Chris Head and Chris "#2" Barker know a good thing when they hear it. So when the two long-time members of Pittsburgh punk outfit Anti-Flag heard the songs their good friend Roger Harvey was busy penning, they knew they had to be a part of it. Didn't matter if they had grown used to the fans, comfortable tour buses, lavish summer festivals, and various creature comforts that come with being a successful, international touring outfit. The boys, along with drummer Tyler Kweder, wanted to tough it out behind their newfound band. Calling themselves White Wives, the quartet holed up in a Nashville studio to record their debut album Happeners, and then set off in a van to tour their hearts out behind the album. In our latest session video, we met up with the band (now 2 members stronger) in a practice studio in Midtown Manhattan to discuss the project as well as get a firsthand account of the songs that inspired White Wives to come together.
Following their EP Situationist earlier this year, White Wives' debut LP, Happeners, will be released June 28 on Adeline Records. Inspired by the mid-60s Provo movement, a counterculture movement that used nonviolence and absurd humor to provoke violent reactions from the police, the album bears the title of the movement leaders.
This quartet brings together Western Pennsylvanian natives Anti-Flag's Chris "#2" Barker and Chris Head, Roger Harvey of Dandelion Snow and Tyler Kweder of American Armada. While they share a hometown, they have as many creative and ideological similarities as they do differences. "I think our varying influences are what helps create the sound and aesthetic of White Wives," offers "2". "I grew up listening to a lot of music from the mid nineties: Nirvana, Pixies." Harvey, on the other hand, cites traditional literary songwriters: "Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons. Of course Dylan and Woody Guthrie." The diversity of inspiration speaks volumes about their creative origins, and serves as a reminder to set pre-conceived notions aside and allow the music to be the voice. The collection of 11 tracks range from high-gain electric rock n' roll, to punk/indie rock, to carefully orchestrated acoustic songs.
White Wives is not, nor was ever intended as a side project. "I think that anyone who goes into listening to our record believing that it is an Anti-Flag 'side project' is going to be surprised and to be honest, perhaps a bit shocked," affirms #2. The band will tour in support of the release, beginning in June, alongside quintet Touche Amore and Balance & Composure. They promise to bring a raucous live show - the stage is left in disarray after every set.