If you're into melodic hardcore, you should not sleep on Atlanta's Panicwolf. Still young and new, the four-piece has released their debut EP 'Demon Speak' just two days ago. Yes, you read that right. We caught up with band's singer Luke Stevens to talk about the new release, future plans and much more. Check them out, and see why we got crazy about them, and why even Bam Margera wants you to do it.
Hey guys! Excuse me for this, but let's start with the boring one. You're relatively new to the international crowd, so can you please tell us a bit more about Panicwolf?
Luke: We started the band in 2013 as a way for us to express ourselves. We really laid dormant for a few years because we were all dealing with different things at the time. In 2017 there were only two of us left - Pattlyfe and myself, and one day we finally decided that we were done ignoring the passion that we had for this band. After asking one of my best friends, Colin [Bennett], to join and getting hooked up with Sean [Emmets], through mutual friends, everything took on a new meaning. We really refocused and made it a point to make this our mission and to actually take this band as far as it can possibly go.
Your name rings in my ears since I first heard it. What does it mean for you, and what is the story behind it?
Luke: The name is a play on the phrase, “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.” It’s really the idea that a person can seem calm and collected on the surface, but disguised within, that same person is a hurricane of emotion and turmoil.
I've read that it took you five years to finally set things straight with the band, and finally, release your debut EP. How hard was it to stay focused through all the ups and downs over the years? What is the hardest thing you faced as a band so far?
Luke: It was definitely difficult. It seemed like all the odds were against this band actually happening. Most of the people we knew didn’t even take us seriously, and we were written off as just some side band that would never actually go anywhere. Despite that, we were determined to prove those people wrong no matter what. We pushed through all of the doubt and after some member changes and an insane amount of planning - I think we’re ready to take the world head-on.
The EP is recorded and mixed last year, why did it take so long for you to unleash it to the world?
Luke: We wanted to ensure that everything was perfect for our release and we took our time to devise the best rollout plan that we possibly could. Giving people something to talk about was always one of our goals.
'Misery' was the first single you released, and you got the support from Bam Margera and few other well-known figures. How did you get in touch with him, and how much did his support help you?
Luke: Bam is just Pattlyfe’s homie! I think he taught him how to kickflip in 3rd grade or some shit like that. We definitely turned some heads when he gave us a shout out and we really appreciate it.
'Misery' was your first offering, with 'Demon Speak' following. Are you happy with the reactions so far? I was lucky enough to hear the whole thing, and it's a killer.
Luke: Thank you so much! I’m really happy with the reaction so far. It’s always a little intimidating to throw yourself or your art out to the world, but this release has definitely been encouraging. It’s cool because I think people seem to be digging everything so far.We have so much more in store for the near future, and I’m truly excited to see what’s next for us!
For us overseas, Atlanta is mainly known for hip hop and pop scene, apart from a few metal bands such as Mastodon or Sevendust. Can you tell me more about the hardcore scene in the city?
Luke: Atlanta definitely has a thriving scene. It always had, so most of the bands here seem to almost be hidden gems. The city is honestly insanely diverse and naturally comes with a wide variety of local bands and artists, but Atlanta bands are always on the grind and always putting out great content.
Atlanta or not, who would you state as the biggest influence for you personally, and for Panicwolf as a band?
Luke: I’m influenced by so many different things and bands, so it’s really hard for me to narrow them down when I think about it. Personally, I would say my biggest influences are Hundredth, The Used, and Alice In Chains. Honestly, the first two mentioned could also probably be said for the band as a whole along with Counterparts and Defeater.
The EP drops soon, what are your plans after the release? Is there any chance we can see you in Europe anytime soon?
Luke: Our main plan is to just tour our asses off and try to get our name out there as much as possible. We have some awesome stuff coming in the near future, but I’ll have to just leave it at that for now. Unfortunately, there’s not a huge chance you’ll see us in Europe anytime soon, but believe me, we would love to make that happen as soon as possible!