Not many bands at the age of twenty-one have attained such hype, attention and excitement over their full length debut album like ShewolF‘s The Other Side, released June 29. Their unique blend of classic rock big hooks, infectious chorus’ and songs that just devour you; the band is a force to be reckoned with. I was lucky enough to speak with Cassandra Vlahos (guitars/vocals) to chat about humble beginnings, the industry and their love of rock n roll. Nikki Vlahos (Drums/Vocals) and Serena Vlahos (Vocals) also joined in for the call. Here is what the girls had to say.
Your debut album The Other Side was released on June 29; Congratulations as it is a great slab of rock n roll.
Thank you, we are glad you enjoy it.
The original name for the band was Triple Treat is that right?
Oh god, that is a blast from the past. It was the name that our Mum came up with and suggested we used for that first school talent show. But we were pretty quick to ditch it in favor of something stronger. ShewolF is us; we are a pack, we are family and always look out for each other.
The band hails from Williamstown in Victoria, how were things growing up there?
Yep one street in, one street out. You only go to Williamstown if you really have to (laughs) We had a pretty quiet childhood, a great family and were always surrounded by music.
You played mainly covers in the early days; do you have a favorite from that time? Do you still play it?
No we don’t but it was ‘I Love Rock n Roll’ Joan Jett. We haven’t done it for a while, but it’s a great song to play, we actually did ‘I hate myself for loving you’ there for a while too. Just great songs that bring great energy. They are floor fillers.
Happy Birthday for the other day (16/7/18)!!! I believe you turned 21?!
Yes we had a quiet one with friends; we had people dropping in at home the whole night. So we just hung out, had cake, and ate doughnuts. It was a great day. Nothing too Rock N Roll at all (laughs)
You’re all Triplets – who is the oldest?
Me, Cassandra by 30 seconds, then Nikki, and Serena.
Does everyone have their own personal musical styles that they like?
Absolutely, we are all very different in our musical likes and very different in just about every way. I would almost say that if we weren’t sibling we pretty much wouldn’t like each other (laughs) Well we would still be friends, we just wouldn’t hang out. We would each have our own click.
Your album took three years to write and record. How many songs went into consideration for the album was it hard to keep early songs in the mix.
Given that we had the time to record the album over a space of three years, we just went with what worked and felt right. A lot of the earlier original songs were incomplete and the ones we liked we just kept really working on. We had a few setbacks, but somehow I think it worked in our favor.
Which song was the earliest to make the album?
Chameleon would have been the earliest song of the ones on the album.
Your father was a huge motivator for you to learn a real instrument buying you all musical instruments as opposed to the video game Guitar Hero which was the big thing at the time. Who decided who learned which instrument?
That happened pretty naturally. Serena was always singing or humming something so she fell right into that. My dad wanted to learn how to play guitar for one of his milestone birthdays and asked if I wanted to learn with him, and again I just fell in love with it and became obsessed. As far as drums are concerned, our grandfather actually found a drum kit sitting on a lawn on one of those collection days. He took it home, polished it up and put it in his shed. He took us out to the shed and said do you want to have ago. Nikki took to it like a natural and the kit ended coming home with us. The rest is history as they say.
Do you ever wish you had another sibling to play bass?
All the time (laughs)
The band has such a fresh sound, yet has so many little influences in it Serena’s vocals remind me of Belinda Carlisle, Stevie Nicks, Nina Gordon from Veruca Salt. While musically there are just so many sprinkles from other bands, yet uniquely ShewolF. Nikki is a monster on drums and your guitar playing is incredible, who are your influences?
Thank you; that is such a compliment.
My biggest influence would be Orianthi, she has just been it for me, I love Phil Collen, Vivian Campbell and Steve Clark from Def Leppard too, and Nancy Wilson is also way up there too. Although you could name any number of well known guitarists and they have all had something that I like and have learned from. I also get a lot of inspiration from local Melbourne guitarists too, I am always listening and learning and evolving.
Being born into the digital age how have you found gaining exposure as the internet is full of new up and coming bands. With apps like SoundCloud, Bandcamp and Spotify the game has changed significantly. How do you look to stand above from the rest?
Melbourne has so much great talent and so many good bands so we put everything into our live shows and word of mouth has done great things for us. Now that the album is out and we are gaining more exposure and people are able to take our songs home with them is a great thing as I would like to think our songs will get stuck in their head.
It is tough. But we tend to attract a bit of attention by being an all female band who happen to be triplets. Melbourne has such a supportive scene. Almost all of the bands look out for each other and help each other out and spread the word; it’s great.
‘One Last Kiss’ was released to Triple J Unearthed in early 2017 – How was the reaction to it? Did that version differ from the Album version?
It was a different mix to the one on the album. The Unearthed version of the song was mixed by a friend of ours in Nashville. He did an amazing job with it. The album version well it fits better to the whole feel of the album and it is always nice to have a different take on the song and a refresh so to speak.
Reaction wise, it did put our name out there, we are really proud of the song.
You have played some iconic Melbourne venues such as the Espy, Cherry Bar, Elephant and Wheelbarrow etc. Do you have a favorite venue to play?
The Elephant and Wheelbarrow was one of our favorites, we loved playing there, but unfortunately, it is no more. Cherry Bar would have to be our favorite though. There is always a great vibe to the place. The regulars are amazing and it really is so much fun to play there.
What is next for ShewolF?
Gigs, gigs, gigs!!! Now that we have the album out we have had quite a few offers from other bands to play shows with them. The first part of the year was pretty quiet gig wise, but now we are raring to go.
Finish this sentence in 10 years ShewolF will ……
Still be playing rock n roll in one way or another.
The essence of rock n roll is ….
The feeling it evokes inside you and the ability to connect to it.
Where can we buy a physical copy of The Other Side and all things ShewolF merch?
Working on a website at the moment, but for now you can buy merch through our facebook page @ShewolFgirls and at our shows
ShewolF play The Commercial Hotel tonight with Kisstroyer, check it out!
ShewolF supporting Kisstroyer – Tribute Act
July 21st @ Commercial Hotel, VIC