Next Monday (15th September) Gnarwolves will take over the Black Heart in Camden, London to launch their self-titled debut album, released on the same day - but you can’t just buy tickets. If you want to go you have to win them.
DIY has a whopping fifty (50) tickets to give away: to be in with a chance of winning a pair, simply sign up to our mailing list, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or send us a tweet using the form below. The closing date for entries is Sunday 14th September.
For Gnarwolves, the road to the release of their debut album has been long and fun-filled. Having built their reputation up from playing show after show (take the weekend of this year’s Great Escape when they played four shows in the space of three days - in three different cities - as just a snippet of their touring history), the trio have become more than well-known for their brand of ruckus-inducing punk rock.
“Yeah, I don’t know what happened there really!” guitarist Thom Weeks ponders, thinking of their massive slot at the festivals, including a slot on Reading & Leeds’ Main Stage. “It was a challenge in the sense that we’d never even stood on a stage like that before…” he laughs, before bandmate Charlie Piper weighs in. “I think it was a challenge of nerves; but we adapt pretty well to most things.”
They pause, and look at one another, before Thom concludes with a grin spread across his face. “It was cool, wasn’t it?”
"We didn't have to rush – and we've never not had to rush before. I think that shows in the recording quality."
While for some bands, appearing in front of however many thousand people at such an infamous event might be the pinnacle of their careers, for Gnarwolves it marks just the beginning. The opportunity was – while still a milestone - more an introduction to their next big step: releasing their debut. It’s a record that sees the band move into darker territory, whilst embracing the challenges of bettering their songwriting and proving that they can step up to the plate. “We were genuinely terrified in the few weeks leading up to the recording that we weren’t gonna have enough songs to write a record,” admits Weeks, “but then we did and it was great. We’re really proud of every single song.
“I think we thought about what we were doing a little bit more than we have done in the past. We’ve concentrated on trying to write really good songs, and just had a little bit more time to learn how to write songs together. We were just trying to get into the groove a bit, while learning how to play with each other, and how to sing and stuff! It’s better in that sense. We didn’t have to rush – and we’ve never not had to rush before. I think that shows in the recording quality.”
Returning to The Ranch in Southampton - where they had previously recorded both their ‘CRU’ and ‘Funemployed’ EPs - to work with producer Lewis Johns was also something very important to them, even if the weather did try to get the better of the experience. “We spent a lot of time feeling a little bit lost, in the middle of nowhere, because it rained a lot so we were stuck in the barn a lot of time, but it was awesome. Lewis made us feel really comfortable and t was great, it was really nice. We drank a lot of tea and went to a country pub, which you apparently have to do when you’re recording.”
"I like to write when I'm right in that moment, before I've thought about why I'm feeling the way I am."
Their previous outputs may have leaned towards the powerful bounce of pop punk, but their debut full-length is that little more potent. Packing a punch from the word go, with opener ‘Prove It’ setting the tone, the trio have moved into heavier territory. Gone are the youthful anthems of cold pizza and partying; this is a poignant record bubbling with the ills of the current generation - titles like ‘Bottle to Bottle’ and ‘Smoking Kills’ say it all - and they’re not to be overlooked.
“I’m still trying to work it out for myself at the moment,” answers Weeks, when posed with what it is that he hopes a listener might take away from the album. He pauses. “When I’m having a bad day, or something, I like to write when I’m right in that moment, before I’ve thought about why I’m feeling the way I am. Everyone has those moments where they prang out about the world around them, or have major paranoia about the state of the country, or that I can’t pay my rent. Then, before I’ve thought about it and realised that it doesn’t matter that much, that’s when I’ll write the song and write the lyrics. I’m hoping that the overarching theme is the freedom to not necessarily have everything worked out and the freedom to be able to feel and think what you want, and not be judged for it.”
Gnarwolves’ debut album will be released on 15th September via Big Scary Monsters.