about certain personal things towards each other?

Dylan: I experienced that for the first time on this album. I got more personal on the album than I have before, so I was nervous at first. That was the first time for me…

Cole: Yeah, but I think that that makes a song relatable, vulnerable and can sometimes be scary to perform. That’s what people feel as well and think: “This is emotional and I can relate to these feelings that you’re actually putting out on the line.”. Vulnerability is really good when you’re making songs.

Dylan, was it for you even more difficult because you’re a famous actor as well?

Dylan: I think that was at the beginning a little bit like that, but since 13 Reasons Why is over, I don’t think that that’s the case any more. We have our own Wallows fans, so that didn’t put pressure on me.

Your most recent single “Are You Bored Yet?” features the wonderful Clairo. How did those collaborations come about?

Cole: Claire is awesome! She’s super cool and so talented. We met her through mutual friends and when we demoed the song, we had Dylan’s voice pitched up and always said that it sounded a bit like Clairo. We had an idea to have a female voice on it, so naturally we thought of her. Dylan messaged her one day and she was randomly in LA that day, so she came to the studio, wrote her part and hung out with us in a period of 24 hours, which was just perfect timing. She’s so nice and we’re mutual friends, so we support each other a lot.

What’s actually your favorite song of your first full-length album?

Dylan: I’m super proud of “Do Not Wait”, because that song felt like an accomplishment, to me personally, for us, because it was completely different from any other stuff we did.

Cole: It’s hard for me to take myself or ourself out of the music, because I listen to it and hear things anyone outside of it will never hear. I like the first song of the album “Only Friends” a lot, because I’m really happy with the way the recording came out. I also like “Ice Cold Pool”.

Braeden: My favorite song is “Treacherous Doctor”. I just like playing it live and it made me realize that it’s my favorite one.

Now you’re on tour, do you have a lot of new inspiration for new songs?

Braeden: Yeah, we definitely have some ideas floating around. We’re always kind of writing and coming up with different things and I feel like we didn’t have much chance to write on the road, because it’s kind of hard to find the time. But the ideas have been sizzling and we’re just going to crank it up.

Cole: Yeah, if anything like being away from home and being really busy made me just really excited to go home and actually have time to be creative, because especially in the US we were busy all day. We’ve done this VIP-thing and we were busy for the entire day. We had two different hour blocks to eat food and take care of ourselves, so we didn’t have a lot of time. But I’m really full of energy to get back home and write some new songs. That’s a good feeling to have.

The year is probably going to end with the two shows in London. What can people expect from the shows in London?

Dylan: Those aren’t going to be the last shows, because I think we’re going to do a couple more over there. People can expect us to be pretty excited, because we love Vampire Weekend, but also a shorter set. (Laughs)

Cole: Those shows will be the biggest rooms we’ve ever played, which is scary, but cool, but scary, but great. I don’t think we won’t have anything new at that point, but maybe…

Dylan: I think new music will be more for next year if we’re lucky…

Well, that sounds promising! Thank you so much and lots of fun on the US tour!

Photos by Maxim Meyer-Horn for Enfnts Terribles

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