Interview: Upbringing: Gnarwolves

Delve into the musical influences and inspirations behind the Falmouth-via-Brighton punk-rock trio.

Erupting out of the underground, Gnarwolves’ ascent has been non-stop. As they gear up to release their new ‘Adolescence’ EP, there’s no sign of slowing, either - it’s a record that’s every bit as furious and fast-paced in its punk-rock mentality as everything they’ve put their name to to date.

Numerous road trips across the globe have totted up air miles for the group, but it’s not tired them. Instead they’re more energised than ever, packed full of vim and vigour and gunning for the hearts of thousands.

‘Adolescence’ is just round the corner, so with that in mind we’re taking a look backwards. Through childhood and growing up, and every step towards ‘Adolescence’ itself, this is the musical upbringing of Gnarwolves’ smiley, black-tee loving vocalist and guitarist Thom Weeks. Take it away, Thom.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

I started going to watch local bands from the age of 14, but the first touring bands I went to see were Pitchshifter, Thisgirl and Fony at the Hall For Cornwall in Truro. I remember seeing Fony after the show and completely fanboying them despite having never heard them before that night. I’ve still got the signed ticket somewhere.

Were there a good supply of venues in your hometown?

We’re all from the deep west so bands rarely came down as far as Cornwall and even when they would have to play in a pub. The local band scene when I was a teenager was absolutely awesome though, and the bands that came through Cornwall really informed my music taste. Whitmore for life, haha.

Can you remember the first song you ever developed an obsession over?

I can’t remember specifically, but I was a massive Oasis fan as a kid so it was probably ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ or something.

Oasis - ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’

What was the first song you purchased with your own money, and why did you choose it at the time?

I bought that horrible dance tune ‘Free From Desire’ when I was out with my cousin. He was into dance music and I was trying to impress him. The first cassette I bought of my own volition was the first Eminem single. I think I had to persuade my dad to buy it for me because of all the swearing.

What’s the story behind you getting your first instruments?

There was always an acoustic guitar in our house growing up so I picked it up as soon as I could fit my fingers around the fret board. I got my first guitar as a Christmas present when I was about 7, Max got his first drum kit as a birthday present a couple of years later. It was one of those awesome child size kits. Charlie started out playing drums, he bought his first bass after we started Gnarwolves. Fast bloody learner, that one.

What’s your worst musical habit?

Gaffa tape.

Upbringing: Gnarwolves

What kind of inspirations outside of music have an impact on your songwriting?

I work in mental health when we’re not on tour so human experience has a huge impact on the songs we write. Other than that, life as a nob in a punk band yields some pretty interesting life experiences.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given as a musician?

Don’t bring a suitcase on tour.

If you could be any band from the past two decades who would it be, and why?

Dag Nasty, because then I would have the best time.

Gnarwolves’ new ‘Adolescence’ EP is out Friday 13th November via Big Scary Monsters/Tangled Talk.

Tags: Gnarwolves, Upbringing, Features

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