Look up White Woolly’s bandcamp and their sound description states “ominous surf rock.” And that’s pretty much nailing it on the nose right there. The Louisville-based three-piece that is Charlie Hill on vox/guitars, Leah Outlaw on bass, and Evan Fowler on drums, mix up surf licks with reverb soaked vocals that evoke Tarantino brawls set in seedy tiki bars, and even reminds me of early Growlers. Which makes their video for new single “Waiting” all the more real. In it, the members take turns punching themselves in the face, getting nice and bloody, but, you know, in a fun way. So press play, get some Fight Club pep in your step today, and read our interview with the band below. And kids, don’t try this at home. –Maya Eslami
WHAT YOUTH: How did you guys form? And any story behind the band name?
WHITE WOOLLY: We formed in college in 2014 I think in Boone, NC. Charlie and I took a summer photography class together and became friends out of necessity, and Leah and I have been dating for years. Charlie played guitar and mentioned starting a band, so I forced myself to learn drums, and when we couldn’t find a bass player we asked Leah to learn and fill in. We never found a bass player, which turned out great since Leah stuck around. The name just came from us discovering that we liked the word woolly and we liked alliteration. So we came up with White Woolly. We figured out later that nobody knows how to spell the word woolly.
Looks like you guys have an EP that you released in 2015. Is this your first single since then? What have you guys been up to since then?
Yeah this is the first thing we’ve released since then. Leah is a year younger than Charlie and I so between school, work, and waiting for her to finish up college it was hard to find time to record or even practice. We recorded a few times here and there but never saw anything through to the end. Charlie and I spent a year in Asheville, NC, which is where Leah and I are from, while we waited for Leah to graduate. She finished up and we all moved to Louisville, which is Charlie’s hometown, so this is the first time we’ve been all together in awhile. We’ve been all over the place for a few years now so it’s nice to be settled somewhere. We’re excited to not have any more obstacles in our way
And are you guys releasing “Waiting” as a single? Can we expect an upcoming album?
Yeah we wanted to just get something out there so people know we’re still alive and relevant. For a long time our live shows have been our only way of getting our music out, so we wanted something more permanent. The goal is to get an album out. We have plenty of material from the last few years and keep coming up with more, so the plan is to release an album sooner than later.
The video is so great. What was the inspiration going into it? Who came up with the concept?
One thing that we heard early on and really held onto was that our music felt like it was from a Tarantino film. We all love that vibe and energy so we wanted to do something that was reminiscent of that. I gave everyone a vague concept of punching ourselves in the face and they just trusted me and ran with it. We did everything ourselves for this song and video, so we’re pumped it turned out well.
What did you guys use as the fake blood? Please tell me that’s fake blood.
We wanted it to be real but weren’t committed enough. I spent over an hour trying different blood recipes in my kitchen and eventually just started adding corn syrup, flour, food coloring, and a little chocolate syrup into a bowl. We’re pretty happy with how it turned out.
And what was it like punching yourselves in the face?
We found out it was a lot harder than we thought. We wanted to make a little contact so it looked authentic, but finding a mix of air punching and full on assault was tough. We have more respect for professional wrestlers now. Making it look real is a challenge.
Photo: White Woolly