DFW Music News

Will Hayes of Wolves at Bay Talks Changing Names, Being Vegetarian and the Cultural Relevance of Wolves

Hailing from Hamden, Connecticut, Wolves at Bay is a young punk band that's venturing to Texas for the very first time, bringing with them a heady mix of metal and old-school punk that recalls the greatness of Hüsker Dü and Suicidal Tendencies. From a tour stop in North Carolina and in anticipation of tonight's show at Queen City Hall, frontman Will Hayes spoke about Only A Mirror, the band's great debut effort, and how it feels venturing into Texas for the first time.

Your debut full length, Only A Mirror, was finished over a year ago and was just recently released. Does that mean you have a backload of songs you've written since then? Yes, we have another complete album already in the works. We had some issues with a label and I was going to school. We kept trying to get the record out, but we were running into problems.

That must have been frustrating. It was a little frustrating, but we got the album out and we are happy with it.

You've said that the year before you made the record was a really bad time for you. Do you think that depression can make for artistic success? It was a challenging time for me, but I don't want to be the poster boy for depression. I put in a lot of my personal stuff into the record and things have gotten better for me.

The band has a new drummer. Why are drummers so hard to find and hang on to? That's a good question. Our new guy is actually the drummer for another band called Our Final Say. He is really working out. We want to take him on our next tour in March. He could possibly be a permanent member. Our old drummer just quit, but we still love him. He wanted to go back to school and pursue graphic designing.

You are a vegetarian. Is that hard to maintain on tour? It's not that hard, but I am the only vegetarian in the band. I've been a vegetarian for five years. I want to say that I gave up meat over animal cruelty issues, but that is the cliché answer. I know that Texas is beef country, so maybe it will be hard.

No, we have some vegetarian restaurants here. That's good to hear. We have never been to Texas before, so everything down there will be new to us. We don't think that you guys still ride horses down there. We think it will be pretty cool.

Originally, the band's name was Dear You, but you had to change it because a band from Texas already had that name. Does that mean you are angry at Texas? [Laughs] No, I'm not angry. Can you find out if any of those guys can come out to our show? But it was kind of a problem, because when we were called Dear You, stuff was just starting to happen for the band and then we had to change the name. But it all worked out.

Did you Google Wolves at Bay to make sure no other band was using that name? We made damn sure no one else was using that name.

Did you have another choice just in case? If some other band would have had that name, I probably would have killed myself.

Do you think wolves get a bad rap because of the Twilight movies? No, absolutely not. Wolves are always cool. People like to talk about that. Some guy asked me what my favorite animal was. Personally, I've always liked wolves.

Wolves at Bay perform with The Tired and True tonight, January 23, at Queen City Hall.

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers