Take me back to the beginning. How did Wallows come to be? Braeden: We met when we were very young. Dylan and I were just like actor boys. Dylan wanted to join this music program called Join The Band and they learn covers and then perform at an LA venue, and he asked me to join. So I went with him and we were just like young kids, 12-14 years old. We were very young and we met Cole there! Cole was already sitting behind the kit when we got there (laughs). Dylan: That was my specific memory of Cole just sitting behind the kit. Braeden: Then yeah! We just kept the band keep going. We asked him to join an actual band and we went from there.
Since you met so young, I’m sure your tastes since have changed a lot, but how have you been able to align your tastes to each other’s and create something you’re all proud of? Cole: I think the deepest root of our tastes were classic rock music. Our families would play The Beatles and all that classic, classic stuff that blew our minds. When we met, we were in that phase of covering Led Zeppelin songs, The Beatles songs. For us, discovering music became being each other’s musical buddies.
Aw! Cole: Haha yes, very cute! If I found something that I would show them and vice a versa. It was like our influences evolved as each other’s influences as well. And now since we’ve been playing music and sharing music with each other for so long, we’re kind of inspired by everything. Everything we like kind of finds its way into the music we make.
Where do you find inspiration? Whether it’s other people’s music, art, the world? Braeden: It’s usually like other people’s art, music, life, whatever it may be! (laughs) But yeah, I would say just hearing different music and being inspired by that is always a classic way of being inspired. (laughs). Then there’s also art, or watching a film or TV show that could inspire you in a way you didn’t think could.
I’m reading that a lot of people are comparing you to other artists, which I guess always comes with the territory. People want to assign likeness to people. Who do you feel has been the most accurate comparison? And were there any that you were like ‘What the fuck? That makes no sense!’? (all laugh)
That sounds like a yes… Cole: A lot of people have been saying “Pictures of Girls” reminds them of a The Cure/The Smiths song, which really, until someone said that, I did not think that myself! That was totally put into my brain by a YouTube cover.
Were there any that kind of hit the nail on the head? Dylan: I think we just like people to draw their own conclusions. We’re not even really inspired by anything in particular. It changes all the time. I’m sure there’s a lot of different things that people hear in our music, and that’s a good thing. And I don’t want to sound like any specific band, so if people hear it, they hear it. If people hear The Smiths, awesome. If they hear Lady Gaga, why not? It’d be great.
So I’m going to be completely honest with you. I heard “Pleaser” before watching 13 Reasons Why, and I’ve been obsessed. I was playing “Pleaser” for a good maybe two weeks before starting to watch. I wasn’t actually going to until I found your social accounts and was like “Oh shit, no way!” All: Whoa! Dylan: That’s so funny!
Then as I kept watching, I recognized you from Grey’s Anatomy too! Braeden: I was actually on Grey’s Anatomy as well! I swallowed marbles. Go back and watch it! Dylan: That’s great to hear, though! “Pleaser,” our first song came out around the time the show was coming out too. A lot of people initially went to it because they saw my account, but then I hear about that, and you went into it without any preconceived notions and just heard the music, that’s really great to hear.
That’s what’s cool. If there was anyone with different intent than just enjoying the music, like coming to the show to just get pictures or something, that all has gone away and our following has really narrowed down to who our fans are and are very devoted. It’s gone down to the core group, and all the people who come to the shows are just into it. Fans of Wallows are just that… fans of Wallows.
How has it been balancing school and production schedules with wanting to record and tour? Dylan: It is our great management team that somehow still put up with us!
Damn, I need to get me one of those. Cole: We’re super lucky to be working with them. And I’m so lucky because, being in USC, you have to have an internship to be part of the program and I actually interned at our management company like two years prior to them reaching out to us. They reached out to us being totally cold, but not realizing that I had worked there! It’s kinda funny how that came around. Everything that we’ve done so far has had some positive part in the band.
Your Spring EP just came out, congratulations! How has it been having it out and performing songs from it? Dylan: It’s interesting because we did a tour before the EP came out and we were performing all of the songs before people even knew them. It was interesting to see what songs people were into the most and then videos were getting put on YouTube. It was exciting. We played a few shows around the release of the EP and it was so crazy to see people singing along. In London, people were singing the riffs to the new songs, which is crazy!
It’s really exciting to have a number of songs out in the double digits, it’s amazing to feel like we have a body of work out now that we’re excited to expand upon. It’s always been a dream of ours to put out a project than just a random single. The EP is definitely a taste tester, and I also feel like every song featured can exist on it’s own as well. It feels great to put out a… not standalone single for once!
That seems to be how most music is released these days, just as singles. What’s your opinion on that? Is that something you want to stay away from? Dylan: In terms of our opinion on other artists, I think it’s great. That’s the thing about music these days, is that there is no rule book. Fans are willing to hear anything you’re going to put out now. If it’s just a bunch of singles, or two eps, or an album in a year, there’s no universal opinion on that anymore. Artists are kind of free to do what they want, and release music how they want. That’s what is exciting about it. We feel like we can do whatever we want, but I do think we’ve always aspired to be an “album band.” We still really care about the art form of albums and cohesive projects. What excites me most is when someone I love releases an entire album, which is a cohesive project from front to back and that’s what I aspire to make projects like that. That’s definitely the next goal for us.
Any plans for the album? Can we talk about anything yet? Dylan: Well, we are outside the studio right now! But that can mean anything… Definitely expect an album for sure. No promises when it’ll be out, I don’t think expecting it this year is realistic. But we’ll definitely have more music out in some capacity this year. But the next goal would be to have an album in the next 365 days (laughs). That’s the goal and to keep growing and evolving in our sound.
…If you can ever find parking! Dylan: Yeah, you never know. Maybe we’ll never find parking, and then we just won’t be able to record ever again. (laughs)
Shit! Do you have a favorite track from the EP? If so, which? Braeden: I think my favorite song at the moment is “Pictures of Girls,” which is funny.
Why? Braeden: I just didn’t expect it to be my favorite one because it wasn’t my favorite since we recorded it. My favorite song is probably “It’s Only Right” but in terms of the vibe right now, I think “Pictures of Girls” and “Let The Sun In” right now. Cole: I like “Let The Sun In.” My friend Danny recorded the trumpet lines and him being in the studio was really, really hilarious to me. It just reminds me of Danny. He’s a good guy and it was really fun having him in the studio. He bring such an energy. He’s a good little guy. Dylan: Braeden wrote a great little ditty, “1980s Horror Film.” With the help of our superman producer [John Congleton], that song really surprised me. That was Braeden live and acoustic one take, and then layered everything. We had our buddy Julian just play along with it. He played this really beautiful like philharmonic stuff and nailed it! We just kept one of the takes he did and kept it how it was played.
What’s one thing you’d want to change about the music industry? All: WHOA! Braeden: From what I’ve seen in the music industry so far, just as a personal individual, it’s been really nice and chill. It’s kind of crazy. Our label is great, our team is great. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for us it’s been pretty chill. Cole: I don’t want to get too sociopolitical, but we’re playing all these festivals these year, and the Lollapalooza lineup, as amazing as it is, is just lacking a lot of female artists. I think there’s like 80 or 85 male artists, or something crazy. I will say, it is probably trending upward, but not quite enough yet. Dylan: That’s not just Lollapalooza though, it’s just an existing issue. It’s artists getting recognition over other artists. While it’s an issue in lineups and stuff, we’re a band of only white dudes and we can acknowledge that that’s an issue. But FYF this year, both headliners are both women, which I think is amazing! It’s the first major festival lineup ever to have only female headliners. There are changes being made, and it’s great. I’m excited to see in a few years how much more different it will be.
Agreed. Female artists for the win. Dylan: 100%! Most of the artists that are inspiring me right now are either fronted by females or are just entirely female.
Are there any artists you’d like to collaborate with? Dylan: There are a few that we’d actually love to collaborate with, but I’m just not going to say it publicly in case it does actually happen!
Give me the scoop! Dylan: I think it’s exciting when you don’t really expect bands, per se, to collaborate with other rock artists, but we really are interested in doing. We want to collaborate with other artists 100%.
What up-and-coming artists have you been into? Braeden: Cole introduced us to a band called Joy Again, they’re so good! They have an EP and a couple singles out right now. Dylan: I think Clairo is about to take over the world. Cole: We’re buds with this band called The Marias, they’re amazing. They have an EP out and it’s super clean! They’re awesome. There’s so much. Dylan: There are artists that I’m obsessed with who are still bigger than us but, we’re like… pass the baton over to us! (laughs) There’s so many people on the cusp, like Gus Dapperton. I feel like he’s just going to explode tomorrow.
Another artist I’m obsessed with is Bakar, he has a song “Something I Said.” Also another band that Cole introduced us to is Kalbells. Her album last year Ten Flowers is the most underrated album of 2017.
Cole: It’s criminally underrated! Hinds is great! I love that they’re doing their own thing. I love “Cool” by Soccer Mommy too! There’s just so much good music being made. Dylan: Every day there’s something new. It’s amazing. Braeden: People should check out “Off My Rocker” by Nathan Lindsay as well! We jam to that song. It’s such a jam. Cole & Dylan: That was Braeden!
Are you guys, like, not proud of that or something? Cole & Dylan: NO! No, no, no. We love that track. Very proud. It’s Braeden’s thing.
Finally, what’s next for you guys? Whether it’s individually or as a band.I saw the trailer for 13 Reasons Why Season 2, looks awesome – Congratulations! Braeden: I don’t know! I might try to get an acting job, and just keep writing songs! Dylan: Ah! We’re excited to play our first real music festivals this year. I think what’s next is, this year is more behind the scenes of what’s next year. Keep being inspired and setting up next year to be even better than this!