Doc Coyle – Bad Wolves ‘I broke my pinky toe the day before we went on tour!’

bad wolves

It’s been a massive 2022 for Los Angeles based five-piece Bad Wolves, including tours across the US, Europe, and the UK. The guys are currently out with Volbeat and Skindred, and during the seemingly never ending schedule, guitarist Doc Coyle took some time to chat to us about touring, their re-issue of the Deluxe version of Dear Monsters, and a whole lot more.

Knowing that Bad Wolves have been touring pretty much non-stop this year and are currently in Europe, I asked Doc how the tour had been so far.

It’s been huge; I mean, I don’t think I was prepared for how big Volbeat is in Europe. We’re doing these big boy arenas, and it was a challenge today because it was an odd stage with this diamond in the middle where this special ticket buyers sit and then these giant ramps that go out. So you’re kinda playing and all the people are a mile that way, so you have to run out on a ramp if you want to see the actual people, so figuring that out took I think, 4 or 5 shows to get a feel for that. It’s going well, I think that we’ve found a rhythm and it’s a very eclectic bill. None of the bands sound like each other at all, I love that and I love that from a fan standpoint because you never really get bored. It’s just a long tour and there’s a lot of days off so we’re trying to find ways to occupy ourselves and not got crazy and not eat too much doner kebabs and pomme frite (French fries for those who don’t speak French!) .

So, with the weird stage you feel like you’re getting a bit of a workout every show?

“To some degree. I actually broke my toe the day before we left and so I’ll tend to run around a little bit and then after the show my foot will be all swollen. I can’t say I shouldn’t have done that, because you gotta do it, you gotta grin a bear it. We only play a half hour and you know, you play a half hour if it’s not 100% you’re not really working that hard.” Oh no! Of course after mentioning the injury I had to ask, which toe did you break? “My left pinky toe! The dumbest thing in the world. It was literally 2 in the morning and I was half asleep and walked into the bathroom and hit the door like an idiot.” We shared a laugh about the injury before Doc continued “It’s gonna take 6-8 weeks for it to heal.” So I would assume as much time with your shoes off as possible? “Yeah but it’s not always the easiest thing to do. It’s getting better though.”

After a short tangent about a cool story for the broken toe, which included a conversation about Die Hard and Lethal Weapon being Christmas movies, I asked Doc where the idea to cover Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’ came from, as he was the one he brought it to the rest of Bad Wolves.

It’s an iconic song, it’s incredible and I think I just had this revelation that, I always thought I was an 80’s kid, then sometimes you’re like nah, I’m actually a 90’s kid. Coz I love the 80’s but a lot of the music that’s mostly imprinted on me I think is 90’s because it’s all the stuff when I was a teenager and watching MTV for hours and hours on end, it’s built into my system. You know, now you look at and songs we’re talk about like this are 30 years old and I think when you have that gap in time, not that people have forgotten about it, but certainly gives enough of an opportunity for that material to be presented to a new audience in a different kind of way and then, people get to reappreciate how amazing this stuff is. For me when I think about what would be a good song to cover, for some reason the stuff from the 90’s, it feels like oh this would be good! Another one we were thinking about at the same time was The Cult Of Personality by Living Colour that would be cool.”

Oh dude, that’s a great song! I’d love to hear a Bad Wolves cover of it!

Yeah that’s the thing you know? Taking something and making it sound a little more modern, and make it sound more like Bad Wolves, that’s always a fun experience because I don’t ever wanna do a cover that’s kinda like doing the same thing. I’ve done those a couple times and it’s like eh, we did it, okay, and sometimes they work great and you’re like they just nailed it and it’s awesome and that works. But I think it’s always a little cooler if I hear a band, they cover that song but it sounds like them, not just remaking it, you know?”.

I love it when a band covers something but makes it their own. What sort of feedback have you guys been getting so far?

Oh um great! Honestly? Surprisingly great! I think, you listen and you’re like I think this is good, but it’s a famous song so there’s a lot of, you’re always around about people going ‘well, you’ve ruined a classic’! (laughs) Which I think is easy to do and if someone thought that then you know, that’s your opinion and I get it. Like I said the original is perfect. I listen to that and no part of me goes someone has to do that better. It’s perfect. So it’s not about comparing to that, it’s about doing our own thing with it. The experience of it was really cool as well because we did it all on our last tour on our days off because the label was like hey we wanna put something out for this European tour so why don’t you guys do a cover? We threw a couple of ideas around and, I brought that up and people seemed to be into it and I was definitely nervous. It’s real easy to screw up, and it’s, a lot of the chords and stuff sound happy? So, it’s like, how can we do this? I’m really happy with how we did the into, where it even though it’s this major key stuff it has this sort of sombre vibe to it. Which was something I was happy that we pulled off. I’m really happy with it, DL (Bad Wolves vocalist Daniel Laskiewicz) sounds amazing on it. That was really the thing for me was doing a song that as a singer he could really sink his teeth into. That’s ultimately gonna make or break the song.

Well, I personally think you guys have done a great job on it, like you said there’s obviously gonna be some people that don’t like it but that’s the thing about music. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and just because it’s different from yours doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. I told you, I’ve listened to it about 3 times today. We shared a chuckle before Doc went on to say

It’s doing well so far. We put the video out right away, but it wasn’t available through streaming platforms for a couple of weeks, so video numbers have done really well and that’s exciting and it’s a way to track the organise reach and seeing how people are vibing with it.”

Did you guys ever play with the idea of it being exclusively released as a video, rather than it being available to stream as well?

No because I think, you wanna maximise the exposure, and I know how I am, right? If there’s a song I wanna listen to and it’s not available on my preferred streaming spot then, I probably will listen to it less you know? So no, I think the idea was to always get it out. It was a kinda, (laughs), from a behind the scenes standpoint it was even weird to us that the video came out before it was available for streaming everywhere, but it was an interesting experiment to see how it tracks. Hopefully the streaming stuff catches up with the video. It’s out there and I hope, I love this era where you don’t have to wait 2 or 3 years to put out music. You can kinda just put out stuff as you create it, and I think that’s also great for fans because that’s how you know, they don’t necessarily want to wait 2 or 3 years for new music. It doesn’t have to be a full album, but it can be a song here and a song there, I love that.

Yeah I agree, when you’re releasing singles you’re like, well cool that’s a stand alone track and if you’re hearing the band for the first time you can dive in and be like okay cool, who is this band. It’s an interesting and weird era for music with streaming and digitisation.

And not everyone is necessarily attuned to the album experience, so for some people, I still love listening to albums but for some people, what we kind of looked at with out metrics is a lot of people consume Bad Wolves as like a single kinda band, you know? Maybe they’re not engaging with your full record so we’re like well let’s create something that focuses on that kind of user, and then the album will be there for the hardcore fans. But some people are gonna engage with the band in different ways and you have to understand that.”

I then asked Doc if that was the reason for releasing Dear Monsters as a deluxe edition with the extra songs they’ve done in between time.

So there were 2 songs that were done as part of the original sessions, the B-Sides that we had. Better Noise always wants us to do an acoustic version and different versions of the single, so a lot of that stuff was after the record was out and then The Body was a song we worked on after the record was done and I think, we didn’t know it was gonna come out as part of this cycle. Basically there’s been 2 or 3 single EP’s since the album came out, so the deluxe edition is really just all those different singles and EPs collective in one place. It’s like 10 tracks or something like that and it’s kinda crazy how much stuff we’ve done. We actually have another song coming out at the end of the year, a Christmas song but shh don’t tell anybody! So we have a lot of extra stuff, and we’re already working on the next record so we never really stop working. They don’t give me time off over here! Those suns of bitches.”

I promised Doc that I would tweet the band after our interview to give him a break, but not a broken toe, just a break and he chuckled. I continued by asking you guys are always working on stuff, so you’re writing on the road?

I wouldn’t say writing on the road, we’ve been mainly writing in between tours. Actually going back to before, we were in the studio right before this tour. We only had a month off and that’s really because we have goals of okay we want the record out by this time, so I think our goal is to have a record out by next summer. We’re going back into the studio in January, to finish the bulk of what we have, sometimes people’s eyes can glaze over while you’re working on it and it can be a never ending process if you don’t put some sort of deadline on it. This next record is really important for the band we have to knock it out of the park. I mean it’s always that way but it’s, yeah.”

So you guys are back in the studio in January, what else is on the cards for Bad Wolves next year? Any chance that we might see you over here in Australia?

I mean, I’ve been asking! (chuckles) pretty much since last year so, I don’t know. I would love to. I don’t know if we’d want to headline, or line up with another band. It’s very expensive to tour over there, and a lot of bands go over and they don’t really make money, the expenses take up all the money, but still, you’re only going there for less than a week, it’s not that big a deal if we’re not making a tonne of money. That’s fine with me, I just wanna go. The fans are incredible, the weather is incredible, it’s one of the best and like connective fanbases for heavy music. So I would love to get back there. Usually we’ve done it where we tour at the start of the year because it’s your summer time, and, but if we’re gonna do that we might have planned it already. Probably not any time soon, but I’ll cross my fingers! Maybe we’ll come back for the new album.”

So you mentioned earlier that Cult Of Personality is a cover that you’d want to do, what else would you like to cover? I’d love to hear a Bad Wolves version of Black Hole Sun (by Soundgarden).

What’s on my list? You know, I thought it’d always be cool to do Scream by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson would be cool to do it with a female vocalist that’s in the scene now and re-make the video, even though it cost a million dollars and we’d have to do it for like, 25 dollars. That song is pretty heavy, hearing a metal band doing it would be cool. Black Hole Sun is one of my favourite but with that one I feel like, the original is so, just the sonics and the music video. That’s one that people might hate you for. You gotta be careful it’s a delicate one.”

So there you have it folks, Bad Wolves are putting out a Christmas cover and they’re currently on tour in Europe so keep your eyes peeled for that Christmas song, and if you’re on that side of the world, go and check out the band on tour!

Interview by Kelsey Trevan (@kelsey_139)

The Deluxe edition of Dear Monsters is out now via Better Noise Music
Grab your copy here

BadWolvesDearMonstersDeluxe

Bad Wolves – Dear Monsters (Deluxe) tracklisting:
1. Sacred Kiss
2. Never Be The Same
3. Lifeline
4. Wildfire
5. Comatose
6. Gone
7. On The Case
8. If Tomorrow Never Comes
9. Spingfield Summer
10. House Of Cards
11. Classical
12. In The Middle
13. Mama I’m Coming Home
14. If Tomorrow Never Comes (Feat, Spencer Charnas)
15. The Body
16. Sacred Kiss (Feat. Aaron Pauley)
17. Up In Smoke
18. I Don’t Wanna Feel
19. Wildfire – Orchestral
20. Sacred Kiss – Acoustic
21. If Tomorrow Never Comes – Acoustic
22. Lifeline – Acoustic

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