With the debut LP ‘Hear Me Out’ and 5 showcases at SXSM, the band led by Jordan Cook is lastly taking the newborn steps it skipped years in the past.
After a trouble-filled sound examine and some glitches with the lights originally of his set, Jordan Cook thinks he might need lastly remoted the issue along with his gear — the soldout Los Angeles venue the place he’s debuting his new album might be, nearly actually, haunted by ghosts.
“We plugged in our amps they usually have been making these bizarre gurgling noises,” says Cook, lead singer and guitaist for Reignwolf, the excessive buzz, lo-fi rock band that crammed the Moroccan Lounge on March 1 with opening L.A. band Holy Wars.
"I've toured with this gear since I used to be just a little child and had by no means heard it make that sort of sound earlier than," Cook explains the day after the present. "I advised the sound man I assumed the place was haunted and he checked out me and mentioned, 'No joke, I feel so too.'"
Cook himself has been a little bit of a ghost since breaking out in 2012, disappearing for months (typically years) at a time earlier than popping up on tracks like Mackelmore's "Firebreath" or Cameron Crowe’s shortlived Showtime drama Roadies. Despite having solely 4 singles launched sporatically over a seven yr span, Reignwolf has developed a devoted fan following round Cook's high-energy stay present, performed each with a three-piece band and solo by Cook, who manages vocals, guitar and a kick drum dor the one-man routine.
Cook has the appears to be like that of a younger Bruce Springsteen and the musical instincts of guitar greats like Jimi Hendrix or Jack White, making him each a dynamic frontman and an elusive artist, with loads of promoters, managers and label heads drawn into his musical potential. Yet regardless of all the eye, Cook has largely mentioned "thanks, however no thanks" to heavy hitting rock managers and document labels. He launched his album on his personal and nonetheless depends on a small staff that features WME brokers Don Muller and Robbie Brown, together with music mastering engineer Howie Weinberg, frequent Jack White producer and engineer Vance Powell, producer Tony Hoffer, Arctic Monkeys and Black Keys producer Tchad Blake and Mario Caldato Jr., higher often known as Mario C, who produced 4 albums for the Beastie Boys.
Now seven years into his profession, Cook is taking steps he skipped when Reignwolf was nonetheless a growing band, spending the primary half of the yr working an album, taking part in membership reveals and getting in entrance of tastemakers at occasions like South by Southwest in Austin, the place he’s taking part in five showcases between Thursday and Sunday.
His debut LP, Hear Me Out, packs almost a decade of inventive energy in 10 tracks, every endowed with hard-driving guitar riffs, frenzied vocal hooks and a stripped down, storage rock sound that has been largely absent from guitar-driven rock for a lot of the last decade. Tracks like “Black and Red” have drawn comparisons to Gary Clark Jr. and the Black Keys, whereas the band’s stay reveals have the uncooked, anything-can-happen power of early Nirvana or Queens of the Stone Age. On stage, Cook is uncompromising in his depth, slamming his Les Paul to maintain time to rock anthems that really feel each impossibly loud and uncooked. In particular person, he’s approachable and good, uncommon rock star qualities which are a product of his upbringing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Cook moved to Seattle in 2012, fashioned Reignwolf with bassist Stacey-James Kardash and drummer Joseph Braley and was instantly was embraced by the native music scene. Seattle-based KEXP invited him into their studio for a stay session in 2012, the place his cowl of Fleetwood Mac's “The Chain” garnered tens of millions of views and a spot on the town’s Capital Hill Block Party, Seattle’s long-running indie rock music pageant. After watching a pair minutes of the efficiency on Youtube, Mueller and Brown had him on the cellphone and added to WME's rock roster.
Hoping to get huge appears to be like for followers and tastemakers, Muller and Brown helped Cook pioneer the Thrash and Dash, organising guitar amps and microphone rigs in entrance of locations like Wrigley Field or a Seattle Metro station, blasting onlookers with frantic guitar solos till Cook was applauded or chased off by the cops. The technique bought individuals's consideration and fewer than a yr after signing with WME, Reignwolf was taking part in festivals like Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza.
“He was throwing his guitar on the drums and breaking the stage and quite a lot of followers discovered it very refreshing,” Brown says, including that Jordan was additionally constructing his headline membership enterprise, thriving in smaller, intimate settings the place he might feed off the viewers and simply promote 1,000 tickets in huge markets like L.A. and New York. When Black Sabbath got here calling for an opener for the Canadian leg of their tour in 2014, Cook signed on.
“We have been doing arenas with out having a document and it form of felt the other way up and backwards,” explains Cook, who says a lot of the fabric on Hear Me Out was written, carried out and adjusted in entrance of a stay viewers, studying their reactions and making realtime changes to shocked followers, joking the brand new document is "like having a brand new child to point out off.”
Muller mentioned the album is the ultimate piece wanted to raise Cook and Reignwolf to the following stage, and, regardless of the typically irritating seven-year anticipate an LP, the power and depth of the ten tracks that make up Hear Me Out are robust sufficient to push the band into bigger venues and pageant appears to be like.
"We suppose it's an incredible piece of artwork and we’re digging in now as a part of the staff,” Muller says, including that WME’s head of festivals Josh Kurfirst and Pete Nash within the company’s New York workplace are a part of the Reignwolf staff. "We all drank the Koolaid and we we’re all within the Jordan enterprise. We put quite a lot of strain on him to complete the album, and after seven years, the completed product is improbable.”
Cook tells Billboard that a number of tracks on Hear Me Out have been recorded in Saskatoon, the place he retains a household however now spends most of his time between Los Angeles and his adopted dwelling in Seattle, the place he returned earlier this month for an album launch present on the Sunset Tavern, the primary venue Reignwolf performed after forming in 2012.
“We wanted to return and play a number of the intimate rooms and really feel the individuals proper at our pedal boards,” Cooks says. “We’ve been fortunate sufficient to play quite a lot of huge venues prior to now, and kicking off the document in a smaller surroundings feels actually particular."
It additionally means a leaner tour with out the assistance of roadies to arrange the band’s rising assortment of amplifiers, results pedals and fog machines. When the band took the stage in Los Angeles, it took them a few minute to get their lightening rig working and by the point they bought their bulbs to lastly fireplace up, the stage had fully full of fog, making Cook nearly inconceivable to see for the primary two songs.
“We have been at midnight for just a little bit,” Cook explains. “And it was identical to, once more, something can occur and that's what's so particular concerning the stay expertise —you possibly can solely management it a lot earlier than the set tries to regulate you. You’ve bought to close your self off in a method and switch off your thoughts. That’s when lovely issues begin to occur.”