Band You Should Know: An Interview with Badass Wolf Shirt

In my “Band You Should Know” series I often highlight established acts that don’t have as big of a foothold in the American market as they do elsewhere, newer artists that are on the rise, and artists like Badass Wolf Shirt…an artist that completely floored me when I stumbled upon them. I ordered a limited edition copy of Revenge on cassette because I saw the words “limited” and “cassette” in the same Twitter post. I’d not actually heard Badass Wolf Shirt before that cassette came in. I wanted it to be a surprise…like a mystery bag. Not only was I surprised, I was very, very impressed.

New Music from Badass Wolf Shirt / Tired of the Future

Badass Wolf Shirt has been on the scene for quite some time and somehow managed to slip under my dragnet for new music. I’m one part disappointed in myself but equally excited to “discover” an artist that has a back catalog I now get to plunder. As soon as I heard what he had on offer I immediately reached out for a feature on the site. Thankfully our spotlight artist was kind enough to take time out of his day to talk with us. I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone else thinks about Badass Wolf Shirt. Please head over to Bandcamp and Soundcloud and give him some of your time. These clips I’ve posted here are just scratching the surface of the depth he has in his discography.

My Favorite Badass Wolf Shirt Song / I Am The Arm

And now, the interview!

Echosynthetic: For new listeners, who is Badass Wolf Shirt?

BAWS: BAWS is just me….Ryan. I’ve played guitar and drums in various bands since I was a kid. I’ve also been a wannabe beat maker on the side for about as long. A few years ago I found a Korg DW8000 in a thrift store for $25. BAWS was born the second I got home and plugged it in.

Echosynthetic: Badass Wolf Shirt has to be one of the best band names ever. What’s the story behind it?

BAWS: The name wasn’t really thought out. When I started writing BAWS music in 2014, I made a Soundcloud account. I wasn’t thinking in terms of naming a band. I just gave the account an arbitrary name. Then the songs kept coming and people started to listen on purpose in spite of the name. I considered changing it to something more ‘band namey’ and marketable, but the internet ran out of band names. Some people like it, some people hate it. Not sure which camp I’m in. It’s very much at odds with the music, so that’s cool.

Echosynthetic: Your music is such a fusion of sounds it’s next to impossible to pigeonhole. How do you describe your music?

BAWS: Not sure about the genre. I called it doomwave at first. It’s dark and synthy. It’s a little synthwave/cyberpunk, it’s a little (southern) trap/witchhouse, It’s a little doom/power metal. It’s droney & melodic. I don’t really have an elevator pitch, tho.

Echosynthetic: How has your music changed over the years?

BAWS: Hopefully it’s more focused now. I don’t know. It probably gets darker as my outlook gets worse.

Echosynthetic: What is your writing process like?

BAWS: I am way into old digital gear and I tend to avoid my computer as much as possible. Hardware can be a pain in the ass and I think that heavily influences my workflow & writing process. I make noise and compose stuff almost every day, but usually end up scrapping it. I treat it sort of like practicing guitar. There’s no reason to keep everything. Every so often something comes along that’s worth finishing.

Echosynthetic: You just released Revenge on cassette. Do you think the recent popularity of physical media again is fleeting or something sustainable?

BAWS: Physical media is here to stay. Specifically vinyl. Cassettes are pretty economical and seem to scratch a similar itch.

Echosynthetic: What is your opinion on the current state of radio?

BAWS: I don’t listen to the radio too much. To me it seems the same no matter what year it is. Most of the songs make me cringe, but I’ll be nostalgic for them in 15 years. So, I guess the joke is on me.

Echosynthetic: Biggest guilty pleasure song?

BAWS: I don’t know. Probably something by Drake or the Weeknd.

Echosynthetic: Who are you listening to these days?

BAWS: I’ve been listening to the new Pissed Jeans, Metz, Balam Acab, Blvck Ceiling, The Left Hand of Creation, Let It Breathe, 209 Sins, Carpenter Brut, etc. I’ve also been listening to XXXTENTACION & stuff like that…..for research.

Echosynthetic: What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

BAWS: Write more new music. Get rid of more gear. I’ve got another retrospective cassette release planned for this year. Maybe a collab with Kanye & Megadeth. I’ve got some rad shirts on the way, too.



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