New Blood: Wolfdog

Another band from Brazil that proves the scene over there is definitely in the right place. Wolfdog hails from Sao Paulo and plays aggressive hardcore with NYHC influences. Every band that aims to recreate the same spirit as the one on classic Warzone, Agnostic Front or Breakdown albums gets nothing but love on this blog. Here's an interview with Felipe who plays guitar in Wolfdog.

Another band from Brazil that proves the scene over there is definitely in the right place. Wolfdog hails from Sao Paulo and plays aggressive hardcore with NYHC influences. Every band that aims to recreate the same spirit as the one on classic Warzone, Agnostic Front or Breakdown albums gets nothing but love on this blog. Here's an interview with Felipe who plays guitar in Wolfdog.

For the kids who may not know who you are, can you introduce the band and tell us where you are from?
FELIPE: My name is Felipe Knoller, I’m Straight Edge, 29 years old, and I play guitar in Wolfdog. We are a band formed by four guys living in Sao Paulo, but not all are of Sao Paulo. I was born in Nova Friburgo (a small town in Rio de Janeiro), our vocalist, Diego Silveira a.k.a "Gringo", (he is also straight edge) is Uruguayan. Our drummer, Luccas Melchiori, is from Mairipora (near of Sao Paulo), and only our bassist, Diego Brandao (also straight edge), was born Sao Paulo. We are playing together with this line about 1 year and a few months, and has been an incredible experience. I can say that we are really good friends.

What was your major motivation when you decided to start playing together?
FELIPE: The idea for the project was born with the "two Diegos." They wanted to play in a band that made a sound that is not done here in Brazil. The initial idea was to make something that reminded quite a few bands like No Warning, Guns Up! and sounds of the Cruel Hand Demo. Basically, the idea was to make a sound with many influences of some of the heaviest scene of NYHC and mix it with other influences ranging from crossover, and even Youth Crew bands. They tried to get some people involved with other bands, but without success. Then came to me. I was there a few years without playing, since I moved to Sao Paulo in 2008. I accepted, but since the first conversation we had, I told them: I listen many metal bands!! I’m son of H8000 generation!! hahaha
But we still had a problem: not even had a drummer. We try to call a few drummers, but we did not want any drummer. It had to be someone who had no involvement with some active bands in Sao Paulo. So we were playing in three (Diego Silveira was a drummer in another band called "One True Reason" then created the drum part), making music, lyrics while we tested some drummers. Finally, with dates already scheduled for our recording, we found Luccas Melchiori. After hearing part of what we were doing, he accepted playing with Wolfdog
So I can say that our motivation is to make a different sound, not done here, as distinct influences, and at the same time more independent of certain trends hardcore scene from Sao Paulo. We want to play for people who care more with our message with our sound, than with the crew or group we belong.
Wolfdog is a good name that explains some of this our thinking. The wolf is the animal that decides at one point: stay alone, becomes a lone wolf, or joins the pack, and is able to die to save the pack!. It is a power of choice more connected to instinct. This is a philosophie concept of Will of Power (Nietzsche). And the dog, not only is the maximum of loyalty pledge to have a relationship with our friends, but it also forces us to remember our domesticated side. We are human beings, and we must always break this side. We have two sides: strong and frail. But we can not get caught, conditional or subject to the rules (within the hardcore scene). It is a condition that we always break!

What have you released so far?
FELIPE:We decided to debut with an EP. The initial idea was to do a untitled demo .. But we began to realize that the quality was getting very good, above our expectations. So we decided to launch these four sounds in a virtual EP at bandcamp. We were very impressed as some days the download limits are exhausted. People from different places, different scenes, and mostly guys from bands we admire very much praised our EP. We expect to launch ‘Born Wolf’ in K7 tapes before we recorded something. We are planning to record until April! (Stay tuned!!)

Can you describe the band’s sound for someone who has never heard Wolfdog before?
FELIPE: We are a mix of many schools. Essentially we have influences on the heavier side and groovie beats of classic NYHC. Bands like Madball, Agnostic Front, Breakdown, Merauder. Quoted before we hear crossover. Maybe our other songs (those not in Ep) these influences from crossover (I love Leeway and The Crumbsuckers) become more apparent. The initial idea was to do something simple, like No Warning and Guns Up, Cruel Hand! But like I said, I got my hands on the metal!! Hahaha. Then we add many metal elements that match the aggressiveness of hardcore. I hear a lot of bands like Obituary, Testament, Megadeth, Sodom, Slayer, Entombed and Death (yeahh. Chuck is my god!). These influences are well consistent within what we propose to put on our facebook page and bandcamp for example: "we are inspired by No Warning, Guns Up!, Alpha & Omega, Bitter End”. Why? Because we really hear much these bands - Alpha & Omega and Bitter End, Cruel Hand, No Warning and Guns Up! (and many others), for example, but because they also use many riffs these metal bands!!!

What are your main influences when writing new tracks?
FELIPE: I can say that compose on two fronts. Music (riffs), and lyrics. Musically we're always trying to make our sound heavier and close to what I like to hear. Also I do not like standard metric. There can be rules to compose music in the hardcore/punk. Intro, verse, bridge, chorus ... Fuck that! If anyone cares too much about these patterns to compose, so can not call hardcore/punk!
The lyrics are easier to create. We want to pass a simple and direct message of what we believe to be right. But right about what? About aspects of our life in relation to the environment in which we live. Practices observed within the hardcore / punk scene, for example, which we believe are harmful to the scene itself. Or just we direct the weight of a world that overwhelms us every day at work, laws, morality, religion, politics. We tried to turn this into words that can inspire, they can do think about these issues. We want you to understand our message as sparks!

Born Wolf is a rad name for a record, what does it mean to you?
Thank you! hahahaha really is a rad name! I think it's an almost tautological meaning. While we use the meaning of the wolf, we wanted everyone to understand a statement like: hey! arrived and came to stay! Born Wolf and Fuck You!!!

You did couple of shows with Rotting Out in January. How did it go?
FELIPE: Oh, man, it was amazing! These guys are really good. The band is in a very good time! Everywhere the band played people were impressed with such energy and quality! I can say that we learned a lot. We are also impressed how much Wolfdog was well received at every show. The kids here are really listening our music.
The only thing we did not like was to have been stopped by the police from Rio de Janeiro. They were searching for drugs. When we said we were two rock bands. Then one of the officers said: rock band?? then tell where are the drugs?? Because rock band without drugs, is not real rock band! Everybody out of the van, and rest against the side! At the end he said: “cool, guys!!! you're almost a gospel band!” hahahaha
Man, anywhere in the world... A. C. A. B!!!!

When you was just discovering hardcore, what was it in particular about it that drew you in?
FELIPE: Man, I really was a child when I discovered hardcore. In the late 90s’ a generation of straight edges/punks in my town showed me the hardcore/punk. Concerts that occurred made me realize something that I could not see the rock bands that I heard at the time. There was no difference between who was on stage playing, and who watched the shows. The scene was formed by all, and everyone could participate in that. If you had no band could make a zine, a collective, spreading words on a isonomic logic: 1 = 1. Playing in a band was not anyone more special or more important. That made me love hardcore! Consequently the lifestyle vegan straight edge was absorbed by me. It was very natural for me. Thought and did everything in a very consistent manner. If I fell in love hardcore, so it made no sense for me not to be a vegan/vegetarian straight edge.

Do you have any hardcore quotables that you live by? Any song lyrics ever touched you?
FELIPE: I understand that certain ideas in certain contexts, when output has its own importance. Certain messages passed within the hardcore are important, they help create an identity, a sense of community and fortify certain beliefs, but should not be reproduced just as absolute truths. I think some quotes should only inspire us, but to live blindly proclaiming quotes ... I think a mistake. We can not limit ourselves to reproduce thoughts ever created, but we have to think for ourselves. To be somewhat paradoxical: “Some ideas are poisonous, they can fuck you up, change your life, and scar your mind”. ahahahah
However, There is a lyric from a band that touches me greatly. It is a song by Point of No Return, called "Resposta a sangue e fogo." There is a section at the end of the song that makes my eyes bleed:

"Resposta a sangue e fogo.
Direito a dignidade.
Confrontar o opressor.
Conquistar o que nos pertence.
Que os punhos se fechem!
Que o ódio ferva em nosso sangue e queime esse cenário!
Preparando o solo para a revoluçao".
En: "Response to blood and fire. / Right to dignity /Confront the opressor / Conquer what belongs to us / The fists close! / That hatred in our blood boil and burn this scenario! Preparing the ground for revolution ".

How would you describe the scene in Brazil? How is the unity?
FELIPE: This is a huge country with continental dimensions, but with a smaller scene than expected. I think everything happens in cycles. There are times when things are fine, at other times, are bad. Today, I see very sectarianism and much division. I understand that it is natural for people to want to do things for themselves or for those who are part of the same group. This is done in worldwide. But there is a limit! At one point things are so divided that there seems to be several scenes within a scene. That's too bad, because people and good bands fail to develop just because they are not part of any particular group or circle of friends. However this was a motivation for us to have a band out of this type of game. We do not have a crew, a group, or influential people making things easier for us. We relate well with everyone, but at the same time is a great challenge!

Any albums every kid who would like to learn more about hardcore from Brazil should know about and why?
FELIPE: Hardcore in Brazil as well in Latin America in general has always been very political. I think the most important bands in Brazil have always expressed this. I will name five albums that I consider essential for anyone who wants to know a bit about Hardcore in Brazil. Both because is music together with important ideas. Then I will cite some current bands that I like:

Cólera - Pela Paz em Todo Mundo
No Violence - Never Give It Up!
Voices Vol. 1 – CD Compilation
Constrito - Um fio de vida no círculo da morte
Point of no Return - Centelha.

Some current brazilian bands I like: Last Warning (from Belo Horizonte), Clearview (from Sao Paulo), Your Fall (Curitiba), Violator (from Brasília DF), Bandanos (from Sao Paulo), O Cúmplice (from Sao Paulo), XEscuroX (from Sao Paulo), Deaf Kids (from Volta Redonda), Clobbering Time (from Piracicaba), Jah Hell Kick (from Sao Paulo)

Best food in Sao Paulo?

Sao Paulo is a Paradise for vegans and vegetarians. There are many places to eat! But I prefer 3 in particular: Loving Hut, Lar Vegetariano e Primedog!

Any last words of wisdom for the kids?
Be true! We have a song about kids who assume postures and lifestyle to be accepted. They live a lie for a few months or years, and end up becoming their enemies. Enemy Within!. Do not be a punk, straight edge, vegan, vegetarian, skinhead, sharp etc if you do not really believe in these ideas. You will lose your time in practices that do not add anything to your life. Hardcore is for everyone! Do not be a fake to be part of a crew!
Thank you!!

This is second version of this post. There was a mix up with the images in the first one, but it's alright now.