The Willowz have been around for almost fifteen years. That’s a lifetime for a rock ‘n’ roll band, and yet, these babes from Anaheim have only just begun. After taking an eight year hiatus, where members Richie James Follin, Jessica Reynoza, and Loren Humphrey took opportunities to jam in other outfits (Cults, Guards, Birds), The Willowz are back with their fifth official studio album, properly titled Fifth. And today, we’re happy to premiere new single “Just Can’t Wait,” a catchy, anthem-style rock explosion that’ll blast you into the weekend. So listen up, and read our interview with lead singer/guitarist Richie below. –Maya Eslami
WHAT YOUTH: You guys took an eight year hiatus. Why the break?
THE WILLOWZ: It wasn’t planned…Loren and I just started playing in Cults, and then I started Guards. After that, Jessica was doing Birds, I was doing CRX, and Loren was playing with The Last Shadow Puppets. Eight years goes by pretty quick!
And how did you guys decide to regroup and start making music again?
In between doing all these other projects we just banged it out. Loren mixed it in NY and I tracked most of it in LA. Most of the record was half way finished from about eight years ago. I had to re-sing the old ones and kind of tighten some things up. We had a few completely new ones as well.
Tell me about the new album and how it came about?
We never broke up so it wasn’t really that strange to decide to finish up some old songs we recorded. We just would randomly listen to them throughout the years and talk about how we should finish it, and we finally just did. Rock n’ roll music is in it’s own little time warp so it sounds just as fresh as it did when we first tracked it.
How did it feel being in the studio again?
Amazing. I love making records with this band. It feels like home. We all learned how to do it through this band so it’s good to come back.
Was there added pressure because of the hiatus?
Not in the process of writing and recording it because you never really know what’s going to happen with the music. When it actually came time to release a song it did feel strange, but not in a way where we felt pressured about anything. It’s only rock and roll.
What’s changed since you guys formed in 2002? How has the band evolved over the years?
We figured some things out…musically. When you’re older I think it makes it easier to hone in on what you’re trying to communicate. You can process what you have been through and siphon it into a song that people may connect with. I don’t know…that’s my personal take on it. In 2001 we had just picked up our instruments. So, we are a bit more familiar with them now. It’s also easier to let go of your music now…it’s hard to get used to that.
What’s next for The Willowz?
Touring in October!