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A Dirty Dozen with AL BOLTZ from A SCENT LIKE WOLVES – January 2021

| 8 January 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Pennsylvania metalcore band A SCENT LIKE WOLVES — Al Boltz (vocals), Nick Boltz (vocals), Cody Frain (drums), Jeff Brown (guitar), Kyle Pettigrew (guitar), and Blake McClimon (guitar) — have shared the video for “Death Effect” at The song features guest vocals from Brian Wille of Currents. A Scent Like Wolves released their debut And The Story Goes in 2013. The band’s We Are Triumphant debut LP Frigid Future was released in March 2016 and was followed by heavy U.S. touring. The band went on to tour Japan in November of that year with French metal outfit Shoot The Girl First, and continued to tour China as a headlining act in December. A Canadian headline run took place in August 2017. Frigid Future was one of the highest trending metalcore albums in Tower Records Japan until late 2018. A Scent Like Wolves went on to release the Spirit Vessel EP in March 2018. A video for “Angelwrath” featuring Ryo Kinoshita of Crystal Lake helped land the song on Spotify’s New Core Playlist. The band played select shows in the U.S. and toured South Korea, China, and Japan in support of the EP that spring. In October 2019, A Scent Like Wolves entered the studio. In December 2019, they re-issued And The Story Goes, which featured guest vocalists Ricky Armellino from Ice Nine Kills and Fronz of Attila. A three-week U.S. tour wrapped up the year for the band. Their new album Mystic Auras arrives in February 2021.” We get singer Al to discuss new music, reflection on his past, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Mystic Auras is an album that we have been working on for at least 2 years. Mystic Auras is about the things we desire and why we’re drawn to them. We recorded three songs towards the beginning of 2019 for the album, and it felt like we were just never going to finish it. This industry is very defeating and it had our hopes and spirits broken. Personally for me, there was a lot of change in my life at the time as well which made me question if I even wanted to be in a band anymore. My friends and family helped me break out of the darkness, and I put EVERYTHING I had into making this my best vocal performance. My brother Nick (the other vocalist) did as well, the vocals are certainly my favorite part of the release. There are tons of guitar layers and other types of instruments/ effects that listeners will miss the first time around for sure. It’s only 31 minutes so we feel like a second listen isn’t asking for much [laughs]. We try to make a new ‘sound’ for ASLW each time we go to record an LP or EP — this album gives me vibes of Erra, Angels & Airwaves, and Intervals. Our song “Death Effect” allowed us to explore our roots with a new twist, it makes me want to say “This is the last ‘classic’ ASLW song you mf will get” [laughs].

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Our (Nick and myself) parents were heavily into music when we were growing up. My dad played MTV, VH1, everything like that all the time. Our mother listened to a lot of Shania Twain and Garth Brooks. I think we come from a very musically inclined family. Our mom played piano, our dad was a DJ, and our grandpa was in a choir. When Nick & I lived in England we watched a lot of Kerrang TV and I think that made us want to pursue music.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

blink-182 was the album for me, if I had to guess Nick’s was The Offspring – Splinter.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

For our genre, my picks would be: TDWP, Funeral For A Friend, Bring Me The Horizon, Fightstar and Architects.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

That’s a great question. Charlie Simpson, he can literally do anything musically.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

It’s metalcore, post-metalcore, progressive metalcore, whatever the kids are calling it these days. I’m not really sure about the second question to be honest.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Typically, we go out to eat when we meet up but I’d say that Jeff and Kyle are the best cooks. I’ve been getting better lately at cooking. I usually pick up the acoustic, but I never play for long. For a while there we were getting together at Cody’s and having a fire in his backyard.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Meeting Jared Leto, he was actually super nice. To be honest I think the only time in the future I’ll be starstruck is if I ever get to meet Nic Cage.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part is creating. I love to sing in the studio and watch it all come into fruition. I’ve always wanted to be an actor, actually I still do.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

This is something that I never really think about. It’s always cool when interviewers ask us questions about our album concepts directly or ask us specific questions about our past. I think the most common question is “What does A Scent Like Wolves mean?” or “How did you come up with the band name?” The band name comes from the movie “Ninja Assassin” and here are the exact lines:

RAIZO: They have our scent.

MIKA: Following our scent? Like dogs?

RAIZO: No. Like wolves.

And so the name A Scent Like Wolves was born in 2010, well before the words ‘wolf’ or ‘wolves’ were popular to use in a band name. That is so frustrating to me that bands are still considering that [laughs].

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Probably, but I think I’m usually more concerned about the future, or the next release. I sort of view everything that has happened as a learning experience and that I wouldn’t have gotten to this point without that happening. This band was just an idea Jeff and I had when we were 17, I’m still stoked on making records 10 years later.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

This is a great question. Albums that come to mind are Funeral For A Friend – CD&DIC and Fightstar – Grand Unification. These are epic post hardcore albums, both produced by Colin Richardson.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

At first, I thought I wasn’t going to miss playing shows/ being on the road, but I do. Attending concerts is also something I miss very much right now, I think we all do.

Our new album Mystic Auras is available February 19th on We Are Triumphant, pre-order merch is up online. Thank you for having me, this was fun!





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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