Wolf at the Door's inevitable hiatus births new project

Echoes is, from left, Brian Woodruff, Henry Gibson and Gene Priest.

Echoes is, from left, Brian Woodruff, Henry Gibson and Gene Priest.

Upon the decision to indefinitely shelve the Wolf at the Door project prior to its still-to-come EP release, remaining members founded the three-man band Echoes to capitalize on chemistry developed not only through W@tD, but also Cold Hands, Henry Gibson and the Girl Scouts and others. Surprisingly, though the makeup is familiar, the sound of Echoes has little in common with the trio’s previous collaborations.

Upon the birth of Wolf at the Door’s Derek Jones’ first child, it became apparent the band needed a break. Prolific performers Henry Gibson, Brian Woodruff and Gene Priest knew the break, however long, would be insufferable without another creative outlet, and thus, Echoes was formed. The outfit returns longtime drummer Priest to percussion duties and brings renowned Cold Hands frontman Gibson back to center stage to provide bass and vocals. Woodruff’s guitar and songwriting serve as the main connection to the previous act; however, even these are fueled by discernibly different motives.

“We all knew this hiatus was coming because a key member was becoming a new dad,” admits Gibson. “Thus, on the birth of his son rose the dawning of Echoes. After finding out about the hiatus I made plans to jam with another band in December, which I did. Then a week into December, Gene called and said he still wanted to keep playing and we should start something new with him on drums, Brian playing guitar and me playing bass and singing again. We got together a week later and it just clicked. We ended up writing three songs, and then a couple weeks later I booked a couple shows to keep us motivated to write and practice.”

“As soon as I realized W@tD was actually done for the moment, I had a sort of momentary mini-heart attack,” adds Priest. “I have to be playing, writing and creating at all times, and not just for the sake of writing, but with people I enjoy working with. I’ve obviously played for many years with Henry and Brian both in various bands as well as W@tD, so I knew we had chemistry from the start. I knew if we started something as a three-piece, it would be no time before we were up and running again. Alas, we talked about starting a band, we got together for the first practice and Henry announced he had booked two shows. We then decided it was a good idea to come up with a name and, ya know, write some songs.”

The identity of the new band is still solidifying as Echoes fleshes out an all-new catalog, but the trio is adamant that this identity will be entirely its own, even while taking small pieces from both the slow ambient builds of W@td and the dancey, punk staples of Cold Hands. With talk of adding more instrumentation, the band’s future is open to evolve, but for the moment its songs are constructed around Brit pop with wandering guitar melodies that border on psychedelic.

“Initially the plan was to sound as Brit pop as possible,” Gibson says. “I think Doves came up a lot when we started, but someone described us at our first show as the ’90s meets Interpol, which is fine with me because I like ’90s music and Interpol. Our sound can’t help but resemble Cold Hands or W@tD because we were members of those bands.”

With Gibson fast-tracking the songwriting process by booking early and often, Echoes will likewise be quick to unveil its first recordings. A debut EP is already recorded and awaits mixing, while a second is expected for completion by summer. Upon releasing the two EPs, Echoes will begin work on a full-length.

With its first show in the books, the band’s outlook is as bright as one could expect.

“The music we are writing in this band has made me happier about playing music than anything else in quite some time,” says Priest. “Even after our first show, I felt it was the best “first show” experience I personally have ever had I feel the response was fantastic. I talked to a few people after the show, and it somewhat overwhelmed me with their enthusiasm for what we are doing, which again makes me feel very lucky to be a part of this with Brian and Henry.”

Echoes will perform its second live outing Saturday night at The Well with Dead Rabbits and Johnny Astro and the Big Bang. Music is slated for 10 p.m. with a $5 cover. Echoes are also scheduled to play The Pilot Light on March 12.

An honorable mention: Tonight, On My Honor kicks off its March tour with a show at The Longbranch Saloon. Also on the bill are Everey, Cerulia, Bad Ideas, Captain and Jack, and Your Favorite Hero. The 8 p.m. show welcomes all ages. Admission is $10 or free with preorder of On My Honor’s forthcoming release through www.onmyhonor.bandcamp.com.

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