By: Anna Wood
On July 16th, Azure Wolf and Fix Your Hearts played what the owner of the DC9 nightclub stated was the first ticketed show the venue has held since March of 2020. When it comes to things that the COVID-19 pandemic has put to an abrupt halt, live music is one of the first things that comes to mind. I haven’t been to a concert since February of 2020, and I’m sure many others find themselves in a similar position. With this in mind, one can only imagine how excited I was to be on the guestlist for a live show at an independent venue. The night was nothing short of magical.
I’ll preface by saying I had high expectations before seeing Azure Wolf, simply because I knew they had months of non-stop practice for upcoming live shows under their belt. They not only met every expectation but exceeded it beyond belief. Every single song they played sounded incredibly put-together, and I’m sure if I asked them to play their songs backward, they could do it. Not only did they say good, but their ability to captivate the crowd’s attention and every member’s strong stage presence also created the perfect show. I don’t think it’s possible for someone to attend an Azure Wolf show and not enjoy themselves. They played the perfect mix of new songs and ones that I knew every lyric to. It was an incredible performance all around, and I wish the night never had to come to an end.
My Azure Wolf concert experience did not end there, though. I also had the privilege to interview them after the show:
You all sounded absolutely incredible. How long have you been practicing for live shows?
Tommy Moore [Drums]: However many months are in a year! So, twelve?
Victoria Backle [Vocals/Rhythm guitar]: Yeah, I would say that we have taken this whole year to practice. We really cracked down the last two months on our live set. We’ve been doing a lot of recording, though and that has been our main focus. I think the last few months we’ve been able to dissect every piece. Every intro to every song, we’ve dissected everything and that was really evolutionary for us. We thought it would be boring, but it ended up being really evolutionary. I think that was the tightest we’ve ever sounded.
I noticed that your streams have gone way up, at least since I last interviewed you all. What do you think has contributed to that?
Victoria: We got a promotion company. We submitted to a whole bunch, and A&R Factory has been really beneficial to us. They liked our music, they reached out back to us, and we came up with a plan for promoting to blogs and playlists.
Sean Spencer [Bass/Synth]: The one time Victoria has ever asked us for help, she’s like “Hey, can you guys help me out? I need to send out all these emails.” And then sends us a list of like, over a hundred emails.
Victoria: I compiled a list of five-hundred independent radio stations. It took me like a month and a half to compile all these emails, and I wanted to one by one send them all out. That’s what I do every day, so I think it was a mix of finding a promotion company that vibed with us, and just doing our usual promotion.
So, you’re like the manager of the band, what do you think is the biggest challenge of taking on such a big role?
Victoria: The biggest challenge is delegating. I think it’s going to be a bit of a challenge when we find a manager, just because this is my baby. I like having this much control, and everything that happens is very reflective of my actions and it’s rewarding. It’s going to be very hard to let go of that, but it’ll also leave us more room to make our art because I won’t be spending forty hours a week promoting.
You’re working on a new album, correct? When does that release?
Victoria: Yes, it releases in October. We’re so close to being done.
Tommy: We recorded it last July, so it’s been more than a year now. Just working through the post-production stuff has been a challenge.
Now that live music is back, what are some bands you want to see in concert?
Isaac Foltz [Lead guitar/producer]: Anybody, I’m ready to just get lost in it. Though, the more that we work on this, the more I realize- well, first of all, I’ve never worked with anybody like Victoria before. She has a sheer magnetism for business. I’ve never had my weekends filled so quickly. So I’ve realized that less of my next year will be seeing shows, and hopefully more playing shows and doing this.
Victoria: We have our first tour planned for the fall. We are doing the EastxNortheast festival in New York, then working our way down. We’ve got two shows in Knoxville, a show in Philadelphia, and we’ll be in Richmond, so our summer and our fall is booked, which is perfect timing with the new album.
What song are you all most excited for off the new album, and why?
Everyone: “You Belong To Me”
Tommy: It has everything I’ve ever wanted to do in a song. It starts with these brushes, it’s a slow and vibey thing, then it builds to this like, Foo Fighters-esque thing, and then it does this crazy, Mumford and Sons, pop-punk thing. I think it’s the coolest, most versatile song we’ve ever had.
Victoria: I agree. It’s just so dynamic, and just the way we wrote that one… I started writing it in my car at work, and I came to the band with the whole front side of the song. Tommy was like “We should build this up, we should make this more punk rock.”
Tommy: That’s my answer to everything.
Sean: It’s really hard to actually capture what you’re looking for in a song or record. You can feel like you really nailed a song, but sometimes it’s a little bit off, you know? I think we did a really good job with this one.
Victoria: We struggled a lot getting this done. We struggled with producers, and just recording in general. I mean, we were trying to figure out our sound. We went into this studio with only a few months of working together under our belts, so we were like “Let’s record our music!” And then realized we were pretty unprepared for that. I’m proud of everything we’ve put down, but I think “You Belong To Me” really reflects where we were then. We’re far beyond that now, but I think it really reflects where we were them. We keep going back and finding things to fix, but with “You Belong To Me” we don’t have to fix anything about it. It’s really authentic.
You can stream Azure Wolf’s newest single “Crash And Burn” on most major streaming services, and keep an eye out for more announcements regarding their new album!
Listen to Azure Wolf here!