In the world of Rock and Roll, if a band wants to get their music to the masses there are a plethora of options. The digital age has seemingly revolutionized the music distribution to potential fans. I applaud the music industry for changing with the times, but I fear that budding music lovers will never know the rush of experiencing their favorite bands live. I honestly was beginning to believe that the new crop of Rock and Roll superstars would look at touring as a “necessary evil” and just “phone in” their live performances. I can honestly tell you that after seeing this band, Joyous Wolf, live and talking to lead singer Nick Reese, I can guarantee the world of Rock and Roll is alive and kickin’!
The weather had tried to keep Joyous Wolf and Buckcherry from bringing their badass live music to the eager fans in La Crosse, Wisconsin on that brisk March night. I had gotten word that both Joyous Wolf and Buckberry had gotten snowed in just as they had made it out of Canada two nights before. Both bands were forced to set up camp in North Dakota for the last two days. Joyous Wolf was scheduled to hit the stage at 7 p.m. that night, and when I rolled in at 5 p.m. to the venue, Buckcherry’s bus was parked and their load-in had commenced, but no sign of Joyous Wolf. I was ready to scrap the idea of getting an interview, due to the fact J.W. needed to do load in and sound check before doors opened at 6 pm. I should have had more faith because as soon Joyous Wolf got to the venue I got word that frontman Nick Reese was waiting for myself and my assistant Erin to start the interview.
I had watched the video for “Mississippi Queen” when I was doing my research on Joyous Wolf, so I started the interview by asking Nick about covering Mountain’s chart-topper “Mississippi Queen”. Nick explained, “It was a song we all liked, and sort of grew together and up with. We like the band, Mountain, so we wanted to do something that made sense for our sonic personality and I think that was definitely in our wheelhouse.” I went on to inquire about the flip that Nick does in their video for “Mississippi Queen” and if he was going to do that move during the song like in the video. ” We aren’t going to do any covers tonight, so I won’t be doing that.” He stated. I immediately got worried that we would not get to see “the flip” tonight because the band was not going to perform “Mississippi Queen”. Nick put my fears to rest by explaining, “That flip is kinda my thing, and it is not attached to that song by any means”. (FYI, he did do the flip, and the band DID play “Mississippi Queen”).
I switched gears and explained to Nick that I had scoured their label’s website, any and all press releases that pertained to Joyous Wolf, and I really could not find any info on the album. Nick laughed and explained, “That is because we are just getting ready to release it! It has been in the works since we signed with Roadrunner Records and the EP “Place In Time” is finally ready to drop on April 19th.” Nick went on to tell me that fans can already listen to two songs off of the EP “Quiet Heart” and the EP’s title track, “Place In Time”. “Of course, fans will get to hear the entire EP live if they get to one of our stops with Buckcherry.” I took that opening and asked Nick what it was like touring with Buckcherry. Nick looked at me and simply laughed, “What do you think? Of course, it is a madhouse!” Nick paused and laughed, “Nah, the tour has been really great so far. It is really great to meet fans and do live shows”. I asked him what his favorite gig had been so far. “It had to be when I got to meet Myles Kennedy.” He paused as a huge smile appeared on his face, then continued “So our set had just finished, and I was in the little artist green room standing kind of in front of the door to the bathroom doing something on my phone. All of a sudden, this guy is next to me asking if he could get past me and go into the bathroom. I looked up from my phone and it was Myles Kennedy. It took me a second to realize that Slash was still on stage playing his solo and Myles just went into the can to take a leak. Myles came back out, looked at me and said “see ya” to me and went back up on stage, not missing a beat.” Nick stopped for a moment and then wistfully said, “That is the level of cool Myles Kennedy is, he can go take a leak while Slash does a solo and no one is the wiser”. I took that opportunity to mention the rumor that joyous Wolf was actually going to be playing some shows with Slash. Nick immediately laughed and stated, “That is no rumor, we are going to be doing 6 shows with Slash this summer”.
I realized that my allotted time picking Nick’s brain was about up and I wanted to make sure I gave him a chance to add anything he wanted the fans to know. “Yeah, I want to thank everyone at the label, and all of our support people. I also want to thank all of the fans for coming to shows and for showing us their love and support these last few years. This last year since we got signed has been mind-blowing!” I interjected and asked if he has any advice for any up and coming musicians. “Yes! Do what you love. Do not try to be like other bands. We got signed to Roadrunner records only after we decided to just follow our musical path and not try to fit in any mold or be like any other band. Just believe in yourselves. If you want to make it in this industry you have to just go for it. We got signed after the rep from Roadrunner saw our live performance once.” That statement about knocked me on my chukkas, getting signed to Roadrunner, under those circumstances, is a one in a trillion occurrence. The fact that this happened to Joyous Wolf should tell you all you need to know about how talented these 4 cats are.
I can say without a doubt that Nick Reese is one of the most talented and genuine musicians I have interviewed in a long time. I still have a hard time believing that Nick and his bandmates are only in the mid-20s, their music and their overall aura shows the wisdom of much older souls. Joyous Wolf’s live performance was electrifying. Nick and his bandmates had the entire crowd captivated with their bluesy southern rock style and energetic vibe. The band is still currently on the road with Buckcherry, so make plans to catch Joyous Wolf on one of the remaining dates. Their debut ep will be out April 19th on Roadrunner Records, so make sure you mark your calendars reminding you to buy “A Place in Time” the minute it is available. I have included all the links you will need to invite Joyous Wolf into your life, so get clicking! Mark my words, dear reader, this band is the future of Rock and Roll, so pay attention!