Today I talked to good ol’ two piece band by the name of Haggard Wulf!!
How did Haggard Wulf form?
Chris: “Mike and I were previously in a short-lived band together called Rockets to Russia. We both moved to NC, then I moved to CA for a while. We both eventually migrated back to Morgantown and started Haggard Wulf for real. The reason I say for real, is because it was a fictitious band that we created, at least the name anyway, about 5 years or so prior to actually playing as such. The name came about when we were talking about cliche tattoos and something along the lines of “A lot of people tend to have a wolf howling at the moon on the upper arm and it’s all haggard looking, just a haggard wolf…” From that conversation, we jokingly made a fictitious band. We changed the spelling to Wulf and added the umlaut over the “u” because of Motorhead pretty much. Mike drew the original logo on a fry box at Wendy’s. We’ve had people ask if it has anything to do with Merle Haggard and/or Howlin’ Wolf and as much as they’re both influences, it’s just pure coincidence.”
Can you tell me anything about your new EP Mourningside?
Chris: “The new Mourningside EP should be done very soon. We’ve put it off for the past year or so in favor of a tour, local shows and what not. Two of the songs that are on it are part of our regular live shows – The Tall Man and Grave Robbin’. The theme of the EP is based around the Phantasm movies. We tracked one of the songs (The Tall Man) during our session for the Stalnaker Brothers split, but we plan to just re-record the whole EP in one swoop. Since there’s only 2 of us and typically we record everything live, all it would take is a free afternoon to get it knocked out hopefully.”
How would you describe your sound?
Chris: “You would think that might be easy to pinpoint, considering we’re a 2-piece band… However, I always have a hard time “labeling” our sound into a specific genre. It’s a mixture of blues, some rockabilly, punk and folk, maybe even a bit of metal. We both have a pretty good variety of musical influences, so we just toss them all in and see what comes out. We’ve been referred to as blues punk, I can live with that. For the longest time early on, people thought we were a metal band. I think a lot of that might have been due to some of the metal bands we have and do play with.”
How was it making a vinyl record?
Chris: “We were excited to finally get something out on vinyl. We took the time to self-record the split 7″ EP with the Stalnaker Brothers last Summer. We recorded the songs one afternoon at their house and I mixed everything myself afterwards. The end result was much how I imagined it would be… It’s really gratifying to hold a physical copy of a record that you’ve recorded, put it on a turntable and drop the needle. It’s got a certain cool factor that you just can’t get from an mp3 player, computer, or whatever random streaming digital gadget. Those things are just empty and soulless to me. Ask the guy in Lithuania who I shipped one to, he knows what’s up!”
Tell me how it being on Dead Delta Records?
Chris: “Dead Delta Records is a new indie label that I started. The Haggard Wulf / Stalnaker Brothers split was the first release. There are a few more releases set for the future (in addition to our Mourningside EP), which will be another vinyl split with Spence’s Rye and a few more. I’m going to be recruiting some help, so I hope that it will expand as time progresses.”
Who are your influences?
Chris: “My musical tastes are all over the place, so pretty much anything I’ve heard in one way or another has influenced me, whether directly or indirectly. I especially like old Delta blues (Robert Johnson, Skip James, Muddy Waters, etc.) a lot of 50’s rock n’ roll / rockabilly (Gene Vincent, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, etc.). Then we can move on to the 60’s and I’ll go with your garage rock / psych variety (13th Floor Elevators, The Count Five, The Stooges, etc.) then of course your heavy hitters like The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, The Velvet Underground, Black Sabbath, etc. I could go on and on from here like The Clash, The Ramones, Misfits, The Cramps and so on. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Chris: “Mike and I share a lot of the same tastes in music, but he has more of a metal side than I do. He had the nickname “Metal Mike” for a good while and it shows. He’s really into old Iron Maiden, Danzig, Slayer, Grim Reaper, etc. His secret love for Pat Benatar, Bonnie Tyler and 90’s grunge should also be noted. We’re both big Cult fans too. So, if you take all of these influences and throw them in a pot, it makes a pretty interesting stew.”
What would you like to tell your fans?
Chris: “First and foremost, support your local music scene! There are a lot of great bands in and around Morgantown and it has such an amazing history from the early days of the Underground Railroad to 123 Pleasant Street in the now. Go out and see a random show, you might stumble upon someone or something that makes an impression on you, be it good or bad. Pick up an instrument and start a band. Write a song and sing or yell it to someone nearby, whether they want to hear it or not. Put on shows in your basement, living room, back yard or wherever. We’ll come play them! The bottom line is, rock n’ roll isn’t dead… we’ll continue to spread the gospel and we hope that you’ll join us in doing so.”