In 2013, it’s hard to find real pop punk. If you ask a bunch of kids in this generation to name their favourite Ataris song, they’re likely to stare at you with a blank expression, and the vast majority of the population never would have considered listening to Green Day before American Idiot was released. Bands that fit today’s ‘pop punk’ label tend to sound more like All Time Low and Paramore – more pop, less punk.
However, Gnarwolves got it right. Three Cornish guys from Brighton known as Thom, Charlie, and Max, the band released their third EP in June this year, titled ‘Funemployed’. The four-track record leans slightly towards more emo, hardcore genres and sounds far more mature than earlier Gnarwolves records, but thankfully doesn’t waver from it’s pop punk roots.
Having just started their UK tour with emo band Nai Harvest earlier this week, I caught up with Gnarwolves before their Plymouth show to discuss the tour so far, pop punk and touring tips.
So, this is the second night of the tour – how’s it going so far?
Thom: Good, yeah we’ve had a really nice time so far. We played in Devizes last night which is in Wiltshire – we’d never been to it, and didn’t know it existed until a couple of months ago. But it’s a nice town, and it was a good show since we’d never been there. And today we got to spend a whole day in Plymouth, which was nice.
Tell me about how the band first started?
Thom: Er, a couple of years ago me and Max, and Charlie were in two seperate bands and Charlie put message online saying that he wanted to start a band that sounded a bit like Weezer and stuff like that. We replied to the ad, and we started practicing, then we wrote the Fun Club EP and played our first show a couple of months later.
Charlie: We’ve just always loved music and kind of… ‘connected’.
For people yet to listen to Gnarwolves, how would you describe your music?
Charlie: Skate punk.
Thom: Go on the internet and type in Gnarwolves and listen to the songs, because that’s easily the worst question you could be asked as a band. We sound like Gnarwolves.
A question from @Alex_Wye on Twitter – what are your top touring tips?
Thom: Touring tips? Bring a sleeping bag.
Charlie: Bring a skateboard.
Thom: And a toothbrush. Don’t worry about a towel because someone will have one.
Max: Don’t bring any dickheads, because that will piss you off.
Charlie: If you’re gonna drink, make sure you have somewhere to chill out the next day, because you’ll feel horrible in the van.
The first song I heard from you guys was History Is Bunk, on Kerrang Radio!’s Unsigned Show just over a year ago. Did you get much attention after that?
Thom: Yes. Alex has been really cool to us for a long time. Every since we gave him CRU, he plays all our records all the time, he’s a really nice guy. We did get to go to party because of him the other day, so that’s kinda cool.
How have things changed for you since then?
Thom: Nothing really. We’ve got another record.
Max: I’ve got a fat beard now.
Charlie: The shows are crazier, and more people like our band.
Thom: But yeah nothing else has changed, we’re on the same label, we’ve got the same mates, just doing the same thing.
What are your biggest musical influences?
Charlie: We all pretty much share the same interests, and you can tell by the way we write and what we sound like.
Thom: Yeah, we’re definitely musically influenced by like, the Punk-O-Rama records and stuff from when we were kids, and hardcore from over the years…
Charlie: The early metal scene, 90’s metal scene… And good pop punk, back when it wasn’t influenced by New Found Glory. We like punk rock.
Max: That’s the thing – pop punk was a completely different thing to what people assume pop punk music is these days. Most people would say ‘pop punk’, and I wouldn’t consider it as punk, let alone pop punk.
What can fans expect from Gnarwolves in the future?
Thom: We’re writing an album. We’ve started playing some stuff from it at shows.
Charlie: We’re touring. Same old Gnarwolves.
Thom: Next year is the time when we embrace the rest of the world, or let the world embrace us. We’re gonna do festivals and we’re gonna play shows and put out an album. We’re gonna do the same as we did this year but with a full-length record instead of an EP.
Listen and download Gnarwolves latest EP, ‘Funemployed’, here.