New Exciting Band,
Joyous Wolf, has not
Had Enough just yet
May 2019 Kreig Marks
Joyous Wolf formed in 2014 out of Southern California. The band is: vocalist Nick Reese, guitarist Blake Allard, bassist Greg Braccio, and drummer Robert Sodaro. Reese and Sodaro met in 6th grade. They went to different high schools, where Sodaro befriended Braccio. During that time Reese, by chance, met Allard in the acoustic room at a Guitar Center, and they jammed on CCR’s “Born on the Bayou”. They clicked. Months later, Reese reached out to Sodaro and Allard to start a band. Braccio followed suit.
Their rock sound is Heavy Metal and Delta Blues. Joyous Wolf features a high-energy show, and stands out in with stage presence, and musicianship that's exciting to watch. They also happen to be a bunch of cool guys to speak with. They don't mind being seen as underground. Music is their goal.
TRR: Hey Nick. This is Kreig with Tru Rock Revival Magazine. How are you doing today?
Nick: Doing OK here, except it’s a bit snowy today. I’m in Colorado, at Colorado Springs for a show tonight at Sunshine Studios.
TRR: Congratulations on the new CD, A Place in Time. I listened to it a while back, after speaking to Brendan from Chout. He speaks very highly of you guys.
Nick: Oh man. Thanks. Yeah, Brendan and the guys are some of my best friends in the world…Brendan, Rocco and the guys.
TRR: You guys originally got together in 2014 in California. I understand you and Robert have known each other since elementary school. Were either of you into music at that young age?
Nick: Greg joined in May of 2015 and in our opinion, that’s when we became a solid act. Robert and I have been friends since the day before we started middle school. We met at the orientation the day before school started. He ended up at a different high school than me, but we stayed in touch. We lived like 5 minutes away from each other. I met Greg when he was hanging out with Robert jamming a bit. He’s this great big 6’5” giant. He had this shitty Squier bass, and held it up real high like a jazz player. (laughing). He was sitting in the pool room at Roberts house talking about a Chili Pepper’s song, ‘Coffee Shop.’ So, Greg races through the song at like 8 times the speed, racing through it, unplugged but so loud on it. I was looking at my phone, and then I looked up and was like, "Wow!" So, a few weeks later, we called Robert at work. He was working at Ralph's. We called him on his shift and asked if he wanted to be in our band. He said, yep. And, there you go.
TRR: You and Blake met at a Guitar Center? Tell me about that.
Nick: Yah. I was in the acoustic room trying to get away from the noise in the main room. He was in the acoustic room, too. He actually lived a bit far from there and really never went there. But, he went there that day to get his guitar worked on. So, he’s killing some time while getting his guitar fixed, and trying to tune this Resonator guitar. Anyway, I had a tuner and I tossed it to him. We jammed to some CCR. I asked him if he needed a guitar player. I told him I was in a band. He liked my voice, and 6 months later, I gave him a call and we got together with Robert and Greg.
TRR: How did you come up with the name of the band?
Nick: (laughing) Band Name Generator!
TRR: (laughing) Really?
Nick: Yep. I swear to God. We used the random feature.
TRR: This is a first. (laughing)
Nick: I can go back in our Facebook conversations and look at how we came up with the band name using that. It’s really funny. 9:58
TRR: Pick up the phone and call Band Name Generator and tell them how you found your name. Sponsor!
Nick: (laughing) That would be hysterical if they did that. We were sitting in a booth at restaurant called The Hat in Southern California, using the name generator, eating the best pastrami sandwich you’ll ever have. The names that were being kicked out were crazy like Global Death, Bird Stadium and Joyous Wolves came up, but we changed it to Joyous Wolf and, bam, we were done. We thought we’d change the name again later on, but now we’re stuck with it.
TRR: Do you feel like you guys are gaining a lot more fans now since the new album has come out?
Nick: You know, it’s kind of strange. Someone did a review of the album and said, Joyous Wolf is coming in under the radar, sneaking around all this noise. It seems like we’re really appreciated in this underground fashion, and it makes it more real to me, not being forced up everyone’s anus.
TRR: Like REM years ago when they started out. They were very underground and featured mostly on college radio.
Nick: I love REM! They’re one of my most favorite bands of all times and Michael Stipe is one of my inspirations when it comes to lyrics. The song ‘Said Too Much’, on our album is like my love letter to REM. That first REM album, Murmur, I love it. Especially the song, ‘Talk About the Passion.’ That song just really gets to me. I love it.
TRR: Who writes most of the songs for the band?
Nick: We all write them together. Everything we do, we all have input.
TRR: Do you come up with the words first or a riff?
Nick: It really depends. Sometimes it’s the words, sometimes a melody. It’s just spontaneous. Every possible option. We’re really just getting started. The follow-up to this album will be something very special.
TRR: Tell me about the first show you guys did as Joyous Wolf.
Nick: It’s actually a bit funny. Greg wasn’t in the band yet but he was friends with Robert, so he was actually at the show, and he got to share that experience with us. We played our first show with Badflower. They’re with Big Machine Records. They’re killing it right now. We just went out there and went full blast. It was a small, packed little room, and it’s actually now a weed dispensary. (laughing) We had a blast.
TRR: Who’s idea was it to cover Mississippi Queen by Mountain?
Nick: I think it was all of us. It’s a real cool song to cover. And, the guys nailed it with their instruments. They picked apart the whole song and they nailed it! I’ve got the 3 best players in the industry. My 3 best friends are the best musicians. All others pale in comparison.
TRR: Have you heard from Leslie West of Mountain?
Nick: We have his blessing on it but have never spoken to him.
TRR: Where did you guys record Place in Time?
Nick: Part of it at Sunset Studios. Robert did the drums there. The other part we did at Howard Benson’s studio.
TRR: Who produced the record?
Nick: Howard Benson produced the whole album.
TRR: Personally, when did you start singing?
Nick: I was 15. I was late to the game and a horrible singer. I was the worst singer you’ve ever heard in your life! (laughing) My parents sat me down, like an intervention. They said there’s something called tone deafness. (laughing).
TRR: Your parents did that? (laughing)
Nick: (laughing) Yeah. I swear to God. It made me so pissed off so I sang every day, all day long.
TRR: Your parents, trying to ruin your dreams! (laughing)
Nick: (laughing) Seriously!
TRR: So, what are their thoughts now?
Nick: They finally got on board. (laughing) My father claims there’s a method to the madness. I claim bullshit! They were just so surprised that I took it so seriously and eventually, I guess I became half decent.
TRR: Trying to destroy your dreams!
Nick: (laughing) Nah, they’re the best parents in the world. They let me pursue my dreams.
TRR: Is there anyone who’s helped mentor you guys along the way, or have you had to learn a lot about the industry on your own?
Nick: Corey Taylor from Slipknot. He’s been a huge help for us and helped us get with Road Runner. Josh Todd from Buckcherry. The whole band. They guys from Fozzy. All these guys have really helped us. Royal Bliss. They’ve all been great.
TRR: How did you guys hook up with Road Runner Records? They’re a cool label.
Nick: We were playing out a lot, at the Viper Room, a bunch of other places. A guy came down, our agent, and the gear we used in-house malfunctioned, so it wasn’t our best show. But, obviously he saw something in us, and got us booked at a few festivals, and the next thing we know, we’re the only unsigned band on that festival, and we’re the heroes of those shows. It was the best time and we got tons of press. After the Aftershock festival, Dave Rass got us our record deal.
TRR: Any crazy fan stories to talk about?
Nick: Cherry Festival in Michigan. We were opening for 3 Days Grace, my first rock star moment. There’s all this seating up front where a bunch of older people are up front because I guess they could afford those seats. The younger guys are all in the back. Up front they were real quiet, but in the back, they were loud. So, I got naked and ran through the crowd all the way to the back giving high 5’s to a bunch of people. There’s this beautiful blond who grabbed my arm and she says, “Please kiss me” and I just ran past her. It was cool.
TRR: Did she come look for you after the show?
Nick: Yah, she did, but I wasn’t into it. I’m not that kind of guy, I’m a bit shy off stage actually. The guy on stage is the guy I wish I could be. I’m Clark Kent, he’s Superman. (laughing)
TRR: Ha! I know you guys will be doing a lot of shows the next several months with Buckcherry, and then you’ll be doing the Louder than Life Festival in Kentucky in September. Is there anyone on that ticket you’re looking forward to meeting?
Nick: We’ll be doing Aftershock too. The lineups are crazy, and I’m glad we’re a part of it.
TRR: Do you guys have any material for the next record?
Nick: Yah. We have 2 songs that will be on the next album and we play them in our sets now.
TRR: Where do you see the band in the next 2 to 3 years?
Nick: To be the biggest band on Earth! (laughing) I want to be the best live band in rock n roll!
TRR: Is there anyone you want to give a shout out to?
Nick: Yah, a couple bands. Bearwulf in Long Beach, California. Of Limbo also out of Long Beach, California. My boys in Chout. I stayed at Rocco’s house when we were out there. The Revel, a young band. They’re an insane band. Cradleman out of Seattle. A shout out to Michael Stipe.
TRR: Nick, good luck on the rest of the tour. Keep us in the loop when you have some more new music coming out.
Nick: Will do. We’ll be back at Culture Room later this year, so I’m looking forward to meeting you Kreig. Me, too! Thanks for the interview. I really appreciate this.