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FIREWÖLFE

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Hailing from Vancouver-Washington, FireWölfe released their third full length effort "Conquer All Fear" in November 2021 through Limb Music. If the name of this band doesn't sound familiar to you I recommend you to pay attention to the following interview.

Written by Stefan

FIREWÖLFE

We have known FireWölfe for several years and are aware that these guys bring good oiled metal music but unfortunately, familiarity with the US Metal genre is not what it ought to be here in Europe, hopefully this conversation will change that a bit. Guitarist Nick Layton starts with a little introduction.

The band was founded in 2010 by former guitarist Paul Kleff and I. We quickly recruited vocalist David Fefolt and began writing songs immediately. The whole idea of the band was twin guitars, heavy riffs, melodic choruses and killer vocals. We never intended to reinvent the wheel, but rather carry the torch for classic/traditional/power metal with our own unique twist on it. 

Which bands or individual musicians are you inspired by and how would you describe the style of FireWölfe?

Nick: Our style is a mix of many hard rock and metal influences. Some of the big ones for us are bands like Dio, Savatage, Queensryche, Accept, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dokken, Ratt, Van Halen, Whitesnake/John Sykes and Yngwie Malmsteen. There's some 70's stuff in there too like Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Deep Purple and some shred guitar hero influence like Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert and the whole Shrapnel records era as well.

 Barely a year after forming, a first full-length album was released on an independent basis. Writing ten songs in a fairly short period of time is not that obvious, can you tell us a little more about that ?

Yeah, the first album came together very quickly because Paul Kleff and I already had 6-7 songs written musically. So when Dave Fefolt came into the band there was already a bunch of material to work on. We then wrote the rest of the album over a few months time.

Can we talk about a successful experience or did you conclude afterwards that some adjustments had to be made with a view to the future ?

Well, it was successful in the sense that we new we created a really good album and that was backed up with many great reviews from all over the world. But we self released the album, which was probably a mistake. If we had waited a bit longer we would have had interested labels which help a lot with distribution, especially in Europe. The good news is that the debut album is being re-released on our label Limb Music this summer, with bonus tracks, new artwork and remastering. So it will get a bit of a second life!

Still, a first performance in front of a live audience is always something special, something you don't easily forget. For the first time on stage, how did you experience this, with which bands FireWölfe has shared the stage so far ?

Unfortunately the band has not gotten to play live together yet. There were so many line up changes in the beginning, as well as logistical challenges that we put the live stuff on the back burner and focused on recording new music. Along with the line up challenges we also had the pandemic, which of course has effected everyone. But hopefully things are starting to open up now and you'll be able to see FireWölfe on a stage near you soon!

"We Rule The Night" saw daylight about three years later, this time you had managed to secure a record deal with Limb Music. How did this collaboration come to fruition, were there certain conditions attached to it?

We sent the album to several labels and Limb came back with what we thought was the best offer. And, even though we are a US Metal band we figured it would be a good idea to have a European label who could distribute and market the album to that audience. Europe has always loved metal!

If I may speak for myself I prefer the debut album to its successor, although the difference in quality is rather minimal. Do you agree or not ?

I think overall the first album is heavier and also a more straight forward metal album. On the "We Rule The Night" album we experimented a little and brought in more hard rock influence rather than metal. I love songs like "Late Last Night" and the title track, but in retrospect I think a couple more heavy tracks would have been a good idea.  

On a third work, it was a seven-year wait but I'm sure the pesky Corona virus was in between for something, wasn't it ?

Ha! Yeah, that pesky virus and also more pesky line up changes! The intention was always to do another album after "We Rule The Night" within a year or two, but Fefolt left the band and we found it difficult finding the right vocal replacement. So rather than put out a sub par album we focused on other musical pursuits. I joined Seattle legends Q5 and the other guys had other bands and projects as well. We just put FireWölfe on the back burner until a vocalist surfaced. We are gradually getting back on track and we were delighted to welcome "Conquer All Fear" into our hearts. The end result reached a high level and the questioner on duty here even made comparisons with top acts like Heir Apparent, Fifth Angel and Q5. 

A few new musicians have joined the group line-up, who are they... a little briefing history on them would be good to know ?

The new guys are guitarist Michael David, drummer Marco Bicca and vocalist Freddy Krumins. Freddy sang on James Byrd's Atlantis Rising album back many years ago, which is where I knew his voice from. But he's been active in other bands over the years and has his own solo projects too. Marco is a killer drummer who also plays with our bassist Bobby Ferkovich in Pamela Moore's (Queensryche Sister Mary) band. And Michael is a super shredder guitarist who also plays in TKO.   

It was more than worth the wait, in your esteem is this the best FireWölfe has already accomplished ?

Thanks! I'm not sure I'm willing to say it's the best album we've ever done, but I think it's the heaviest one for sure. It's a very consistent album and I think represents the US Metal style very well. I think the overall sound, mix and mastering, plus the artwork is the best we've ever had. As for the best songs/album, I'll let the fans decide that. :-)  

Outside of American borders, how has the rest of the world responded to "Conquer All Fear" ?

Overall the vast majority of reviews from Europe have been positive. Some seem to really love it and others think it's a solid slab of metal. You know the mix and artwork are the best we've had. Bart Gabriel and Cederick Forstrom are responsible for the mixing and mastering and Dusan Markovic did the artwork. They both did an ace job!

Have any plans been made for a fourth album ?

No plans yet. We are all working on various solo albums and other band projects at the moment, but I'm sure the FireWölfe bug will bite us again soon and we'll start on a new album later on this year. And we've just recently had our debut album re-released, remastered and with new artwork! Please go check it out!

What about the ultimate goal you would like to achieve with FireWölfe ?

We just want to keep creating great metal albums and get out and play for our fans, and hopefully make some new fans as well! Thanks for your time and support! Stay strong and stay metal!

https://www.facebook.com/FireWolfeBand 

 

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