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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We’rewolves’ Marathon Summer

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The band name We’rewolves resulted from a misunderstanding between the group’s members, Eliah Koerner (vocals, keyboard), Dan Perlstein (drums) and Ryan “Smitty” Smith (bass).

“I said, ‘Let’s call ourselves The Vampires,’” Perlstein recalled. “And Smitty said, ‘How about werewolves?’ and I thought he said ‘we’rewolves,’ like ‘we are wolves.’”

The contraction was subsequently expanded into a song in which the group chants “We are all wolves!” over and over.

I interviewed the band before a recent show at Mad Planet. It was raining, and they stood huddled under a small awning, waiting for the Mad Planet staff to arrive and open the door.

The band formed about a year ago, they explained.

“We’re pretty fresh on the street,” Smith said before pointing to Koerner. “Look at this guy here. He looks like a Colombian drug lord, until you get right here.” He points at Koerner’s neck. Koerner is short and wiry, and wearing a white long-sleeve shirt with a deep V-cut front and no buttons. He wears a bandana tied around his head, and has big glasses. He smiles at the comment, exposing his braces.

Perlstein and Smith have just graduated from high school, and Koerner has a year to go. They are trying to play as many shows as they can this summer, including a possible mini-tour of the East Coast. The band will go on hiatus in the fall as the three temporarily move in different directions for work and school. A recording session for their first EP is scheduled for later this summer.

The trio admits that they love hosting dance parties, and the band combines rock with a keyboard-driven dance beat that sometimes sounds like classic video game music. The band has mostly been playing basement shows and had regular gigs at the now-defunct Echo Base Collective.

“We’re definitely a basement band,” Koerner said. “We feel more connected. It’s more personal.”

The band celebrates this scene in the first song they wrote together, “Rock N Roll Kids.” Smith, who wrote the lyrics, talked about his inspiration for the song.

“It’s about the first time I saw KISS,” he said. “It just kind of changed my life. (The song is) about hanging out in your basement, trying to have a good time playing music with your friends.”

The band has had some rock ’n’ roll moments of its own.They had to do an evasive move at a recent bar show when they were told that they had to help pay for the sound-man. The band was broke, so they said they just had to finish loading some equipment, and then split the scene.

The We’rewolves’ next show is July 17, which incidentally is one day before the full moon.

We’rewolves will play July 17 at the Borg Ward with Health, Juiceboxxx, Terrior Bute and Freight. They’ll also play July 23 at Y-Not III.

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