Wallows Are Full Of Surprises

Wallows Are Full Of Surprises

Clash sits down with the Stateside trio...

American alternative rock trio Wallows talk quarantine EP ‘Remote’, wanting to surprise themselves with their music and the aim to go beyond introspective songwriting.

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“The most exciting thing about music is making something you've never heard before in your mind. It's making something that you didn't expect yourself to make,” say Wallows speaking about what the future of their sound looks like. - “We want to do what we whatever we're most inspired by and really push ourselves at every moment. So, you know, in five years, I hope that we're making something that sounds nothing like what we're going to make for even our second record of EP. So just surprising ourselves with what we do,” explains drummer Cole Preston.

This aim of making whatever they put on next, be better than what they’ve put out previously has begun to come into fruition with their new quarantine-made EP ‘Remote.’ Speaking of the strange experience of working on an entire project without seeing each other in person, vocalist Braeden Lemasters, says “I think ‘Remote’ was very, like refreshing and a different approach to making music. We've never really made music, sending files to each other, because that's basically how we made it, like how we finished it. A lot of ideas for flying around. But we took them and fully made them full songs with two of our friends who produced it.”

He adds: “I think the biggest takeaway for me was just how much you can get done not even seeing other people. Just how much the project can kind of formed before your eyes and how much progress you can make on certain things with our iPhones alone. The idea of like someone in like the 60s, recording away from each other, and having FaceTime calls to talk about it. They'd be like: what are you even saying?”

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Lyrically, they explain that the EP is sort of intentionally all over the place. Vocalist Dylan Minnette says: “There’s no line or theme. I think it can be described as if you're on a remote control, flipping through stations because all the song are very different to one another. Every song has its own message, story going on, and then moved on to the next.”

Talking about their song writing style, he says: “I think that we definitely writing from a more introspective place. We have yet to have like a song that is a commentary on anything that's happening in the world. It’s not that we don't want to, it's just that we don't feel confident enough to feel like you have something important enough to say about something else that doesn't have to do with ourselves.”

About how he hopes their lyricism evolves, he adds: “I'm very vocal about things on Twitter, but when it comes to writing lyrics, I don't know if my brain is quite there yet. But I definitely want to do it at some point and I feel our song writing is getting better by the day. We have more of a hold and a grasp on the importance of lyrics and learning how they need to be like truthful. We really focus on lyrics a lot more now than anything that we ever had.”

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For now, the trio is focussing on refining their soundscape. They say: “We want to achieve pop, kind of melodies and hooks and lyrics. But at the same time, we really want to do stuff with like really experimental. In general we want to make something that we feel is really unique and never being satisfied with what you make, always wanting to do better.”

Wanting to become better than their past selves as artists has not stopped Wallows from pursuing creative freedom, particularly on their latest offering. Braeden says: “I feel like this whole project, we felt freedom to do whatever we wanted. I think that's kind of how our mindsets have always been making music kind of not really having like a limiter, or staying in a specific lane, or making sure we like achieve a certain sound all the time.”

This allowance for a natural progression of their sonics results in constantly evolving tracks like ‘Coastline’, which all three members cite as their personal favourite track off their six-track EP.

They explain that the track is “the one that probably surprised us the most in terms of like, what it ended up being because we had the demo of that song for since almost two years ago now. It started off as this strange-sounding indie rock thing and became so much different from that with this bigger sense that has more programmed drum sounds. It’s a good example of a shift in our sound.”

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With several accolades and achievements including the success of their debut album, ‘Nothing Happens’, and recent Clairo-bolstered summer smash ‘Are You Bored Yet?’, the band has a lot of career highlights to pull from. But their answer seems to be rooted in being able to perform in front of their fans. Braeden – to the agreement of the others – says: “It was two things that stood out – one was playing Coachella for the first time and also the festival Tropicalia in LA that it was surreal. I thought I’m going to take a mental screenshot of this, because this is weird. Touring for the first time was really memorable.”

Performances and music memorable that’s only memorable for them but for their fans as well is what Wallows hope for. Delving into the message they hope listeners take away from their music, the band say: “We want to make music that feels like something that they want to go back to a lot and take with them. I discovered Arcade Fire about like 10 years ago and became obsessed with them, When I put those same records on now I have the same feeling I did back then. I just want our music to do that for people.”

Never losing sight of their creativity and with a consistent drive to better themselves and their music, Wallows are set to surprise themselves and the world.

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'Remote' EP is out now.

Words: Malvika Padin
Photo Credit: Nikoli Partiyeli

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