Gnarwolves are the band you wish you were in. Skating, partying, drinking and writing ridiculously sick punk is what these guys do on the daily. Doing what I do I come across thousands of bands a month (and they never seem to run out either… which is mad when you think about it) and you can always tell when a band are going to make it because they have a vibe about them, it’s a do or die thing. Biffy Clyro had it, Gallows had it, BMTH had it and Gnarwolves have it. You can hear it in every rasp of Thom’s vocals, every thunderous chord and every strike of the snare. It’s real, raw and fucking insanely good.
And, throughout all the punk chaos, these Cornish boys somehow manage to load their sound up with a half-pounder of melody, with hooks on which you could hang the beast of a moo cow that that half-pounder came from. They’ve coated their sound with deep fried onions and a succulent steakhouse sauce and served it all up with a supersize portion of golden crispy fries. OH FUCK OFF BURGER KING! GET OUT OF MY MIND!
In short, I’m so pumped about these dudes.
I wanted to find out more about these guys, so rather than searching around on the internet for tit-bits of information all half-assed and non-boss-like, I got drunk, grabbed a Burger King and got on a train to Brighton (where they are now based) to track them the fuck down. I’ll let you know how it went…NOW!
After staggering around Brighton for a good hour, ringing 118 118 and asking if they had the number for “Gnarrrrwolves….arrrghh no….Gnarwolves….what do you mean you’ve never heard of a Gnarwolf!?!! Fucking idiot….helllo!?!…..HELLOOOOO!!?….well I fucking like Maureen more anyway, you moustache-bollocks!!!” I found myself slumped at a bar, eating a pizza wondering what to do…WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN….
“Alex….Alex mate…is that you?”
[Alex looks up, confused, surprised and with an unusual look on his face that seems like a combination of elation and suppressed guilt]
“GNARWOLVES!!!!!!! I’ve been looking everywhere for you, I even tortured a fox for information!”
“Oh. Oh right. Well, we’re here now. Let’s do this, yeah?”
So guys, skating seems like something that’s pretty close to your hearts, are you any good? Are we talking nollie to darkslide off Brighton Pier, with a double kickflip off the rail and a sweet landing or, “Guys, GUYS come watch, I can do an ollie on the grass, almost!”
“That darkslide shit seems pretty tech, I reckon I got a people’s elbow to fakie though. Skateboarding has taken over my life. I would be a much better human without it, but I’m addicted, and I love it. The way you view the world and your ability to take a beating is what makes you a skateboarder. If it wasn’t for skateboarding I would probably have a boring job and a wife and a nice car, sat in a pub in Cornwall somewhere but instead I’m rolling around on the floor, getting dirty looks from old people and having the best time with my friends. Skateboarding isn’t just close to my heart, it keeps my heart beating.”
The artwork for your first EP, CRU, is waaay sick. Who did it and what does it all mean?
“A good fellow named Danny Cleaver, or Wolf Mask, drew it for us. I was at a show in Brighton and picked up a really awesome zine with all his artwork in. He’s based in Scotland but draws exactly the kind of shit I wanted: gnarly dudes with pizza and puke and upside down crosses. Basically when I visualised the record I just wanted a wolf puking all over it, with green splatter all over the record, and he was the guy to do it. I didn’t really think much further than that so he drew some stuff up and it came out perfect!”
In my mind the name Gnarwolves came from a time when you were all skating around Epping Forest, pissed out of your minds. One of you said “let’s go into the forest and see if we can find a sweet tree to fashion a new deck from, proper natural like” and one of you said “naaaahhhh mate, there’s probably loads of gnarly wolves and shit in there” – the last of you misheard, pissed yourself and said “what the fuck is a Gnarwolf?!” – and in that moment, you all decided that none of you were scared, as YOU were the Gnarliest Gnarwolves in the forest! So you went into the forest, tore down some trees, built a halfpipe, carved a drum kit, whittled some guitars and wrote CRU whilst busting out some Christ Airs, brutalising those makeshift instruments and penning the lyrics using ink from a bears eyeball – is that accurate?
“That’s pretty close. I’m not sure where Epping Forest is, but we were chilling in Brighton bunning some green trees, watching Frozen Planet, when a piece about Narwhals came on. Our eyes were kinda bloodshot at that point and we found it hilarious thinking that our band could be called something as stupid as Gnarwolves – and after half an hour in hysterics, and some pretty weird drawings, that was our name.”
When you’re out drinking, what are your favourite drinks? Pure beer? Or something more badass?
“Beer is tasty, and K cider is nice too. Gin and juice is a pretty gangster-ass drink or if you’re feeling gnarly, straight high commissioner. Search high commissioner in YouTube and watch the film noir we made about it, in the same room we made our video for History Is Bunk!”
If you the opportunity to be a werewolf, would you want to be? Think of the power, the muscles! Would a Gnarwolf kick a werewolf’s ass? What would a Gnarwolf’s special move be if he (or she) was in Street Fighter II Turbo Mega-Gnarwolf Edition?
“Errrrm, if your a werewolf you’re only gnarly once every blue moon right? So inbetween that time that kid’s gonna get fucked up, like fish slap to the face style. I think the special move would be Pizza Puke. We eat so much hot sauce that it’s pretty much flammable when it comes back up.”
Have you ever been to Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton? If yes, what did you buy?
“I skate past that place everyday. Choccywoccydoodah is at the top of my street, but I’ve never actually been inside, I’m more of a spicy wings kinda guy. GFC for life!”
What’s next for you guys? Major labels? Or just let the good times roll? “
Let the good times roll homie! I’m not ready to sell my life away just yet!”
Pure hero stuff eh?
So, world meet Gnarwolves, Gnarwolves meet world! Their debut full length release, The Chronicles Of Gnarnia is out now (though that album is basically an amalgamation of their first EPs) – but there ridiculously sick self-titled album drops in September. GET IT!!
PS. I got back from Brighton safely, though I stink of animals…no idea why…