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Wolfsbane, the band currently composed of Jase “the Ace” Edwards (guitar), Jeff Hateley (bass), “Blaze” Bayley Cooke (vocals), and Steve “Danger” Ellett (drums), has recently come back to the music scene with a new record, ‘Wolfsbane Save the World,’ after 18 years from its latest studio album, the self-titled ‘Wolfsbane’. The band also released the EP ‘Did It For the Money’ in 2011.
The roots of Wolfsbane date back to 1984, when the band firstly formed in England, and subsequently released its first album, ‘Live Fast Die Fast,’ in 1989 under the label Def American. The band remained active until 1994, when Blaze Bayley left for joining Iron Maiden, and Wolfsbane was disbanded. After the break-up, all the band members went on with different career projects, and in 2007 Wolfsbane reunited, starting again with touring the U.K.
The new album, ‘Wolfsbane Save the World,’ released in 2012, captures the power of old school Rock ‘n’ Roll, setting a pleasant nostalgic feeling in the listener, although resulting not at all out-of-date, on the contrary, absolutely relevant. This is surely one of the most peculiar characteristics of the album and of the band, which was able to capture an everlasting rock approach and translate it into a very pleasant album. Wolfsbane’s albums can be bought at the merchandise stands over their concerts, or here.
Toonari Post had the chance to interview Jase Edwards, guitarist and current producer of ‘Wolfsbane.’
Toonari Post (TP): ‘Wolfsbane’ has recently come back to the music scene, after more than 15 years of break. In those years you all pursued different careers. How are you approaching the band and your music now? Do you live it with the attitude of a new project, or you feel it as a coming back to the origins?
Jase Edwards (JE): Both really. I think it has been very much like a continuation, but because it’s been so long we had to figure out what we sound like in 2012. That process has been a lot of fun. Because of the amount of time between records, it’s been really nice to come back to the music without any restrictions as to how we sound. The realization that anything that we play together sounds like ‘Wolfsbane’ has freed us up to make the kind of varied album that is ‘Wolfsbane Save the World’. No boundaries.
TP: Has the time passed changed the relationships between you guys, and so the equilibrium in the band?
JE: Not at all, no. Obviously, I’m stepping in as producer which is a slight change, but really all it’s done is enable us to sound the way we want to sound. Which is something that we’d always been hunting for in the past. Everybody is more open to everybody’s ideas now. I think that’s because we are older and more experienced.
TP: What would you define as the main difference between your latest album ‘Wolfsbane Save the World, ‘and ‘Wolfsbane,’ released in 1994 as the last record of the first band’s era?
JE: I think this album captures our spontaneity on record. We’ve always had a lot of attitude live and we have retained that energy on this record.
TP: Do you feel that in the new album you’re exploring new influences, which you didn’t have twenty years ago? Have your diverse music experiences during the break become your own influence for this project?
JE: Wolfsbane is more self-aware of what it is now. I think we know now what a ‘Wolfsbane’ record should sound like. We’ve discovered how to do that. I’m very excited about the possibility of what we could do next.
TP: How do you see your kind of music fitting in today’s music scene? Do you feel there’s a difference between its ‘location’ during the first era of the band and now?
JE: We’re not really sure where we fit in, in today’s scene. All we ever tried to do was make really good music. That’s been our 100% focus of this era of ‘Wolfsbane.’
TP: Are you planning to tour a lot? Which kind of preferences do you have in this regard? Do you prefer to perform in festivals and big venues, or you appreciate more the approach of small, cozy venue tours?
JE: No, we’re not planning on touring much, so if you get a chance to see ‘Wolfsbane,’ take it! Every type of gig has its merits. I am fond of that crazy small gig, as long as I can hear what I’m playing. Not sure if that’s just nostalgia but they are great. It’s great to play festivals too. ‘Hard Rock Hell’ was a great experience, and we’d love to play more festivals.
TP: Do you feel that the composition of your fans, in terms of characteristics, has changed from early times, and from your old loyal fans base?
JE: We still have a very loyal and much loved set of HMS [Howling Mad Shithead] fans who are from the early days of the band. We are picking up new people from our associations with other people, me with Ginger/Wildhearts and obviously Blaze’s Iron Maiden connection. It’s very exciting to get feedback from people who are totally new to the band, and are hearing our new album for the first time.
TP: Where do you see ‘Wolfsbane’ in three/five years?
JE: The thing that has really motivated us to play together again has been the music. It’s all about the music. So, in three to five years ideally I’d like to have made at least another two records, and have played as much as possible in that time. Ultimately, we’re going to take it one record at a time, one tour at a time.
We’re not going to be playing loads of gigs, so if anybody wants to see us and gets the chance to go to a gig, they should definitely take it. Don’t wait thinking you’ll catch us next time. Nobody has a crystal ball telling them what’s actually going to happen in the future.
Image Courtesy of Wolfsbane