David Fefolt interview with Tina Peek on “The Big Rock Show.”
David talks about how FireWolfe was formed, how the music was created and what’s next for the band.
FireWolfe interview with metalexpressradio.com
Interview by DAN SKIBA
FireWolfe is a twin-guitar fueled Melodic Metal band out of Michigan, USA featuring a powerful vocal attack. The band was formed out of a conversation between Nick Layton and Paul Kleff in early 2010. The two shared many guitar and musical influences and immediately started to lay the groundwork and musical vision for a new band. Paul and Nick began writing heavy, melodic, and powerful music together with an emphasis on great songs featuring killer guitar work. The ultimate goal was to assemble a band that made the kind of music they themselves would want to listen to and to create an album that they would want to buy.
As the writing progressed, their focus shifted to finding the right voice — a heavy, melodic, and powerful voice that would not only fit the style of music they were creating, but a voice that would also be able to take the rough demo’s and turn them into world?class Melodic Metal songs. One name kept coming up over and over again-veteran Rock/Metal vocalist David Fefolt. Some phone calls were made, rough tracks were sent over, and David was immediately on board as the voice and frontman of the band. Zack Uidl was brought in to handle bass duties, and Jay Schellen rounds out the band on drums.
FireWolfe released their self-titled debut album on July 15, 2011, and will be featured on Metal Express Radio during the week of August 22nd, 2011 as the Independent Band Of The Week!!! Check them out, and be sure to tune in at 15:00 and 21:00 CET (9 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST) on Thursday, August 25th to hear their entire album introduced personally by the Band!
Nick, Paul, and David collaborated to provide the following information about themselves and the band …
How did you come up with the band name?
We started playing around with words that we liked. We started brainstorming different combinations and came up with stuff like “Wolfhead,” “FireEagle,” etc … Finally, one of us put together Fire and Wolf … then we decided to add the “e” at the end to make it FireWolfe.
What are 3 bands that you feel were most influential to your band, and why?
We are all cut from a similar musical cloth, so to speak, but we have our differences as well. Here’s a combination of bands that inspired us:
- Dio/Black Sabbath: The epic songwriting and magic of the early Dio stuff definitely inspired us. Also, the passing of Ronnie James Dio occurred at around the same time we began writing the FireWolfe album, so he was fresh on our minds. His influence will last a lifetime for all of us.
- NWOBHM: Accept/Iron Maiden/Judas Priest/Saxon. Obviously not one specific band here, but an overall stylistic sound that we all love. Heavy and catchy riffs, twin guitar solos, in-your-face vocals with killer choruses. Although we all are from the USA we definitely have a European Metal slant to our sound.
- Savatage: This band was very influential especially from the guitar aspect of the writing and arrangements. You can hear their influences in our songs like “Ice Wizard” and “Tempter”, and even the opening riff in “Armed Forces” is a nod to the riffing genius of Savatage guitarist Criss Oliva. Honorable mention to Yngwie Malmsteen, John Sykes, George Lynch, and Andy LaRocque for inspiring some of the guitar riffs and soloing on our album.
What are the 5 best Metal/Hard Rock albums of all times, and why?
Dio – Holy Diver: Magical album where everything works to make a Metal masterpiece.
Savatage – Streets: Could have picked almost any Savatage album, but this one is deep.
Yngwie Malmsteen – Marching Out: Yngwie was a huge inspiration and I think this is still his best album.
Blue Murder – Blue Murder: Great writing, riffs, vocals, and solos from John Sykes.
Dokken – Under Lock and Key: Combined melodic songwriting with the amazing guitar work of George Lynch.
Deep Purple – Machine Head: The musicians involved were all top-notch players and songwriters. Just pure mastery of the craft.
Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Oz: Randy and those songs were the background music to my early years.
Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind: Some of the catchiest Maiden songs ever written, IMO.
Van Halen – Van Halen: Until then, I’d never heard a guitar played like that … ever.
Dio – Holy Diver: The crowning achievement of a Heavy Metal legend!
Ozzy – Diary of a Madman: This album still shines 30 years later. A masterpiece.
Dio – Holy Diver: No explanation needed. J
Van Halen – Fair Warning: I started getting serious about guitar around the time this album came out … “Unchained” made my hair stand on end.
Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti: Great songs and a huge sound. Jimmy Page was the king.
Queensryche – Rage for Order: DeGarmo and Tate … enough said.
What is the best concert you’ve ever attended, and why?
My first Rock concert ever was Dio with opening band Dokken in 1983, Phoenix, AZ. Both bands were at their peak … hard to beat that one!
Black Sabbath and Van Halen at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 1978. Freaking awesome and loud as hell!!!
Metallica with Queensryche in Detroit, Michigan, November 1988: Metallica was just unstoppable at that time. I loved the “… And Justice” stage set. From the opening notes of “Blackened” they had the crowd by the balls for 2½ hours. Queensryche opened for them and Operation Mindcrime was just starting to break out for them.
What is the craziest thing any member of your band has ever done for the sake of Metal/Hard Rock?
The fact that we’ve all stuck to our guns with playing and writing Metal into our 40’s is kinda crazy, especially considering all the changes we’ve had to endure in the music industry over the years. J It’s in our blood.
If your band was appointed Rulers of the Metal World, what is the first law you’d make?
Thou shalt not be swayed by musical trends and shall write Metal music from the heart.
If you could tour with any band, who would that be, and why?
We’d love to open the show for Metal legends like Accept. Our styles are very complementary.
What do you think your fans and the music industry will say about your band in 10 years?
Hopefully we’ll have a string of killer albums behind us and people will mention us in the same breath as our musical heroes.
If you could have any wish fulfilled for the band, what would it be?
That we could continue to build our fan-base of Metalheads around the globe to huge numbers so that we can continue to make albums and play for our fans for many years to come!
All About the Album — 15 Questions with RockUnited.com
by Urban “Wally” Wallstrom
FIREWÖLFE is the smashing debut album featuring ten ‘old skool’ heavy metal, melodic twin-guitar powered songs from the U.S. act. Mixed by John Payne (Asia) and Jay Schellen (Asia, Hurricane, Unruly Child, etc.), Firewolfe is fueled by the powerful voice of David Fefolt (MASI, Angels Of Babylon, Hawk, Valhalla, etc) and the blasing guitars of Paul Kleff and Nick Layton (both have multiple US tours doing guitar clinics for Guitar Center, Sam Ash and other major music stores). Find out more about this classy debut album, the band and their influences, here’s FIREWÖLFE!!!
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
The album has only been out for a couple of weeks but the feedback has been great so far.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
Just a little over a year.
What kind of ‘sound’, production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We wanted something tight and punchy sounding with loud guitars, a killer rhythm section and great vocal production.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
The band basically produced this album ourselves but we did have some input from John Payne (ASIA) who mixed and mastered the record. He challenged us to get things really tight between the guitars and drums and I think we achieved that!
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound – production wise)
Yes, we are very pleased. There are always little things you might want to go back and change but overall we think we have a great sounding record not only with the songs but also production wise.
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
No, not really. We kept things pretty simple through the entire process.
How did you go on about capturing your ‘live sound’ in the studio, or perhaps you didn’t
We kept things pretty organic. There’s not a lot of bells and whistles from a production stand point and we didn’t over edit things either, so at
the end of the day what you are hearing is very representative of what we’ll sound like live.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
Nick — Very difficult to choose because I like them all, but I’d say ‘Unholy’ is my favourite track. Lyrically I think ‘Back From Hell’ is very cool.
Dave — I think ‘Back From Hell’ has it all, power, melody, creative lyrics.
Paul — It’s hard to choose—they all have their high points for me. I think ‘Unholy’ is a great song all the way around and I love the heaviness of ‘Armed Forces’ and ‘Feel the Thunder’.
Any overall theme of mood that you’re trying to capture while writing songs?
We really wanted to capture that magical sound and mood of the classic metal albums we all grew up listening to—Dio, Savatage, Accept, etc.
Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
Nick — No, my vision for creating music has not changed much from the time when I first picked up a guitar many years ago. I like what I like and I seem to gravitate to writing certain kinds of riffs and songs.
Dave — Not at all, more by who the other members of the band are. With Nick and Paul I stayed very true to who I am and what I do best.
Paul— No. I know it sounds like a cliché but we made a conscious decision to create an album with songs that are true to what we love as musicians and music fans.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your “sound” and songs?
We are currently independent—there was no interference at all.
Are there any ‘crazy’ behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
We all recorded our parts separately in our home studios in various cities so we didn’t get to hang out during the recording process. Outside of the occasional ‘haboob’ (dust storms in Arizona) nothing too crazy happened…
Dave – My dog shit on my studio floor once…
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
Heavy, melodic twin-guitar powered hook-laden songs that bring to mind such classic metal bands as Accept, Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Savatage..
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
Nick — Savatage, John Sykes, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio
Dave — Dio, Sabbath, Skynyrd, Blackfoot
Paul — Classic metal and hard rock—artists like Dio, Ozzy, Van Halen.
Guitar players like Randy Rhoads, Yngwie, EVH, John Sykes.
If there’s anything you’d like to add, say, please do:
Thanks to everyone for checking this out and be sure and go over to our website and get a free download song from the album at www.firewolfe.com