INTERVIEWS

Tommy Vext, BAD WOLVES: “We Are Onto Something”

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Written by Marko Ristić

The news about the death of Dolores O‘Riordan from The Cranberries shocked us all. Few days after the news broke we had the chance to head the cover of “Zombie” that metal band Bad Wolves did that the band almost made in collaboration with Dolores before her untimely death. Unfortunately, many of you probably didn’t hear about this band before this. We had a chance to chat with Tommy Vext, frontman of this fantastic American band.

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Bad Wolves, photo Stephen Steelman

We have to start with a collaboration with Dolores that was supposed to happen just before she passed away in London. How did you even came up with the idea to do a cover of “Zombie“?
Tommy: Early last year I had been going to this coffee shop in Venice, California to sit and write lyrics for our album before heading to the studio to record. One day the song came on over the radio in the shop and it just really resonated with me. I listened to The Cranberries when I was in high school. I was always a metal head but I loved a few alternative bands. When I looked up Dolores lyrics I realized so much of what she was expressing was something humanity is still struggling with. 

What was her first reaction when she heard that a metal band will do a cover of that song?
Tommy: Dan Waite from our label was a longtime friend of Dolores and originally asked him to send her the song for her approval while we were backstage at Wembley Arena at the final 5FDP date of their European tour. A couple days later it was Christmas Eve and I was in New York with my family. Dan texted me “She loved your version & even offered to sing on it”. I was amazed.

How did you guys feel when you heard she passed away and with all this media attention Bad Wolves received afterward? Is it kinda strange or hard to you?
Tommy: At first it didn’t even feel real. I had her voice messages saying how excited she was to record and how much she looks bed what we did. And the next morning she was gone. I think everyone is still processing this. It’s tragic. For the fans, for her friends and love at of all her family. 

You made a decision that this song would benefit her children, right?
Tommy: 
Yes, ultimately the band and the label decided that if the song is released proceeds have to go to Dolores’ Children. 

You dropped two singles for now. How do you like a response from people that hear music till now?
Tommy: 
Our initial two releases, “Learn To Live” and “Toast To The Ghost” has been very well received in fact. I think we knew we were onto something sonically by the response of our peers who heard the first demos last year. Seems like the music scene is behind it too.

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From all that we heard, for now, your sound is very modern. What would you call your genre of metal?
Tommy: 
I don’t know what genre Bad Wolves is, to be honest. I’m sure once it’s out people will try to label it, but to me that whole process of labeling bands a sub-genres, that’s up to the fans and press. All the guys in the band have been in the music business for over a decade in various projects. We don’t really care what others label it as long as they like it.

Any tours planned for Europe during this year? I can see you have couple shows in North America for now.
Tommy: I hope so, hopefully in November/December 2018 maybe earlier we’re still working on it.

Last year you were filling in as the singer of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. What was that experience like?
Tommy: 
It was bittersweet. It was obviously fun to play with my friends and jam at such large festival shows but the whole time everyone was concerned about Ivan’s health. That was the number one thing on all of our minds and in our hearts. I’m super proud of him for taking care of himself and coming back stronger than ever. So it all seemed to work out in the end. 

If you could describe your band in just one sentence to make people hear what you have to offer, what sentence would that be?
Tommy:
 Just go listen to it and decide for yourself, that’s the best thing.

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