HXC: Interview with Alex McCormick of PartyWolfe
PartyWolfe are an unstoppable force making its way slowly into the Providence music scene. These fine gentlemen hail from New Bedford, Fall River and Providence, and share some members with notable bands like Math The Band The Band. PartyWolfe does exactly what their name says: They bring energy to any show they play. All the members have fantastic stage presence, but Mr. Alex McCormick, vocalist, is absolutely insane on stage. You’d think that this man was fueled by that cute energizer bunny. I was lucky enough to steal some time from Alex’s rad life to ask him some questions about PartyWolfe and his thoughts on music and performing live.
Matt Morales (Motif): So, could you name the members in the band and what they do?
Alex McCormick: I’m on vocals and am the whimsical weirdo. Andrew Victorino is Stick flipper/Skin Ripper. Dan Hetu plays what he’s coined the dumb guitar, aka the bass. Jeff McGowan is our lead guitar/main writer/pedal pusher, and Kyle Sousa likes to party.
MM: How long have you guys been writing music together? Please tell me the guys in the band saw you singing at karaoke one drunken night and recruited you from there!
AM: We’ve been writing together for a year and a half. Kyle re-discovered me making an exchange with my local liquor dealer in Fall River at Sterlings Package Store. We went out, partied in Providence and I drunkenly free-styled vocals over some instrumentals in his car. Rest is history. I’ve done karaoke once. I entered to help myself, my band aaaaaand I lost in the finals. I lost the contest and out on work hours. Fuck me, right? Haha.
MM: What would you say are your main influences for the band? I hear similarities with Everytime I Die, Chiodos and Maylene Sons of Disaster. PartyWolfe seems to revive the metalcore and post hardcore scene that was alive in the early 2000s, but you’re refining it and making it your own.
AM: My influences for the band are hardcore/punk music and culture in general, puns, personal-philosophy, sociology, social experiments, people-watching, “Hood rat”/inner city struggle/behaviors, 2pac, John Lennon, meditation/astral Projection/Vipassana, psychedelic research and my journey for personal peace. Who my vocal influences are, I’ll leave to the listener to speculate.
Jeff’s influences are “Mr Bungle and musicians who are better than him” haha. Drew loves prog music. ETID in terms of all things notable are lyricism, musicianship, longevity. It’s a rarity, I feel, that a band nails all of those things so seemingly casually, especially so consistently. As monumental as they are, we as a band are on our own pathway and are flattered to be muttered, still a newborn band, in the same breath as them. Also “Yo, KB – Stay lucid, homie. I see you though.”
MM: What inspires you guys to do what you do? For you, what is your main drive behind PartyWolfe? Do you have a specific message you’re trying to convey?
AM: I actually had a great dialog with a new-found homie who works at AS220 in Providence about this topic recently! I’ll paraphrase: We’re five dudes bound by the love for music and artistic expression. Life is short. We live in a mad fucking world, a LOUD world and in a country that is collectively very spiritually convoluted, sad and angry. I’m obsessed with, day by day, becoming a better/happier human and overall just leaving my mark on this planet, doing my part. Without being a racist, bigot, sexist or homophobic, I aspire, through our live-show and music, to use vulnerability as a strength, to inspire myself and other humans to be unapologetically expressive for the sake of personal peace and human/psychological/conscious development. It’s a tall fucking order. Music is the only legacy I have to leave behind as a man. All my childhood friends are dead, on drugs, in jail, or even worse … rotting away in their own personal mental-prisons. If I don’t step up and create something bigger than myself or my ego, then I feel my time on this earth will all have been in vain. My message(s)? With out being a racists, sexist, bigot or homophobic, “do what thou wilt,” be kind and have fun, and be unapologetically expressive and true to who you are for the sake of personal peace and human development.
MM: Describe the band’s energy on stage visually and musically. I saw you guys for the first time last Sunday at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston. You guys were tight as fuck; I really enjoyed your set.
AM: Thanks for coming out. Good question! I’ve actually never seen what we look like on stage. I warm up, go out there and just kind of get lost in the moment, like my name was Eckhart Tolle. I think that’s another spectator-sort-of-element that only a witness could testify to. My/Our aim is to just inspire people to take part in the moment happening rather than just spectating and feeling separate from it. We want to get it to the point where there are zero witnesses, but a swarm of people partaking in the moment happening. I think that is the prime directive.
MM: I know you guys just released your latest album, Homeless Romantic, not too long ago at Fete. How was that show? How has the album been received by the public? What’s your favorite track off the album?
AM: The show was great. My expectations were blown. The EP has been received pretty well, locally. Spreading it farther than New England is a focus. Favorite track? Gun to my head, it’s “What a Time to Be A-Live Band.” That song really sets a jaded-tone for where I currently am as a musician and perhaps where we are as a young band with everything to prove to the rest of the world.
MM: Is PartyWolfe currently writing new material? Do you have any plans to tour for 2017?
AM: A whole new batch of songs are nearly ready to be recorded. Finding the means to branch out for out-of-state weekend runs is a goal at the moment. I’d sleep on broken glass and rusty nails every night if it would constitute the means to become a national act and have the privilege to connect with and meet new humans every day.
MM: As the vocalist of PartyWolfe, what are some of the toughest parts of fronting the band? I’m sure it’s no walk in the park preforming live. Your vocal range is pretty insane, from super angelic to some brutal and burly screams.
AM: 1) Breath control 2) Not fumbling over my words, when feeling vulnerable, while talking to a crowd of strangers 3) Not letting nay-sayers or heckler types dictate the vibe I’m trying to create or set.
MM: What are the best and worst parts about being in PartyWolfe?
AM: Best part for me: I have a popular outlet/platform to express myself and connect with my fellow man. Worst part: I’m a fucking alien to some of my band mates and sometimes our listeners. Some of my band mates and our listeners have “way more chill” than I do, when it comes to approaching life and art. Sometimes I feel like I live/write/play/express myself with a particular and manic urgency that is not always met with loving understanding. Disclaimer: That’s not a jab. It’s okay to be misunderstood by my band mates and peers. That’s part of MY process. I love my band mates and am grateful for anyone who takes time to observe us or listen to us.
MM: Do you guys have any shows coming up soon? If so, when and where?
AM: We do! Some we can’t announce. Some our listed on our Facebook. Thank you for your time, Matt. Much love to you and your own, dog. Stay UP, stay lucid. Shalom.
Find PartyWolfe here: