Bad Wolves remains focused on the future on their third album 'Dear Monsters' (Knotfest Interview)
In a relatively short amount of time, Bad Wolves has asserted themselves as a fixture in the landscape of the modern era of hard rock. The band's 2018's debut Disobey served as a resounding introduction that not only resonated with fans but added to the expectation of what was next.
Capitalizing on the momentum, Bad Wolves solidified the hype with their 2019 follow-up, N.A.T.I.O.N., an effort that landed the band on the Billboard charts and justified touring stints with the likes of arena giants Five Finger Death Punch.
Further endearing themselves to the fans while showcasing their influences and versatility, Bad Wolves inclusion of covers from the likes The Cranberries ("Zombie") and their succession of Patreon exclusives like their take on Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box", Bad Wolves stuck a chord with fans looking for something both heavy and heavy with harmony - Bad Wolves was modern rock that was both radio ready and daringly hefty.
The excitement surrounding the band was such that not even the pandemic would stifle their stride. Throughout the snail's pace of 2020, Bad Wolves remained tip of the tongue as fans were persistent about reminding the band that a third album was more than anticipated. All signs from the band suggested that a third album was a not only a given, but a work in progress would sooner-than-later see the light of day.
What would eventually derail the band's streamroll was the kind of extracurricular conflict that has since dominated the narrative of Bad Wolves. The dramatic demise of the relationship between former frontman Tommy Vext and the entire BW camp was one that played out in a succession of headlines that included snide shit talk, hefty accusations, and even ongoing litigation. The discussion surrounding Bad Wolves turned in 2021 from a potential third album, to skepticism about the future of the band at all.
Then entered former Acacia Strain contributor in heavy music journeyman, Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz.
Rather than indulge the drama that was seemingly surfacing weekly with regards to Bad Wolves, the actual band was quietly narrowing their focus in a show of patience that lived up to the old adage of allowing the music to speak for itself. While the world seemed fixated on Twitter beef, the band regrouped, realigned, and has since reemerged no worse for the wear - or from their perspective, better than ever.
That highly-anticipated third album has since become a reality, with Bad Wolves asserting their next chapter with the October 29th arrival of Dear Monsters. The Better Noise Music release not only couples the same excitement that fans had initially, but now boasts the added significance of serving as a fresh start.
Taking on the role of the band's frontman with the kind of confidence that can only come from a veteran of the game, Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz has only maintained the band's creative pace, he is staying ahead of the pack. The band's shared singles in both "Lifeline" and "House of Cards" offer emphatic examples that his role within the Bad Wolves universe is far from that of fill-in, but rater, the future.
In his own words, DL shares the kind of resilience that has motivated the band to become the best possible version of themselves they can... with Dear Monsters serving as undeniable proof.
Without digging to the drama too much, was there ever any hesitation on your part to assume the frontman position with Bad Wolves knowing the kind spotlight you’d be walking into immediately?
DL: No, not really. I just saw it as an opportunity to make music I’ve always wanted to make with a group of extremely talented guys that I’ve known for a long time.
Has it been difficult to stay focused on Dear Monsters or has all the noise outside of the band really galvanized you guys around this record?
DL: If anything it’s made us hungrier than ever to persevere. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up that really counts.
If there was any skepticism, “Lifeline” and “House of Cards” really ended that quickly. Was there any thought to combating some of that skepticism with these singles given how effective they were?
DL: “Lifeline” was a no-brainer for everyone involved. It’s just one of those songs that you are singing along to by the second chorus upon first listen. It felt special from day one. “House of Cards” wasn’t even really a “single” in the traditional sense. We just picked songs that we felt were indicative of the rest of the album. BUT, beyond that there are definitely some big surprises!
You have worked with the band before but what was it like getting the call like to join ranks for good?
DL: It was exciting. Although we had all agreed going into it, since I was one of the first potential candidates, that the band still go on an extensive search and really just take advantage of the opportunity to see what kind of talent was out there. There really were some amazing submissions and I don’t take it for granted. The band has nothing but respect for everyone that gave it a shot.
Do you feel like the kind of adversity the band has had to endure has added to the quality of this record?
DL: Maybe in a way, sure. We all tend to push harder and thrive under pressure, but I think at the end of the day no matter what the situation was/is we write music for ourselves, first and foremost. We’re always of the mindset to write what we would love to listen to even if we weren’t in the band.
Did you find there was a learning curve that you needed to adjust to in joining a well-oiled machine like Bad Wolves or did you just hit the ground running?
DL: Hit the ground sprinting! Fortunately, Bad Wolves has an amazing team of people that help in every way, every day and it’s humbling to be part of such an awesome family.
The band spoke VERY highly of you and what you bring to the collective. What has your experience been thus far and is the band gelling behind the scenes the way they seem to be gelling on record?
DL: It’s kind of crazy how much chemistry we all have, especially when we are working together on something. I’ve never been in a situation like this, where every guy in the group could be a producer in their own right. From day one, rehearsal one, it just felt like something special. Once we got in the studio and started putting this record together there was an electricity in the air that’s only grown since then.
Do you feel like there is any additional pressure for Dear Monsters to be great? Obviously every band strives to make the best record they can but given the narrative, do you feel like this one really has to be exceptional?
DL: Regardless of the situation, we all came into this record with a goal, to make an iconic album that’ll stand the test of time. I’ve never been more proud of a piece of work or the personnel involved. Everyone showed up big time.
Given the lockdown, the live music hiatus, and the kind of significance of joining a project like this - have you envisioned what those first shows will be like?
DL: It’s going to be something special. There are going to be a lot of emotions for everyone. It’s going to be an intense experience for the band and fans alike. Picture Army vs Navy, Alabama vs Auburn, Michigan vs Ohio State...you get it. Full contact sport, bring war paint.
How pivotal is October 29th for you and everyone involved with Dear Monsters? What did you hope the fans come away with?
DL: We can’t wait for everyone to hear what we’ve worked on so hard, so long. This record’s a journey front to back and it feels extremely special to everyone involved. Bad Wolves is back and better than ever. We ask fans to embrace this new chapter of the band and join us on October 29th when we unleash Dear Monsters to the world.
Dear Monsters, the third album from Bad Wolves arrives October 29th via Better Noise Music. Pre-order the album - HERE