From the pages of Total Order Magazine comes the exclusive interview with Nick Reese, the soulfully energetic frontman for the great band Joyous Wolf. Their new song "Odyssey" is storming up the charts. With more music on the way we took a few moments to talk about the new upcoming full-length record and more.
99WNRR: Lets talk about the incredible new single ‘Odyssey’. Really? From the Homer poem?
Nick Reese: Oh yeah, I have a lot of interest in the old world. Even in the early days, it's just always something I’ve liked to write about. There is a lot of perspective, character and soul and lessons. I wrote the song ‘Mother Rebel’ about the Civil War. Personally for me this is a triumph. I've always wanted to put something needlessly complicated into a song and that was the challenge for me. My biggest effort so far lyrically. I’m very proud of it.
99WNRR: I think it's your most melodic song to date.
I think so. I think that’s just the natural progression of where we are at. I’ve always been a blues singer. In my style, that’s how I learned to sing. I was listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder and he really was the catalyst for songs like ‘Quiet Heart’ and ‘Said Too Much’. Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, George Michael, those were the guys. I mean I know it's not going to sound like them, but it was their approach to melody and I was like, I am going to put my own spin on what they do.
99WNRR: Your tone on this record seems warmer than on Place in Time, any reason?
Nick Reese: I think we were just experiencing with moods. Will there be some edgier, cracking songs on the next Joyous Wolf release? I can guarantee you that. I think that this was just the mood of the song. I think that was a goal, at least from my perspective. To make this a positive feeling. There is so much doom and gloom in rock music to the point of nausea, and not that there isn’t any room for stuff like that because there is.
Even if something is a bit sad, it doesn’t have to be sad. Even the lyrics of ‘Odyssey’ are sad. It’s not a happy song. It's the representation of turbulence in life and coming out the other side of something, better for it. Even though things suck right now, it doesn’t mean that they won’t get better and we’ll be better for it, We finished this song before all the madness happened.
99WNRR: Did the Covid shutdown halter the progress of recording the record?
Nick Reese: Yes it did. We were doing one song at a time, then the shutdown occurred, but we are back at it now. We are very much in the process and we are not rushing it at all. We did want to release something to tee-it-up and we are really proud of this song. Everyone really seems to dig it and we’re really happy about it.
99WNRR: What’s your inspiration for mixing a doom and gloom lyric with a happy sounding song?
Nick Reese: My inspiration was Black Francis from The Pixies. ‘Here Comes Your Man’ is one of the happiest, jovial 1 songs. READ THE LYRICS OF THAT SONG. It’s terrifying. They’re waiting for the ambulance to come. I like to do that. I don’t ever want to do things that are easy. I wanted to do something that was fun. I wanted to challenge myself.
99WNRR: Would you rather play to a festival crowd of 30,000 or a rabid fanbase packeD to the gills of 1,000 people in a club?
Nick Reese: I’m in between. We were talking about this the other day. We opened for Slash and Myself in Canada and it was 7,000 people inside in this airplane hanger and it was the greatest show I’ve ever put on. In true fashion there is no video of this show. Cell phones weren’t allowed. It was the greatest audience we have ever had. We just went for it.
I remember I had just broken up with this girl I had been dating, and I was just feeling really low. I was acting like a quarterback running through the halls, ready to unleash my energy and absolutely blow this place away. If we could have THAT all the time. That's the goal someday.