Wallows | Credit: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP (via Getty)

Wallows: “The Whole Performance is Just Better and Bigger”

For a band with two studio albums, a handful of viral hits and over 1.7 million Instagram followers, it’s bizarre to think that Wallows are only now embarking on their first worldwide tour. But as fate and the pandemic would have it, that’s how it is for the LA alt-rock trio, whose latest record, Tell Me That It’s Over, came out in March 2022.

Tell Me That It’s Over is a strong follow-up to Wallows’ critically acclaimed 2019 debut Nothing Happens and 2020’s Remote EP. It’s an eclectic evolution of the Wallows sound, fleshing out their typical alt-rock tendencies with splashes of psychedelia and synth-soaked pop.

Ahead of the band’s first-ever Australian shows, Music Feeds caught up with Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters and Cole Preston to chat about the upcoming tour (spoiler: no shoeys), bucket list moments and their favourite tracks to perform from Tell Me That It’s Over.

Wallows – ‘Marvelous’

Music Feeds: You just announced that not only are you playing the Lollapalooza Latin America festival next year, but you’re also opening for Blink-182 on tour. Are you freaking out?

Dylan Minnette: Yeah. They’re only the second band that we’ve ever opened for, the first one being Vampire Weekend. So they’re both in different ways huge artists of our upbringing and lives. The two bands we’ve played with are ones that are so important to us. We’re very fortunate to be able to do that. It’s crazy.

MF: Before that, you’ve got the Australian tour. You’ve sold out the Melbourne and Brisbane gigs and the Sydney show has been upgraded to a bigger venue. What’s it like to have that reception on the other side of the world? 

Dylan: It’s wild. We’ve never been there, so the fact that there’s people that are that eager and kind who are waiting for us, it’s a very special feeling. It’s definitely a warm and unexpected welcome to the country. We’re super excited.

MF: Is there anything in particular that you’re looking forward to about playing in Australia? 

Braeden Lemasters: Well, I hear it’s beautiful there. Like, the beaches, weather, animals and the wildlife. Everything just seems so extravagant compared to where we are a lot of the time. That’s what I’m looking forward to.

Cole Preston: We’ve already scheduled so many cliché things that everyone does. We’ve already scheduled our classic holding the koala bear photos. In some ways, we are tourists when we’re on tour. So I am looking forward to doing that.

Dylan: It’s also the most insane tour routing and scheduling we’ve ever had, because it’s just a bunch of flights in such a condensed amount of time. So I’m looking forward to experiencing the insanity of that.

I’m also excited to try the food. I know that all these cities have some incredible places. So I’m excited to do some research and see some places that we should make reservations and stuff.

MF: Well, speaking of cliché Australian traditions, do you know what a shoey is?

Braeden: I’ve heard the name, but I don’t know what it is though.

Cole: I have no idea what a shoey is.

MF: It’s often a rite of passage for artists visiting Australia that involves drinking a beer out of your shoe on stage.

Cole: No.

Dylan: No one will ever get me to do that.

MF: I was gonna ask if you’d do it, but I guess that’s a no?

Braeden: I think what needs to happen is Dom, our tour manager, can bring out clean shoes that we just bought and we can do it.

Cole: Yeah, fresh shoes.

Dylan: I still wouldn’t even do that.

Cole: Do people do it?

MF: Oh yeah, it’s a tradition. Especially for overseas artists.

Cole: I’ll do it.

Dylan: I’m too much of a wuss.

Cole: But then does it mess up your shoe? I guess it wouldn’t be that bad, it’s just liquid. But it would just be so awful to put it back on and then have to, like, live your life.

Dylan: Sorry if Australians hate me, but there’s just no way. I’m not doing it.

Wallows – ‘I Don’t Want to Talk’

MF: You guys have grown up together as best friends. What’s it like doing your first world tour together? Do you ever get into fights?

Dylan: We never get into fights. It’s either really fun or it’s really chill. Nothing less. Sometimes you get homesick for sure. It’s a bit like, “Where am I? What am I doing?” but it’s never at each other. It’s more of a mental thing that you go through on certain days, travelling from place to place to place.

Cole: Yeah, we’re really lucky for that reason, because I hear bands arguing and not getting along on tour. I really couldn’t imagine that for us. I wouldn’t enjoy it if that was happening to us. Even when we get off the road, they’re still the people – like the rest of our band and the crew – they’re still the people that I’m hitting up to hang out.

MF: You’ve been touring the new record for a while now. Do you have any favourites that are really fun to play live?  

Braeden: I think my favourites are probably ‘I Don’t Want To Talk’, ‘Hurts Me’, and ‘Missing Out’.

Cole: The last song, ‘Guitar Romantic Search Adventure’, is my favourite because it feels pretty climactic. We sort of did this for our tour for Nothing Happens, but this is really the first time we had proper rehearsal and production days, and the lighting scheme for that song is great.

Dylan: Yeah, it’s a very special part of the show. I think my favourite to play from the new album is ‘Hurts Me’. I just like my guitar part that I play and I like not singing it. I like the way all the sounds are on the song and I think it goes well.

MF: You explore so many different sonic influences on the new record. What has it been like experimenting with that in a live setting as well?

Dylan: We had more to have to emulate live this time around. So, we have a person who used to play bass with us now that plays keys and guitar with us. And yeah, like certain backing track things that help fill out the space a bit more that we didn’t do before.

It was a bit of a challenge at first, but we got used to it pretty quickly. And I think it’s only enhanced the show with an extra person and extra sounds. I think it gives us the opportunity to fill out older songs as well in ways we couldn’t before. So, I feel like all around, every song we’re playing, the whole performance is just better and bigger.

Wallows – ‘These Days’

MF: You’ve spent most of 2022 touring the globe. What has been your most memorable moment on the road so far this year?

Braeden: We played a show in Washington D.C., [at a venue called] The Anthem. That was our biggest show to date, right? And that was pretty amazing. It was just one of the biggest rooms we’ve been in.

Dylan: I’m sorry, I’m taking an answer from you Cole, but I feel like the Reading Festival in the UK was a really nice surprise. We’ve never played a festival in the UK and I was quite literally expecting nothing. We were playing early and then the crowd was just maybe the biggest festival crowd we’ve had. It was insane. And the crowd was the most energetic we’ve ever had.

That energy felt like videos we watched from UK festivals growing up, thinking that was the coolest thing ever. Experiencing that felt like a “check the list” kind of moment, which I wasn’t expecting.

Cole: I think just in general, this is the first time in our career where we’ve really had an opportunity to go really hard on touring. So I think just in general, getting home after being gone for two months, I was like, “Wow.” Nothing really went wrong in any way. Somehow it has just all worked out and then is continuing to work out.

Braeden: What’s funny is the most monumental things in the tour will be going to Australia and Japan and places we have never been. It’s gonna be fun.

Wallows 2022 Australian Tour

  • Tuesday, 8th November – Forum, Melbourne – SOLD OUT
  • Thursday, 10th November – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney – Tickets
  • Friday, 11th November – Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane – SOLD OUT

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