Formed in 2019 and coming at you from Belfast, Northern Ireland, ForeignWolf are comprised of Gerard McCann (lead vocals & guitar), Dave Brady (lead guitars & backing vocals), Justin Lee Jamison (bass), and Mick Teague (drums). New EP, ‘Your Weapons, Your Words’ is set to arrive on Friday 14th May, and has been preceded by the brand new single ‘Alone’, the band took some time out to talk us through the origins of ForeignWolf and what to expect once you press play on ‘Alone’.
What are the origins of ForeignWolf? How long have you been playing together?
We came together in the middle of 2019. Dave and Gerard had been in a previous band together and had been writing on and off for about a year. Jay and Mick had their own separate bands that had also just went their separate ways, so it all worked out perfectly and we all started jamming together and ultimately formed what is now ForeignWolf.
How did you feel performing your first gig as a band? And how was it?!
It was a great experience. We all bounce off each other’s energy in general, but when we got on the stage for the first time it just felt natural. Gerard has a great frontman presence that really sparks the adrenaline in everyone else. We played in a small bar in Belfast City Centre, and it always draws a great crowd. A lot of people had come down just to see us which was an added bonus as we had only just released our first EP.
What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe ForeignWolf?
Musically we are all about the riffs, melody, and adrenaline, but when you dig in deeper you realise that our music really digs in deep to some very serious matters such as Mental Health and Relationships. We aren’t all doom and gloom though, we are a great bunch of guys who just love music and life and love to share our energy with anyone we meet.
‘Alone’ is the new single, what was it about this one that made you chose it as a single? And what are the lyrical themes behind it?
We chose “Alone” as the first single because it really sets the listeners up for what is to come with the rest of the EP. It has energy, massive riffs, and just really represents us as a band. The theme behind it is about a destructive relationship, and whilst the lyrics portray a time in our lives where we may be at our lowest, the music reflects the idea that when all is said and done you will be ok and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Is ‘Alone’ indicative of what the forthcoming new EP, ‘Your Weapons, Your Words’ will sound like? And, what can you tell us about the EP?
“Alone” really does set the tone for the EP. We really focused on our past experiences for this EP, and drew a lot of inspiration from how we dealt with our own negative situations. We try to tell a story with each track, starting with bad relationships in “Alone”, moving on to Mental Health with “Afterthought”. “No Limit” delves into the realms of addiction and finally “Gradual Destruction” pieces all these together and shows how we have become better people from the experiences we have gone through.
What goes through your head in the run-up to releasing new music? Are you excited? Nervous? – Both?!
We are constantly excited about writing and releasing new music. In previous bands nerves might have played a factor, but because we all get on so well together and genuinely love the music that we write, it really helps push those nerves aside and allows us to focus on the release and getting our music out for everyone to hear.
In what ways has the band grown since releasing debut EP, ‘Tempered Hearts’, back in 2019?
We have come on leaps and bounds since 2019. “Tempered Hearts” was a good introduction to the band, but “Your Weapons, Your Words” really allowed us to become creative and set a standard for the future of the band. With 2020 being such a strange year that put the world on hold, it gave us a chance to really get to grips with the type of group we wanted to be. We could either stop and wait to see what happens, or we could put all our energy into different avenues to expand our audience further than we could imagine. We chose to do the latter, and by the end of 2020, our music had been listened to in over 80 Countries by over 24,000 people.
In terms of a similar audience: who would be the ideal act for ForeignWolf to support?
We are all huge Alexisonfire fans, and if given the opportunity we would jump over mountains to tour with those guys.
What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
Mick – The first time I listened to John Bonham play Moby Dick, that was it for me, I needed to play the drums.
Dave – Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous. Scott Gorham’s guitar playing just blew my mind. I hounded my parents for a guitar after that.
Gerard – Green day did it for me, Billie Joe Armstrong instantly became my hero and I immediately picked up a guitar.
Jay – I started out of defiance; my music teacher told me I did not have a musical bone in my body. Had to prove him wrong, I mean who wants to really play the recorder.
Personally, who has been the biggest influence on you becoming a musician? Would it be a teacher? A family member? A fellow musician?
Our families have always been very supportive of our music so we have been very lucky in that respect as we know not all families are like that. Musically we have to all thank the 90’s. The mainstream Pop Punk/Grunge Rock era of music that existed back then made a home in our ears and never left.
What current social issue are you particularly passionate about?
We have been very vocal about our stance on Men’s Mental Health. Each of us has gone through depression and anxiety and are not afraid to speak up about it and how we dealt with it. Our song “Afterthought” really goes deep into how we suffered and that once we took the right steps and reached out for help, we were able to start to deal with it in a positive and healthy way and that more men should do the same.
What album do you have in your collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
We all have that guilty pleasure song, from Harry Styles and Cardi B to Clown Core and Nickelback. We believe an eclectic music taste is important to making you a better musician, so whilst some of our playlist picks may surprise some people, we assure you there is method to the madness.
Although 2020 was a year to forget, there was some great music released; what would be your album of 2020?
Gerard – Bring me the Horizon “Post Human Survival Horror”
Dave – Black Stone Cherry “The Human Condition”
Mick – Sepultura “Quadra”
Jay – Good Tiger “Raised in a doomsday Cult”
Who would you class as an underrated songwriter?
Dave – Nothing More, they are such a great band that deserves a bigger audience than they already have.
Gerard – Highly Suspect, such an amazing band, and such a great sound for only being a three-piece.
Mick – The Bonnevilles, cracking 2 piece band from Ireland.
Jay – MaybeSheWill, unreal electronic post-rock band.
What are your plans for 2021 should COVID ever disappear?!
We did have tour plans for May this year, however, they have been put on hold until further notice. Once everything opens, we will be out touring without fail. It has been great fun writing and recording but the payoff is playing live.
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
We are on Social Media every day, we love interacting with everyone who likes and comments on our posts. If anyone wants to send us a message, we are always on Instagram and love to hear from you. Feel free to add our music to your playlists on Spotify and tag us in any posts @ForeignWolfNI, we always share and repost anything that we are tagged in.