Seasons Of The Wolf
Michelle LaRose talks with Wes & Barry ‘Skully’ Wadell for Garage Radio Magazine
Photographs by Michelle LaRose
Seasons Of The Wolf has sold over 25,000 albums worldwide and are marking their territory in the realm of heavy metal. Their list of accomplishments overshadows that of most major label acts.
Seasons Of The Wolf carry the torch of the 80’s style dark metal and refuse to conform to the corporate standards of what music should be. They are poised to release their fourth album Once In A Blue Moon, which is set to drop on the date of the blue moon no less.
We were able to sit with brothers Wes and Barry “Skully” Wadell to find out more about these rockers in wolves clothing.
Skully: Yeah, it’s good! Real good. We’ve been working on it for five years actually. We were going to put it out in late 2004 then we were hit by all those hurricanes during the first recordings of it in the summer of 2004. Then we decided that 2005 would be a good year to release it so we continued to work on it. We recorded probably twenty-five songs for the album, which we would then select twelve cuts out of those twenty-five that we would fit on the album.
We like to keep things in continuity, pick out the songs that fit the artwork and the whole concept, so out of twenty-five songs we narrowed it down to twelve, eleven tracks something like that. Then we were going to put it out in 2006 and we had member problems. We had a couple fill-in’s playing with us because the drummer that is actually with us on this particular album is the same drummer that’s always been with us but he’s not in the band live any more he’s just doing studio recordings. So he ended up recording about seven cuts for the album.
We had a fill-in drummer that turned into a permanent drummer because he dug the band so much, Mark Empire. We wanted to get him in on the album to introduce our fans to him so we ended up bringing him in on a couple of songs. So that postponed the album a little bit longer because we wanted to bring him in. The same thing happened with Michael Poplees from up in New York. He did fill-in bass work for us on a few live shows and he dug the band so he’s now a permanent member of the band too.
Some of the bass tracks for this album I actually recorded myself at the onset of doing it all. So we were getting ready to put the album out and it was like, “No, lets bring Michael in because we want to get him on the album.” So we sent him the cuts that I had recorded. We had to take the time to bring him in the studio and have him re-record these songs so that he could be on the album. Bill Bios our other fill-in bassist, he plays on a couple of songs on the album and another guy that was with the band briefly plays on two songs on the album. So we have our old drummer Wayne Hoefle still on the album and on all of our albums. We are also introducing our newest drummer Mark Empire plus one special guest drummer on one song that was with the band for a brief time because he was so cool, Scott Thacker, he’s on one song. So we have three drummers and one, two, three, three bass players for this album. Mark Empire and Mike Poplees of course they are the permanent new members.
We are so anxious to get this freakin’ album out there… five years! That’s one of the reasons we decided to title the album Once In A Blue Moon. Not only does it fit with the concept of the wolves and the artwork and the stuff we have on the album, it can be taken many different ways. The other reason is because it seems like once in a blue moon when we release a damn album! [All laugh] So that’s the story on that.
GR: So what happens to the songs that didn’t make the album, will we see them on a future album?
Skully: Oh yeah definitely. We put the stuff together conceptually as the album is being recorded and the artwork gets developed. Once the art work starts to fit visually with some of the songs then all of a sudden some of the songs we thought were going to go on the album don’t go on the album. We write a few new ones that fit more with the album. There might be ten songs left over and two or three of those left over songs might fit on the next album, which is usually what ends up happening along with a batch of new ones. It’s whatever fits on that album.
We don’t just write twelve songs and go, “There’s your album.” We write tons of songs and then pick out of those songs the ones we want to have for the album. There’s got to be at least two or three fast ones, two or three mid tempo ones, a couple of mellower ones and one instrumental. We always put at least one instrumental on every album. We have probably over one hundred and fifty songs now that we haven’t even recorded. Who knows whether they’ll end up on an album or not. Give us money! Give us money and we’ll put em’ out no problem.
GR: You two are brothers. Was music encouraged in your home when you were growing up?
Wes: I was mostly influenced by the albums that my brother had. He was listening to Black Oak Arkansas, Black Sabbath and stuff like that of course on vinyl. Even when I was a baby I heard that music in my head. I started picking up his vinyl albums and playing them and I was like, “This is some good stuff!” Before that I would listen to Michael Jackson, Prince or Madonna. Now that I look back on it, I really respect those artists. It’s not my style of music any more but I think they had a real impact on music.
Most of my musical influence was from his vinyl albums. My favorite of course was Black Sabbath. I was really inspired by Ozzy then Judas Priest; I was influenced by Rob Halford. I would put on the albums and I’d start singing along with them. Of course you know when I was younger and had a higher pitched voice I probably could have hit those notes right on it with Rob Halford.
Later on down the line I was mostly into theater in high school because I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be in the movies. It was more theater oriented. Everybody was going to college for theater. I wanted to do this movie thing but when was that going to happen? So after high school I took a break and said, “Well I don’t know what I’m going to do.” I started hanging out with the bro again. He was with Dennis, our keyboard player, the group that they had before split up and they were trying to put together a project. They had the name for it, Seasons Of The Wolf, because of the song that Dennis was working on; it was an instrumental at the time. They were holding auditions for vocalists. I was there that night and I was listening to this and I was shocked myself. I did musical theater in school and I was always told that I was terrible. I had a whole song cut out of the musical Cabaret. It was a lead song that the guy is supposed to sing and they cut it out because I could not sing that because I had to hit those notes really perfect, operatic.
My voice teacher never liked me at all. I would never have thought that I would be thought of as good as a vocalist at all. Of course that’s a totally different type of music. So I’m hanging out and listening to these people. A lot of them were bass player slash vocalist. One guy was singing about his dead rat or something. I was like, “Wow! What is this? Shew! Good luck finding somebody!” Skully was like, “We have some time, why don’t we give you a try?” I said, “Ok.” I actually wanted to, I was eager, I wanted to get up there and try it but I didn’t really want to say it. I’m a little bit shy sometimes. They said, “Yeah, yeah, give it a try.” I had heard Skully singing before because he was singing in the band Equinox and playing guitar. So I knew what he sounded like when he was singing the song. So they started playing one of their songs and I just started singing it. They were looking at me like they just shit their pants. I thought I was just imitating him [laughing].
Wes: Oh yeah. My hair was really short. I had just graduated. I still have that senior year picture and my hair was really short. Very short.
Skully: I had long hair. He had short hair.
GR: Are either of you formally trained in music?
Wes: The only type of music lessons I had was in theater and we had to take music theory. I never understood that, the charting of the notes and all that kind of stuff. Then of course I had the vocal teacher who always slapped my hands because I wasn’t hitting the note perfectly. I was always trying, you know? He just said I was worthless.
GR: You’re a lost cause!
Wes: Yeah! I was a lost cause. I actually went back to that high school and I was looking for him because there were a couple of acting teachers there that I really respected a lot. I wanted to let them know what was going on with me because they wanted to know where I would go after high school. I was like, “Where’s that vocal teacher? I want to hand him a CD and see what he thinks.” Of course that’s not his style of music but still… I think he would… I don’t know… That would show him.
GR: What are some of the biggest obstacles you face as an independent band?
Skully: Ignorance. Basically society and what they’ve been trained to believe. There’s a big difference between unsigned, signed and independent. The thing that often happens, I’ll give you an example; I recently sent in some material to Metal Maniacs Magazine, this is just one example, this has happened many times. I told them we have a new album coming out; do you have a new contact there? We’ve been in contact with them a lot in the past but a lot of those people are fired and there are new people that don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. To make a long story longer… I asked them for an address to send our new release to. They sent back two addresses. One of them is for their special section of unsigned artists and the other one is for major label artists. That’s it. Which one do I send to?
We’re not a major label artist but by God we are not an unsigned band! We gave ourselves our own record deal. We own our own record label. We’ve put out now, this will be our fourth album, plus we’ve recorded other people in our studio that have put out albums independently. So that is a problem. A lot of people don’t get the difference between independent and unsigned. They actually think that that’s the same thing. Ok? But it’s not. Independent means that you don’t have as much money as a major label. That’s all. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have any money and you’re not putting out professional stuff. Our particular product that we put out once an album is recorded has been said to look better and sound better than some major labels.
There have been shows that we’ve done in the past on bigger stages like the State Theatre or Masquerade, Lee County Civic Center, Manatee Civic Center, larger stages. We’ve got three different sized backdrops. We’ve hired our own stagehands for the bigger shows and we do what we can to pay them for the help. You always get what you pay for. A lot of bands out there that are unsigned, they’ve got their groupies and a few friends and family pitching in and rolling in equipment and helping when they can. We’ve been through that period too but when you start doing larger shows where you have a twelve by twelve backdrop, two smoke machines, extra special effects lights and your own stage props so that you can be identified as that band, that’s where you’re moving into the territory of more major label band.
You just don’t have two or three million dollars to put behind the project. You’ve got whatever you can get. If you’ve got one or two guys, the whole band preferably, but if you’ve got one or two guys in the band that are willing to go and take out a loan equal to that of a car loan… It’s giving up the new car to go get yourself that amount of money in a loan and put it into manufacturing, producing and putting out an album. You can do pretty good. If you’re doing it on your own and you’re going to do it the right way it will actually cost you less than the major label.
These people know that the major labels have got the money. They hire all kinds of people; they hire photographers that they know are going to cost two thousand bucks for the photo session. They hire producers to produce the band in the studio and they pay the hundred, hundred and twenty dollars an hour. They put the band in Criteria Studio with a bunch of people who don’t necessarily give a shit about the band’s music but they have to do their job. When people have to do their job to make the money they don’t do as good a job as when they are passionate about a certain project and they will absolutely spend as much time as they can working with the band on a personal level. So there are a lot of big pluses to being an independent artist but it is a big sacrifice because you have to spend the money. The money that you were going to spend on getting your front teeth capped… well as long as you keep your mouth shut that’s not a necessary thing. So lets spend this money on putting this out and putting that out.
There’s a lot of sacrifices and that’s just one of them. You sacrifice your girlfriends, you sacrifice your housing. My brother and I gave up regular domesticated living just so that we could put that money into the band. We don’t own two cars we only have one that we share.
Skully: [Laughing] Yeah! Anyway, you’re going to run into a lot of problems being an independent artist. If you are an independent artist that means that you are signed. Independent is signed, that means that you’re doing it all on your own. You’re putting your money into it and there are a lot of sacrifices that go with it. You can edit that down to that. That’s about all I can think of right now without going on a long passionate story of the older bitter pissed off musicians.
GR: What’s your biggest problem in dealing with club owners?
Wes: I don’t know if there’s just one! They don’t know what they’re doing. Most of them. They want to make money in their clubs obviously but they don’t let the band put on the show that they’ve asked them to come and do. There are a lot of restrictions with the smoke machine and stuff like that. We have a certain show that we came to put on, they wanted to see our show and now they’re telling us that we need to leave all of our tools outside.
Skully: You can’t put your backdrop up.
Wes: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a real shocker when you can’t even put your backdrop up. I’m not going to even mention the club but there was one that had their name outside on their marquee and then there’s a sign inside and we can’t cover that up with ours so people know we’re Seasons Of The Wolf. These people already know what bar they’re in they saw the sign outside. The biggest problem is they just don’t let you put on the show that they’ve asked you to come and do. He [Skully] could probably go on and on.
[Skully sits with a piercing glare]
GR: Yeah he’s ready to go on and on!
Wes: I just kind of summed it up.
GR: What do you feel is wrong with the music industry today?
Skully: Sheeeeeew … you can put that in there too!
Skully: How do you spell sheeeeeew?
Skully: What’s wrong with it? First off I’d like to say the biggest thing is that nobody listens to people and they’re probably not going to listen to me either. I don’t mean to put myself up on the same level as these other people yet but if you’d listen to Tom Petty and you’d listen to, God rest his soul Phil Lynott, rest in peace, from Thin Lizzy and listen to what some of these other people have to say and go study up on what they’ve got to say is wrong with the music business even in their time when they were starting out, well guess what? They didn’t listen. It’s like ten times worse now. Why? Because the planet has ten times more people.
Back in the 70’s there were three billion people. This isn’t too far from that and we’ve already got six point five billion people on the planet. So overpopulation is the number one problem for everything no matter what business you’re in, including the planet we’re living on. So that’s getting a little more political. I guess getting to the root of the question… problems in the music business. Myspace isn’t necessarily a problem. It’s beautiful. This can be a beautiful thing. It’s working out beautiful for those that know how to actually use it to their advantage. The only problem with it is the doors are wide open right now to the music business. They’re more wide open than they’ve ever been in the history of entertainment.
So let’s just get down to the entertainment business in general. Forget about being in a band. I’m talking acting, film, anything to do with entertainment. The doors are wide open. Myspace is, believe it or not, some people hate the damn thing so do I… Myspace has allowed all the soccer moms out there and bankers and people that have had dreams and aspirations in their life as fans of the entertainment business to actually get involved with the music business.
Everybody can get involved in the music business. I have run into in the past two years just overwhelming numbers of women, and guys too, mostly women… remember this before we go on, women on this planet outnumber men eleven to one so that’s the reason that there’s so many more women. Anyway… divorced, single again, have a kid that’s already a teenager and they’re trying to be a hip mom or be a hip dad and their dreams are wide open because they can actually have a side hobby now promoting a band. This is beautiful. We all know this is beautiful thing. But the problem with it is we’ve got some educating to do. Because those of us that have been in the entertainment business industry for thirty years of our lives know all the pit falls and all the weird flaky things that can happen, it was already tough enough.
Now we have to educate people that are just now getting into it for the first time in their life as a side hobby. What’s happening is that some of these people that are taking it on as a side hobby are going, “Hey this is the first time in my life that I can actually be a working part of the music industry.” And they actually take it a step farther than the side hobby thing and start booking bands in their local towns and at the local bars that are wanting to tour. Promoting those bands by any means necessary and all that good stuff. But the problem is a lot of these people that are in their thirties and forties getting into the music business for the first time or entertainment business they don’t know what they’re doing. Just because they book a couple of bands in their local bar or they start their own Internet radio station doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing.
The problem is a lot of them do it a couple of times and all of a sudden they think they are the guru of industry all within the last six months after they book two or three bands that didn’t make any money and only twenty or thirty people showed up to the gig or less. Some of these people actually tuck their tails and run, go back home to mama. But some of them don’t they are actually getting into it. There’s a few of them, just like anything, there’s a few people that get into the passionate part of the blood, sweat and tears and the sacrifice and that’s what we’re getting out of this whole thing.
It’s actually positive stuff and it’s negative stuff. I don’t want it to come across negatively. I’m basically saying the doors are wide open if used properly and a lot of people out there that are on Myspace that are getting in it for the first time and making their dreams come true, being a writer, making your own little magazine, your promotional website, your internet radio station or whatever. If you’re really into it and you really want to help the bands then you need to get educated and pay attention to some of the people that have been doing it for a long time. Maybe go out and pick up a book you can get at the library, you can buy it at most book stores called This Business Of Music. If you’re really serious about it pick it up. A couple of more things to do that would help out, even if you don’t like the particular kind of genre of music that Tom Petty does, forget about that, go on the Internet and bring up at least two or three interviews of Tom Petty and read them carefully.
Wes: Well… I don’t think that it has vanished completely. We get that 80’s thing a lot. There’s a whole bunch of different kinds of 80’s sounds. There’s the hair metal 80’s thing that I don’t know that we fit too much into that kind of thing. But I know the underground 80’s metal thing you’re referring to and I think it’s coming back. I really don’t know what happened. I was dumbfounded by it. The grunge thing started coming in. I work at a music store so I see the trends of what’s happening in music, what people are into. I just know that it has a lot to do with what we were discussing earlier with the music industry. It’s like the one who has all the money makes the rules. They’re shoving a certain kind of music down people’s throats.
Skully: A lot of that has to do with the 1996 Telecommunications Act that happened. Anybody that’s paid attention in the last ten years, we’re talking ten years since 1996 roughly… Grunge, I still think grunge and a lot of the stuff in the early 90’s was still an extension of what was going on in the 80’s, it was actually progressing quite nicely. Even Marilyn Manson coming out and Nine Inch Nails and bands like that. They’re still good entertainers, good show, good music, big names but after 1996… In the last ten years name a few names that have that kind of classic status that have reached that point where they’ve sold millions of albums and still to this day can tour and pack arenas like Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie. These were the last guys that were played on major mainstream radio.
Now we’re getting into the politics. You’re going to get into things about congress and things about radio here and Clear Channel radio. In 1996 they slipped this one over the public’s head. Us little peons out here, civilians didn’t know the deals that were struck behind our backs in congress between Lowry Mays, the head of Clear Channel and our government he was funding. They changed the rules. There used to be a rule where no radio could own but a certain amount of stations as a conglomerate. Well they changed that rule in 1996 and they allowed it to be where basically it’s free. So Lowry Mays and Clear Channel buys up everything. They own the major venues, they own all the major radio stations and they control it all. No band gets played on the stations without paying for it. If they get caught with their pants down for pay to play they’ll pay the fine because they’ve got plenty of money to pay it with, believe me. Then they’ll just have their attorneys come up with something new to call it but it’s still going to be pay to play. Make this look good because that’s how they make the money.
The only people that are able to afford to pay to get their artists played on radio are major label artists. There’s a lot of money and a lot of politics involved as to why we listen to what we’re listening to on the radio. If you study up on it there’s an article on the Internet you can probably pull up on Clear Channel Communications, it’s called Radio’s Big Bully. It’s about a ten-page article you can read that holds all the truth in the world to it. That’s why we’re listening to the crap we’re listening to today on mainstream radio. It has nothing to do with a genre disappearing completely. It doesn’t have anything to do with that.
There are more people playing all the different types styles of the 80’s than ever before. Why? Because there’s ten times as many people on the planet enjoying it. Every genre there ever was on planet earth musically is still just as much out there and viable today as it ever was. Country, reggae, rock, just plain ole’ rock and roll, heavy metal, death metal, black metal, doom metal whatever you want to call it, jazz, all of it. It’s all just as popular as it ever frickin’ was! But you’re going to deem whether it’s popular or not by whether it’s being played on your mainstream radio station or being viewed on MTV or whatever music channel. See, that is what’s being controlled by money and politics. You’re only going to see what they are letting you see. I don’t think there’s one person out there that’s in control of it all like, “We can only allow them to see this.” It’s not like that. It just has a lot to do with payola and only a certain amount of room for a certain amount of stuff that they believe is going to sell and their accountants and their attorneys and people that are fattening their wallets. It’s all based on what they believe is going to make them money. That’s all it is.
80’s metal, hair metal… it’s all as popular today as it ever was. We just saw Judas Priest play at the Ford Amphitheater and the damn place was full of people raising their fist to the sky. It was a sea of people. So bullshit! The 80’s are twice as popular now as it ever was! It’s just not being seen on TV and heard on radio because they’re cramming other stuff down your throat. It’s all over the place. When you get more people and more bands playing it, it’s also getting spread too thin. Instead of there being only a couple of dozen of those top big bands to listen to now with Myspace and the Internet and everything else, now there’s three hundred and fifty thousand bands out there playing 80’s metal.
There’s not as much reinvestment capital for each of those bands to put into themselves because there’s no focus from the main populous of the world put on just a certain amount of bands. Now it’s put on to all these bands so the money is spread thinner. Instead of one band becoming popular and making ten million bucks, now they have to divide those ten million bucks between a hundred thousand bands. So now that gives each individual band less money to spend on promotions. It’s got to do with money. It has to do with politics. It has to do with Clear Channel Communications. It has to do with our government. To basically edit it down everything has to do with, once again, population and money and government.
Wes: I would also like to add something that the public might not know. I’ve said it a couple of times. I don’t know if I’ve ever said it in an interview but I’m going to say it now. I might get executed somewhere down the line for saying this but… I work in a CD store so I know this, you walk into a store and see the New Release rack or your Top 20 rack and it says ‘The number one selling CD.’ Well this just came out so how do you know it’s the number one selling CD? The answer is, that spot is bought out. Whoever has the money gets the number one spot up there. Whoever has the next amount of money closest to that gets slot number two. So it all has to do with the payola.
GR: Band after band has stated that the music scene is better in Europe. Why do you think that is?
Wes: It’s radio free and they’re hungry. I know I’m dying to get over there and I know that they’re dying to get us over there. Clear Channel hasn’t bought up as much over there either, just mostly over here. It’d be nice if it doesn’t spread that far. It’d be nice to stop the spreading of that Clear Channel disease over into Europe before we get there.
GR: Can you tell us about Defenders of Wildlife?
Skully: Well I can’t really tell you about Defenders of Wildlife because they are actually a part of our government. It’s just some people that formed that and I think they’re a part of our government. That’s cool that our government has that. I can tell you more about Friends Of Animals. Now we are all for Defenders Of Wildlife we just don’t have the Friends Of Animals up on our website yet the FOA.
Back in 1996 we did a show that we put together ourselves called Rock For The Wild basically to raise money for helicopters to go up in Alaska and monitor the hunters and to be able to go in and arrest them for shooting the wolves. Also right now, boy this is going to touch a very passionate thing. I hope I don’t get too far out of hand right now. We have to contain ourselves. We are Seasons Of The Wolf and this is what we do and if you don’t like it, screw you.
I’m telling you right now they are trying to, once again believe it or not, they want to wipe out seventy five percent of the wolf population in Wyoming and Idaho. They’re basically trying to lift the wolves from the endangered species list and also allow seventy five percent of the population of the wolves in America, in Wyoming and Idaho to be killed. Shot down by helicopters, guys with guns flying over and shooting them down. My take on that and I really hate to seem totally sadistic but if I could go in the pack I would too.
This is Seasons Of The Wolf we are wolves. We have decided that six billion of the six point five billion humans on earth need to go! We’re going to wipe you out. Six billion of you are going to be slaughtered and thrown in holes. We’ll allow the last one point five billion of you to live because you’re getting a little out of hand. That’s what the wolves say. I don’t have much to say about the organizations that are trying to protect animals, hey great more power to ya’. Any time we can toss some money your way or do something, great. But right now we’ve got some serious problems out there.
There isn’t enough room on this planet. This is one chunk of earth and unless we build a shit load of spaceships and get off of here and find another place to start screwing up… We’re over populating the planet and we’re running off all the animals. We’re killing the species off, our environment’s changing. It’s in the middle of frickin’ January right now and it feels like it’s summer time in Florida and this is not good. People up north, they’re going, “Oh yippee this is nice warm weather and we don’t have to deal with the snow.” You had better enjoy it while you can because there are some serious problems going on right now. We’ve got flowers blooming right now that shouldn’t be blooming. We’ve got crops sprouting that shouldn’t be. We’ve got some serious problems here. A lot of people say, “Oh a lot of this stuff isn’t going to happen within our lifetime.” Believe me, it’s going to happen in our time. Within the next twenty, twenty-five years you’ve got some serious things going down on planet earth.
Wes: I think it has a lot to do with the attitude that people think they’re better than animals. I think that we are no better or no worse than animals. We are animals too. If we were to think more like animals then I think things would be a lot better.
GR: Two of your members need to reach an altitude of 36,000 feet in order to make it to rehearsals or gigs. How hard is it to have a band where other members live on the other side of the country?
Wes: It’s a little difficult but we do what we can because right now it seems to be what’s working best. We just try to pull together and do what we can.
Skully: It’s positively one of the best things we’ve ever done. We would rather have the guy’s right here living next door. If they did we’d be getting together four and five nights a week and we’d be practicing and they’d be driving to practice. The fact of the matter is by having Mark, he used to live here and was in a band called Crizzy And The Punks, last year he moved up to Chicago now he’s in New Jersey but he’s still in the band. Why? Because he’s good and he wants to be. He pitches in and pays for some of the plane tickets because he’s not working with anybody that’s doing quite as much as we are.
The five of us, we’re veterans. We’ve been playing for a long time and we don’t have to get together and practice three or four nights a week like we used to. We used to do that all the time but see that’s why we can do what we do now. We’ve got the songs; they’re on the album. Everybody can sit at home and practice them and then we get together once every couple of months if we get a line up of gigs we’re going to do. We fly everybody down to our rehearsal studio and in one weekend we plaster out those sets and get that live show back down and then go out and do it. It’s actually quite nice having one guy in New Jersey and the other guy in New York because those guys are picking up more fans and local support from up in that area. Actually it’s better than it ever was before! And we’re not all together to get on each other’s nerves all the time!
Wes: Distance makes the heart grow fonder. I think that comes into play there because we’re still doing it and we’re that far apart it defiantly shows that each member of the band is passionate about it. A lot of times there’s an out of site out of mind kind of thing but when you see time has gone by and we’re still communicating and getting together and trying to get something done it shows you that we’ve got something there where we have some people that are truly passionate about what we’re doing. It’s actually a cool thing.
Skully: Too much of anything is not good. Even sex.
Skully: With these guys it’s like getting together for that next photo shoot and those next gigs or getting together to rehearse is exciting and everybody just can’t wait to do it! That’s because we don’t have to look at each other every day and deal with the crap on a daily basis. Of course my brother and I do but we’re not from planet earth we’ve learned how to do other things. Just read the lyrics, you’ll figure it all out.
Wes: Some of them you might have to read between the lines.
GR: Skully is an artist in more ways than one. You also make jewelry. Can you tell us about that?
Skully: Yeah they’re hanging up on the wall over there. [Pointing to wall]
GR: Our readers can’t see that!
Skully: I have a web page that ties in off the band’s page. It’s SOTWmetal.com/SkullyShark. Instead of Skully Wolf its Skully Shark. You’ll see a display of chains that I’ve made. That’s my side hobby. My side hobby is making jewelry. When I’m sitting around watching horror movies in the background or getting a little tired of playing my guitar for the last two hours, I like to sit down and relax.
When I was a kid, and I still am, we used to take vacations to Florida and we’d always go to Venice, a place called The Black Beach. I learned how to get the sharks teeth. Everybody else would stand around looking for hours and hours and for some reason my eyes picked right up on them. I was collecting jars and jars of shark’s teeth in all different sizes. Now many years later as a little side hobby, I have all these jars of shark’s teeth and I thought, “I’m going to go buy some beads and chains and I’m going to throw these puppies together and make shark tooth necklaces and call them Skully’s Tribal Style Shark Tooth Chains.
I’ve sold some of them because they’re one of a kind and nobody’s quite doing them the same way as I am. I’m not just putting one little stinkin’ tooth on a chain like a lot of these people do. They charge thirty or forty bucks for one decent size tooth on a chain with a couple of fancy colored beads. I put on a lot of fancy colored beads and little miniature skulls and bird talons with a nice medallion in the middle and I have about eight teeth on the chain. Four hanging down from each side so they look a little more tribal. I’ve had people pay in upwards of two hundred and fifty dollars for a chain.
I made one for Brian Vollmer the lead vocalist for Helix. I made his chain with six teeth and in the middle I put a crocodile tooth from South America. A girl that is a promoter for Helix and several other Canadian bands, I send her up chains and she goes out to shows and sells them for me, which is pretty cool. So I’ve sold a lot of my chains to the Canadians. Then the rest of them I give away as gifts to my band mates and people out there that have really been doing some rockin’ good things by promoting Seasons Of The Wolf. After they do a certain amount of cool things I usually surprise them with a little gift and they get a Skully’s Tribal Shark Tooth Chain in the mail and then they really love us.
GR: A couple of terms keep popping up in Seasons Of The Wolf circles. What is Orna Verum?
Wes: Orna Verum. That is the Wadell family motto, which means ‘Adorn The Truth.’
Skully: Respect it. Adorn it.
Wes: I think from the very beginning of time we’ve been offered to see the truth. I won’t say who or what, because that’s another thing I might get assassinated for, has tried to keep a blindfold over the truth because it’s more to the big guys advantage. It’s a comfortable lie that everybody lives with. I still say adorn the truth. I think a lot of times lyrically when I’m writing I try to come across in the lyrics to maybe open people’s eyes and offer that truth to people.
GR: What is the Bloodtree?
Wes: The Bloodtree symbolizes the fan club. It’s the tree of life for Seasons Of The Wolf. It keeps on branching out and branching out. [Skully points to a tree graphic in the room] Ah yeah well you can’t see the picture. We keep pointing at things in the room that you guys can’t see.
GR: You’re also working on a DVD music video rocumentary. Can you tell us about that?
Skully: Yeah. That’s an ongoing project that we already wanted to release last year. We want to release it this year. It really all comes down to finances but that is actually a longer, harder process. You’re touching bases on your first experience on what it’s like to be a filmmaker, to do it well. Right now we’ve got about eighty percent of it done. This last twenty percent is a real bitch because that has to do with actually editing it and piecing it all together. It’s a collection of all the music videos produced plus some live videos, a couple of the gigs that came out sounding decent. We’ve got a couple of songs from the show in Ithaca New York, live at The Haunt. We’ve got a couple of songs that are going to be on there live from Gainesville Florida and maybe other places. Of course the regular produced videos for the songs. And we’ve got them all in order, chronological order. In between the songs we do a narrative telling little history bits about the band while showing backstage crap happening. That and putting it all together and making it a really professional package just like a major label would do for Def Leppard or Megadeth.
We really want this package inside and out to look good and when it’s played we really want people to see the real Seasons Of The Wolf, what it’s been like since the beginning of this band. I was able to do that because way early in the game at every show, there’s been some we’ve actually missed, but every show we’ve ever played ever since 1988 including open houses we’ve always had somebody there with a film camera. We always made sure there was somebody with a camera filming that. I have five big boxes full of VHS tapes and other different types of formats of everything that this band has ever shat out. I spent months going through and picking out the clips I wanted to use and set it up in chronological order. Now we need to put it all together with the narrative plus interviews of the recent members and we’re trying to locate other members that used to be in the band except a couple of them that are dead. We can’t do that. All we can do is mention their names or have a séance and maybe they’ll appear. We do have some ex members that are no longer a part of the world, rest in peace.
We have Phaedra that was in the band on our first album, our female bass player. She was kidnapped by a DJ over in Oslo Norway that loved our music. We had him come over on vacation and he lived with the band for three weeks, he got to go out with us on a couple of gigs and we really showed him the Seasons Of The Wolf rockin’ lifestyle. He dug it plus he fell in love with our bass player and then she got married and moved to Norway.
Wes: He had me sing Lost In Hell in Norwegian.
Skully: Oh yeah, we do have a Norwegian version of Lost In Hell. While he was here we decided to record Lost In Hell with Wes singing it in Norwegian. We had him educate us and go, “Ok. No. That sounds right, better do another take, ok pronounce it more like this.” So we actually have a Norwegian version of Lost In Hell. We sent it over to Norway and got a little bit of airplay for it. Not much. There’s going to be all kinds of stuff like that in this DVD rocumentary and we really want it to be good. Also, how do you keep it current and get it out right away? Keeping things current is a problem. You’re always going to do something the next day that you might want to have on there.
So right now we’ve got Michael and we’ve got Mark and we want to have them in on this. Mark has already been on it. Bill our fill-in bass player was in the Wings Of Doom video, so he’s in it. Bill was also on Starstruck. Mark’s on a couple of the videos. But we don’t even have Michael in one of the produced videos yet. It’s real funny how that works out because Michael is actually the bass player in the studio on the song Wings Of Doom but on the video, we actually produced the video before we recorded the bass tracks on the album, Bill is actually in the Wings Of Doom video but Michael’s actually the bass player on the album. It’s funny. All that kind of neat screwy shit’s going to be in our video rocumentary. It will basically give people an entertaining look at the tangled web that we weave.
Wes: I need to work on that. On the web page, do a tangled web how that all connects together like he was just saying. He’s going to have to tell you the tangled web because I forgot who was playing then and who actually played it live. I think that when it comes out it going to be some really cool shitáge.
GR: Shitáge! That’s perfect! I’d like to thank you gentlemen for speaking with Garage Radio Magazine today.
Wes: Thank you
Skully: Thanks and thanks John and Michelle.