The Ghost Wolves: Singing, Hugging and Dancing With Wolves

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Stomp and roll, that’s The Ghost Wolves’ self-described sound and also what they expect from their audience – to rock out.

Lead vocalist Carley Wolf, grew up on a ranch among hybrid wolves, so the beast is as much family as it is the band’s spirit animal. The duo taps into this primal energy every time they step on stage: Jonny attacks the drums while Carley strikes her one-stringed guitar. It’s an electrifying show that needs to be witnessed firsthand.

The Ghost Wolves released their debut EP, In Ya Neck! in 2011 and their debut album Man, Woman, Beast drops May 27th via Nashville’s Plowboy Records.

I spoke to the Austin-based couple about recording with wolves, dinner parties and much more. Check it out:

Sound Dessert: How was recording Man, Woman, Beast at the legendary Arlyn Studios and working with Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, the Ramones, the Clash)?

The Ghost Wolves: Working in Arlyn was a treat, it’s a magnificent studio. It feels so wonderful to work in a space like that, where everything is at your finger tips and everyone is operating at such a high level of professionalism. The engineers are experts, the gear and the microphones are all top notch. Studio sessions at other studios can at times be so frustrating, inexperienced engineers forgetting to hit record and missing killer performances…malfunctions with the equipment, broken headphones and shitty mixes…Arlyn is one of the best studios in the world, and it was awesome to be freed from those usual issues.

We were also really pleased to have Gordie Johnson on board with us as a producer and engineer – he’s got so much experience under his belt, both as a studio guy and a guitarist, and he helped us find exactly the tones we were looking for. We learned so much from him and we were so grateful to have his expertise at our disposal.

With Howie Weinberg, we didn’t actually get together in the same physical space (we sent him the finished tracks and he mastered the album at his own studio), but just having him involved, having him put his final touch on things was so great. He’s worked on some of the most influential rock albums ever…a lot of the stuff we came up on as kids.

SD: I heard some howling on tracks like “Ride The Wolf”, did your dog Winter lend some vocals to the album?

TGW: Yep! Winter got his voice on two tracks! “Ride the Wolf” and “White Lily”.

SD: How many beasts have you performed with at a given time?

TGW: We’ve done videos with up to four at once! After that, things can get…hairy.

SD: The Ghost Wolves formed in 2011, how did you first meet?

TGW: We’ve been together for about seven years – we met in 2007 at a concert in Texas – the band thing came later though. We were just dating at first, hanging out. We had an acoustic band for a while but that kind of started to make us sick to our stomachs so we decided to try something a bit more plugged in.

SD: What are some of your favorite things about living in Austin?

TGW: The gorgeous weather, food and the dozens of music clubs we are so lucky to have operating seven nights a week here. The scene is just really unbelievable these days. The talent pool is so deep in Austin and we love being a part of it. People bitch about the growth here sometimes, but in a lot of ways the recent expansion is fueling some incredible art.

SD: Describe the food and music at a Ghost Wolves dinner party. 

TGW: Lots of champagne, vegan delights, tofu satay…maybe do some spicy corn on the grill. We’d probably just spin our own records, you know, we’re like, our favorite band!!!

SD: Who would you love to go on tour with?

TGW: Jeff The Brotherhood, The Kills, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Black Sabbath, Kadavar, The Black Angels, Jack White. Diarrhea Planet, Drivin N Cryin…those are some of the tops. We wish The Cramps were still around, that would’ve been fun. We love Poison Ivy!!!!!

SD: Man, Woman, Beast has a lot of western themes including slinging pistols and vengeance e.g. “Dangerous Moves” and “Attack, Attack, Attack”. Time to show your true Texas colors – do you own guns and/or hunt?

TGW: We don’t hunt animals….we hug them!!!!! But we do have some badass weapons…you know, in case of the folkie apocalypse!

SD: How about Taxidermy?

TGW: We’ve got an old cat skull on the coffee table in our house and we also used to have a tortoise who lived in our front yard, we named him Tupac. He died unfortunately last year and we buried him. We’re going to dig up his shell some day, that’ll be cool to have.

SD: If you could have any superpower what would it be?

TGW: The instant ability to turn a large crowd of people into stone-cold-crowd-surfing-kick-ass-super-energetic-lord-of-the-dance-rock and rollers!!!

Man, Woman, Beast drops May 27th via Nashville’s Plowboy Records May 27. The Ghost Wolves hit the road in late May, see the full list of tour dates here.

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