Los Angeles indie rockers The Wrecks are back with their new single “I Want My Life Back Now,” and they can’t wait until everyone’s back at gigs, moshing, singing, crying, and laughing.
Stream: “I Want My Life Back Now” – The Wrecks
The tempos, chords, melodies, and styles are all softly navigated by the ebbs and flows of my mental state.
It’s been a year since The Wrecks were due to hit the road with The Driver Era on a nation-wide tour, and despite the shows being rescheduled twice due to the ongoing pandemic, The Wrecks remain undeterred. Talking to Atwood Magazine, lead vocalist Nick Anderson explained that they have managed to put out more music over this last year than in all of their previous years as a band combined, and he wasn’t exaggerating. Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, the four-piece have released a debut album, numerous singles, and their overtly honest EP, “Static”. In March 2021, they returned with their new single, “I Want My Life Back Now”, and proved that, despite the absence of live shows, The Wrecks are just as energetic and pop-punk as ever.
Released on March 12th, “I Want My Life Back Now” is not the COVID-19-era track its title may at first suggest. Rather, the song tells a story of heartbreak and closure through the medium of crashing pop-punk riffs and resounding vocals. For a break-up song, “I Want My Life Back Now” is notably upbeat and full of energy, which is just how The Wrecks like it.
Since forming in 2015 and touring with music heavyweights such as All Time Low, Nothing But Thieves, and The Struts, the band have become almost synonymous with their electric and energy-driven live performances. Frontman Nick Anderson went on to tell Atwood Magazine that he thoroughly enjoys having a “setlist that’s packed with energy”, and it’s simple to see how “I Want My Life Back Now” will become a setlist staple.
Atwood Magazine sat down with The Wrecks’ Nick Anderson to talk about their next headline tour, how to win over a crowd, and their latest single, “I Want My Life Back Now.”
A CONVERSATION WITH THE WRECKS
Atwood Magazine: So first off, I’ve got to ask, how has the craziness of the last year treated you guys?
Nick Anderson: We’ve put out more music over this last year than we had in all of our previous years as a band combined. Without touring, which eats up ten months of the year, we were able to write and release music at a fairly consistent rate and give our fans a lot of content. In that way, it was nice. However, being in the studio for that long can take its toll creatively, so we’ve tried to mix things up by working on music videos, live streams, and promotional material, which are all things that we usually wouldn’t have as much time to work on.
Congratulations on your latest single, “I Want My Life Back Now,” it’s had a great reception. Do you still get anxious about how much your fans will like new tracks, or are you pretty confident in your ability to please your audience?
Nick: Thank you! I think we know our audience pretty well, and we trust the fact that we share the same music taste as our fans. So, if we like the song, we can assume they will too. That allows us not to worry if we’ve “changed our sound” or if we’re experimenting with genre-blending because hopefully, our listeners are going on that journey with us. Releasing a track doesn’t make us anxious because by the time a song is coming out, it has survived an elimination process that includes five other songs that could have taken its place. We just have to trust that we made the right choice.
“I Want My Life Back Now” is a track about a break-up and longing to go back to a happier time. But, obviously, in the current COVID crisis, there will be a lot of people who will resonate with it in a completely different light. Have the current circumstances made you interpret the lyrics in a slightly different way?
Nick: The storyline is specific enough through the song that I’m able to hear the song for what it is and not really relate it to the pandemic. Casual listeners may hear only the first line of the chorus and apply their own meaning, which is totally great, but it’s a personal journey of struggles with vices, closure, and heartbreak.
Everything has been a bit on hold, particularly in the music industry. So, do you have a roadmap for the next year or so once all the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted? Is there anything you’re prioritizing, such as live shows?
Nick: Live shows will absolutely be the priority. We have a support tour lined up with The Driver Era at the end of 2021, and if all goes well, that will be a breath of fresh air for everyone. We’re just gonna go with the flow of the industry.
You’ve toured with Nothing But Thieves and some other amazing bands. What’s the experience like when you get to go on the road for such large tours?
Nick: Some of our bigger support tours were with Silversun Pickups, Nothing But Thieves, All Time Low, and The Struts. I’m always intrigued by the different ways bands create unique atmospheres on stage for their audiences. There are a million different ways to put on a show. It took a couple of years for me to find the right balance of interaction, humor, and performance, and that’s something that was developed by just grinding it out on the road getting comfortable. We’re very grateful to the bands who have allowed us to bring that to their audiences.
You’re also about to go on tour with The Driver Era, but do you have plans for another headline show?
Nick: We’d love to headline in 2022, and I believe we’re currently working out the routing. Unfortunately, and fortunately, so is everyone else. It’ll be a race for who can book the venues first.
Playing a headline show must have a different vibe to playing a supporting gig. What are your go-to moves or top tips for winning over a crowd when you’re a supporting act?
Nick: I like to be able to be upfront about the situation. I’ll make a remark to the crowd about how they probably don’t know who we are and put the pressure on us to win them over in the next 30 minutes. Begging for the crowd’s admiration has always felt awkward and desperate to me. I’d rather take a self-aware approach. Crowds tend to respect that more.
Throughout the last year, artists and bands have been putting on online shows and getting innovative with the way they interact with their audience. Is there anyone, or any specific show, that really stood out to you as an inspiration during the pandemic?
Nick: When the live stream shows started, I noticed a lot of bands were doing highly-produced, pre-recorded live sets at venues or in studios, and that inspired us to go the opposite direction. We’ve done two live stream concerts named “The Wrecks: LIVE at the Shag Chateau” and “The Nightmare Before Wrecksmas”, which we performed out of an Airbnb and my living room. We decided to focus more on building unique sets and spent weeks doing arts and crafts between rehearsals to give those shows a look and feel that was unique to that moment only. We even screen-printed show posters and sold them on our website.
You guys are super inspired by pop-punk and rock music. But are there any other genres that are inspiring you at the moment or any new sounds that you're excited about?
Nick: I’m loving this trend of jazz chords with honest lyrics and pop melodies. TikTok has inspired a wave of talented songwriters who are trying to grab people’s attention within 3 seconds. Gone are the days of generic lyrics and songwriting saturating the charts. Artists are coming round to the fact that listeners want to believe you, and we’re being blessed with a lot of raw musical expression at a rate like never before. It inspires me to go back and listen to the music that made me fall in love with the art.
“I Want My Life Back Now” is an upbeat and light-hearted track, sure to get everyone dancing, but your recent EP Static featured a lot of ballads. Do you prefer your music to occupy that positive/upbeat space, or do you like balancing it out by covering some heavier themes?
Nick: Our songs are typically uptempo, which translates to live shows really well. It’s also nice to know that the bulk of our discography allows us to have a setlist that’s packed with energy. That isn’t necessarily a conscious choice, nor was featuring more ballads on the latest Static EP. The tempos, chords, melodies, and styles are all softly navigated by the ebbs and flows of my mental state.
So what are you working on now? Is there a new album or EP on the horizon?
Nick: We have our sights set on three new EPs throughout this year. The only question is if we can actually pull that off. I feel pretty good about it, but certainly have some writing to do. We’ve very close to finishing EP 1 of 3.
Finally, when we all get our lives back to normal, what are you most excited to do? Is there a venue you specifically want to play or a place you want to go to?
Nick: This sounds a bit corny, but I truly can’t wait to see familiar faces at venues across the country again. A lot of our fans have been around for 4-5 years now, and every show will feel like a family reunion. I’m excited to hang outside the venue before soundcheck and talk to the kids who camp out overnight in line. I’m excited to see them moshing and singing and crying and laughing. There’s an ocean’s worth of emotional connection that we’ve all been missing out on, and it’s going to heal a lot of minds and hearts to have it back.
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