Interview with Nick Layton of Firewolfe

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Interview with Nick Layton of Firewolfe

by JP

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Tell us a bit about the formation of the band!

Nick: Hi JP, I’m excited to do the interview! FireWolfe formed back in 2010 after a conversation between former guitarist Paul Kleff and myself. Both of us being guitar players, who had each done an instrumental solo album, we wanted to get back to our roots and put together a vocal based band that had all of the elements of classic metal that we love–Razor sharp riffs, cool atmosphere, great hooks, powerful vocals and ripping but melodic solos. We had about 7-8 song ideas ready when we approached vocalist David Fefolt. We sent him the tunes and he seemed pleasantly surprised by the material and joined the band. We started writing for our debut album in June 2010 and released the album on July 15th 2011

 

Photos By Denise Truscello July 12 2014 Fire Wolf
FIREWOLFE on the prowl.

How did you guys get signed to Limb?

Nick: We realized that we needed a label to help us get the new album into more people’s hands. We self released the debut and although we did pretty well the album went largely under the radar without the proper promotion, visibility and distribution that a good label can help with. Limb was interested in our first album so we already had some history with them prior to shopping “We Rule The Night.” We had a few different offers from other labels but we felt best about moving forward with Limb. They have been great and we feel like our album is in good hands.

Do you have any plans to re-release the indie debut or perhaps Limb Records will pick it up? 

Nick: Yes, we have talked with Limb about re-releasing the debut and that could happen sometime in 2015.

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Nick Layton, Guitar

For our gear guys out there, where did you record WE RULE THE NIGHT and what is your basic set-up?

Nick: The members of FireWolfe all live in different states in the US so we all recorded in our own studios. David has his own recording set up in his house in Arizona to record vocals. Jay recorded drums at the Las Vegas Hilton because he is part of a huge Vegas show called Raiding the Rock Vault. He was able to record drums at home on the debut but the Vegas show requires him to live there during most of the week so he used the sound stage at the Hilton. Bobby recorded bass at a friends studio in Seattle, and I recorded guitars and keyboards/midi at my home studio here in Vancouver, WA. For the guitar nuts out there I recorded using Carvin guitars with DiMarzio pick-ups. Amps were a combination of Tech 21 and Line 6. I also made use of a Crybaby wah and a Boss SD-1 overdrive pedal. It’s a simple, humble set up….but it seems to work!

Was the song-writing a collaborative affair, or a result of some jam sessions or do you write most of the material.

Nick: Dave (the singer) and I write all of the songs together. Here’s how it works most of the time: I come up with a riff or a chord progression and take it as far as I can musically. I do my best to present Dave with a demo of the idea with the basic structure of the tune set to programmed drums. If he likes the idea he starts working on it, if not we scrap it or change it. Most of the time he likes my ideas 🙂 The song usually goes through several changes based on what he is doing vocally and so forth, but eventually we arrive at a finished song. Then we get the other guys involved. Dave and I have a great chemistry together and it’s always a blast writing with him.

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Bobby Ferkovich, Bass

How did you get Eliran Kantor involved?

Nick: We knew we needed to have a better album cover this time around. When we started thinking about possible artists I remember being blown away by Eliran’s work on the last Testament record. I contacted him to check on his availability and interest in working with us and it took off from there. We had an idea of what we wanted the cover to look like but Eliran blew us away with his finished creation!

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What were some of the major inspirations for the lyrics on WE RULE THE NIGHT,  more specifically ‘A Senator’s Gun’ or ‘Late Last Night‘?
 Nick: Since David writes all of the lyrics I asked him to elaborate on those two songs. Overall, the album is largely about the struggles one goes through when you decide to follow your dream.

David: Senators Gun is about my cousin’s 13 year old son who was found shot dead behind their house with a pistol laying by his side that belonged to the Pennsylvania State Senator who lived next door. It never was determined how he got the gun as the senator wasn’t home but his 16 year old son was but denied being with him. The police also couldn’t determine if he shot himself or was murdered. It ruined my cousins life (his mom) and she became an alcoholic.

Late Last Night… Is the saga of a rock star on the road who misses his girl and when he can finally fall asleep he has a recurring dream that she is with someone else and doesn’t remember who he is.

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David FeFolt, Vocals

How was preliminary reception to the album been?

Nick: Great! So far the reviews have been awesome and sales seem to be fairly brisk. We’re pretty happy so far.

What is the biggest challenge in 2014 in putting out an album of Classic/traditional Metal in the USA?

Nick: There are so many genres of metal now that sometimes the classic stuff can get lost in the pack, so to speak. But we know that fans of that classic metal sound will seek albums like ours out. We never try to change what we do to fit what’s in vogue…we write the kind of music we love, period, and hope that others love it too. Fans of bands like Savatage, Leatherwolf, Fifth Angel, Dio and even Dokken and Whitesnake will hopefully find something to like with our album and overall stylistic approach?

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Jay Schellen, Drums

What are some of your biggest inspirations and what are you listening to these days?

Nick: Biggest musical inspirations for me are bands like Savatage, Dio, Scorpions and players like George Lynch, Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Michael Schenker and John Sykes. Most of the time I’m listening to that stuff but I do try and keep up with newer stuff. I’m always checking out Metal-Rules for the new reviews 🙂 I like the new records from Accept and Riot quite a bit.

Do you have any plans to tour? What dream band would you tour with?

Nick: Of course we’d love to tour and we are hopeful that with the success of the new album we will be able to take our music to the people and meet metal heads from all over the world. My dream band to tour with would be to open up for a reformed Savatage!! C’mon Tage, let’s do it!

What is the next step for Firewolfe?
Nick: We’ll see what doors this new album opens up for us. We are keeping our head on a swivel for new opportunities all the time!

Thank you! 

Nick: Thank you JP, it was my pleasure.

Learn more at www.firewolfe.com