Tell the Wolves is a rock band from Sacramento, CA, consisting of Leryan Burrey (lead vocals/guitar), Arianna Kinsella (keyboards/backup vocals), Ryan Griffith (guitar), Zack Davis (bass), and Ian Moch (drums). The five piece band incorporate “unique and refreshing musical backgrounds to their sound”, captivating their audience with “tight and technical rhythms, soaring vocals, and intricately designed melodies”.
Forming in 2013, the band instantly gained a buzz in the local Sacramento scene and press and they are well on their way to building a massive following. I got the opportunity to catch up with Leryan for a chat, and it went a little like this:
Well, Tell the Wolves is a Sacramento rock ’n roll act. We’ve been a band for just over 2 years. We aim to bend the genre, but we want some straight rock and roll laced all over of it. We love to rock. We venture between straight forward, aggressive rock and really ambient or progressive soundscapes. Oh, and hooks. Can’t forget about them hooks!
Tell the Wolves was founded in 2013 – what’s story behind the band’s name?
Honestly, it came from a book called “Tell the Wolves I’m Coming Home.” Our bassist was in a Wal-Mart, and saw the book. In our frustrating search for a name, he came to practice with “Tell the Wolves” and we dug it. However, it always reminds me of the “The Two Wolves” Native American story, about feeding a good and not-so-good inner animal. But that’s just it: people keep asking us “Tell the wolves what?” All I want to say to them is that our name means whatever you want it to mean. If it’s “Tell the Wolves they suck!” or “Tell the Wolves is an awesome band!” then awesome. Really though, it means our music.
If you could choose just three of your favourite aspects of being in a band, what would they be?
1) Gigs. There’s nothing like a good gig. We live to connect with fans, and the live show is best medium for that.
2) Never being happy with where we are. That fascinates me. It pushes us to connect with more and more folks. This is also the thing I dislike most, which I’ll get to below.
3) Artistic Expression. There are things that I’m scared to say in life, and music is a venue to express these things. Also, it means a chance to be a part of an artistic community that offers more than the normal bullsh*t. Otherwise, I’d implode into some sort of black hole. So yeah…expression is important haha.
But there’s got to be things you dislike, too, right? Choose three things you dislike most about band life.
1) Right now? Most likely the waiting period. Music is a hurry-up and wait kind of game. Waiting on replies. Waiting on mixes. Waiting on call backs . Waiting on schedules. Waiting on my motivation to get out of bed. Waiting, however, is a necessary component, as the rewards for our patience are typically really awesome! 🙂
2) Bad partnerships. They happen, but we deal. And it can go both ways, too. Still, we deal and move forward.
3) Honestly, I’ll say that never being happy with where I am at as an artist and business venturer is the most nagging feeling of all. However, it’s what drives us. It’s the voice that says “keep going!” It’s also the voice that says “get your sh*t done!” when you just want to be lazy. Luckily, I’d rather get my sh*t done.
You have already obtained quite a large following. How important are fans to you as a band?
The author, E.M Forester had a quote: “Only Connect!” When it comes to fans, our connection to them means everything. We are everything with them, and nothing without them.
Of your own tracks and covers, which is your favourite?
Whatever we’re writing at the time is my favorite, as it’s what’s loudest in my mind. I love all of our tracks the same for different reasons, but if I had to pick, it would be “Naked Lips.” It just has a crazy story behind it (which involves me drunkenly jumping out of a moving vehicle). After all that chaos, it came together so simply. It’s definitely the song that profoundly moves me every time we play it. I’ve been using it as a base for our new music, as well; at least, I’m trying to capture that feeling from very song from here on out. Everything in Naked Lips was targeted, but I think it was so easy because the emotions were screaming in my face. I had a great emotional pool to choose from to say something simply, but effectively. Hence, the name.
If you had to pick an album by any artist other than yourselves to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Well, I can only speak for myself on this one: The Beatles. Now, I don’t listen to the Beatles — I can’t say that I REALLY know one of their songs past mumbling the verses until the choruses come on their most popular songs. But, I’ve known enough people who can listen to them everyday and not feel bad at all. So, given the circumstances, I would make a pragmatic decision based on other’s positive past experiences, since I could only pick one.
What is one outrageous fact that hardly anyone knows about you?
Well, I jumped out of a moving vehicle. Got the scars to prove it!
Why did you, personally, choose to get into music?
It provided and escape from a sh*tty family situation. Music is the only place I could be absolutely silent and say everything. Or I could yell and get the same result haha. There was a constant thick and eerie air of anxiety filling my space as a kid. Culture clashes and strict religion did not make for a calm environment. Everyone and everything was just on edge…a constant tipping point. When I played music, the air cleared and I could breathe. Hell, I could fly if I wanted to. I’ve been playing ever since.
I would have to say playing 2015’s Concert in Park music festival in Sacramento last summer. We played in front of around 5500 people who were all dispersed before we played. We hit our first chord and all those people came up and stayed to watch us. I could tell they really enjoyed our music and took the time to tell us after our set. I couldn’t be more thankful. However, we had people thanking us for playing. It usually goes the other way around. Another good one was after our last show at The Boardwalk in Sacramento. A kid came up to me, thanked me, and said that was “truly an inspiration.” That made my night! All I was doing was making sounds with with wood and my vocal chords while violently gyrating like I was possessed. I’m glad that our hard work motivated him, and I hope that it effected him beyond that night.
What was the first concert you’ve ever been to?
My favorite band ever: Incubus at Arco Arena. Made a huge impact. Showed me what it meant to be a timeless band.
Is there anything you want to plug here?
Well, we have our debut EP coming out at the beginning of 2016, called “The Great Design!” You can check out some tracks and art on our website at http://www.tellthewolves.com. You can also like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tellthewolvesmusic! We also have a show coming up at the Boardwalk on Nov. 13th, supporting Sages’ EP Release. Amazing band! Be sure to check them out on Facebook, as well as all the other bands listed. You can see a flyer and buy tickets on our webpage. Be on the look out for more shows, merch, pics, etc. on there!
Quick fire round, now. What colour socks are you wearing?
Do you prefer playing live or recording music?
As a band, how many tattoos do you have?
Which of the band members is the laziest?
Hard to say. Zack…he plays bass. I mean, come on. 😛
Train! That sh*t is awesome and environmentally friendly! You should take the bullet train in Japan! Smoother then velvet on a velveteen rabbit!
Sorbet or ice cream?
Sorbet. Raspberry. Hands down.
Ideal holiday destination?
Scotland. Love that place.
Thanks for the interview, it’s been great to have you here. Best of luck with all of your ventures!
Thank you! It was awesome!
If you want to support “Tell the Wolves”, please consider “liking” and “sharing” this post across social media so that we can reach a large enough audience. Likewise, you can check out the band on Facebook and Twitter.
You can keep up to date with all of my interviews and other posts by following this blog or my social media sites displayed in the sidebar of the page (now including Facebook!).
Likewise, if you are a musician or band member, you can get in contact in regards to an interview (and free promotion!) by contacting me via social media or email.