BAD WOLVES’ DOC COYLE – “We’re Starting Fresh; Clean Slate”
November 22, 2023, 3 months ago
Throughout their career, Bad Wolves has had to overcome a fair amount of adversity – band members coming and going, lawsuits, and along with the rest of touring bands, not being able to properly tour in 2020 (which was a crucial time for the band, as they were supporting their all-important sophomore release, N.A.T.I.O.N.). But despite all the ups and downs, Bad Wolves remain ferocious – as evidenced by their just-release fourth full-length overall, Die About It.
The group's guitarist, Doc Coyle, spoke with BraveWords correspondent Greg Prato shortly after the arrival of Die About It, discussing the album, their current tour with Bush, and also his side gig as guitarist for Ice Nine Kills.
BraveWords: How is the tour with Bush going?
Doc Coyle: "It's going really well. It's a very different kind of tour – in that we're doing these really beautiful traditional theaters. Except for the first show in Orlando, every show has been all seats. So, you almost feel like you're playing the school auditorium kinda vibe. [Laughs] I'd be lying if I didn't say there was an adjustment period to that, because we're a pretty heavy band and we're used to that crowd energy. So, it's a different kind of connection. And the band hasn't played together in months – and I hadn't played with the band since April. We're kind of just now getting into a nice groove with things. And Bush has been absolutely incredible to us. Just so accommodating – sending us extra food and making sure we're taken care of. The accommodations have been incredible. And watching them, they're obviously a legendary band – they sound great. I feel very lucky and blessed to be a part of it. It's a fun way to kick off the album cycle."
BraveWords: Let's discuss the new album, Die About It.
Doc Coyle: "Interestingly enough, we couldn't tour on our last album until about five months after it came out because the band was involved in some legal stuff. So, we basically put a record out…and then sat on it until the following year. In 2022 we hit the road really hard. But by the time we were touring, essentially, the band was already like, 'Hey, we need to start working on the next record.' So, we went out with Papa Roach in the late winter/early spring 2022, and then went right into the studio. We did that pretty much between every tour. And by the time of the last tour, we went out with Volbeat in Europe for about two months, and two weeks later, we were back in the studio. It was a pretty breakneck pace where we were touring, writing, touring, recording. Which is a little different for us in terms of how there is no break in the consistency of it. But I think the biggest difference is Max [Karon] – the original guitar player – rejoined the band.
“Now he's not with us, but at the time he was. So, having Max involved I think just brought the intensity up a lot – in terms of how we were attacking things. And DL [Daniel Laskiewicz] our singer, half of the material on Dear Monsters was already written or more. So now, we were like, 'We're starting fresh. Clean slate.' And I think that really allowed him to open up and connect with the material a lot more – because he's a great guitar player, songwriter/producer in his own right. And so, a lot of the songs are his songs – or songs that he had the majority to do with, in terms of presenting ideas. So, I think it represents him in a way. Average fans connect with the singer more than anyone else in the band. And so they have to have an ownership of the identity of a project. People are going to see the music through their eyes. And with that, DL really embraced his role as a frontman – he lost 35 pounds, he looks amazing, his stage presence is amazing, he's singing better than ever. And that really encapsulates what this record is – it's DL's record. He's become 'the guy.'"
BraveWords: Let's discuss the album's first single/video, “Bad Friend.”
Doc Coyle: "That song came a little late in the stages. John [Boecklin] had worked with the basic structure with our buddy, Javier [Reyes] – who plays guitar in Animals as Leaders. He had the main riff and the chorus idea, and that was pretty much it. But we just knew that main riff…we were moved by it. Then we started putting it together in the studio, and Max redid the guitars on it and we changed the chorus, it slowly developed. That song has my favorite lyric on the record, which is 'Bad friends die alone.' We kind of knew – once the intro came in – that this was how we were going to start the record."
BraveWords: What about the track “Savior”?
Doc Coyle: "'Savior' is actually a song that DL had from years back. I think he used to work with this guy Slim [Brendan MacDonald] – he used to play guitar in Bury Your Dead and Bring Me the Horizon. I had heard different versions of this, but he was just developing it and reworking it. In a weird way, it kind of snuck up on me how good the song was. Because I was thinking, 'Maybe it's a deep cut.' And then as the song got finished…and especially from the label, they were like, 'Maybe this will be a radio single.' It's one of those things where it just became present how big of a hook it was."
BraveWords: You were recently filling in on guitar for Ice Nine Kills. How was that experience and will you continue playing with them?
Doc Coyle: "It was a tremendous experience. The beginning of it was very harrowing because I didn't have a lot of time. And initially, I was going to play lead guitar and they ended up bringing someone else to play lead guitar, but then they kept me on to play rhythm and background vocals. So, it was I'd say a good month and a half where it was just pure stress – getting kind of prepared for the gig, and wondering if I was going to keep the gig. But once we kind of got out there, it was surreal – because you're wearing a tuxedo and you got masks on, and there's crazy acting stuff going on. You feel like you're part of a circus. I remember on that first day thinking, 'What the hell am I doing? What did I get myself into? This is the strangest thing ever.'
“We were in Amsterdam. And after like two or three shows, I really started to embrace it. And their whole collective is just really good people, they work really hard, they're very professional, the music is awesome. Anytime you have an experience like that – where you can perform with a very successful band and just kind of get to be a part of their mix – you're inevitably going to learn a lot. And then we got to do the Metallica dates – stadium dates which was just surreal. I've toured with Metallica before back in 2009, but I've never played these types of venues. It was just a real treat. I felt just very, very fortunate to have that opportunity. And as far as the future, it remains to be seen."
BraveWords: Future plans?
Doc Coyle: "Tour tour tour tour. We have a new album out and making it is one thing, but you've got to go and sell it. You've got to go market it. I don't care who it is – whether you're some guy playing on the street corner or you're U2 – when you have new material it's incumbent upon you to present that to the world. So that's what we're really about – hitting the road in the next year and exposing people to the band."
(Photo - Wombat)