Interview with Interview with Johnny Coolati (guitar, vocals) CALL OF THE WILD / The Deli
How did you form and get the name of the band?
My friend Gregory Stovetop actually thought of it when we were trying to come up with band names a few years ago on the subway. I remember when he said it we both completely lost it because I had just read the book by Jack London and was telling him how I forgot how good a book it was because I hadn't read it since 8th grade. Years later when I moved back to New York after doing a stint in Nashville, Gregory again was sort of the glue. He was having a drink at Daddy's Bar where Allison was serving drinks, on the phone with me trying to convince me to move back to NYC, and Allison overheard him and offered to play drums. Maxwell and I had played together for a bit in short lived projects in NYC before I moved and he was just an obvious pick as bassist. All of us had been friends with each other for a while and it was just good timing.
When I’m not playing in Call of the Wild, I’m….?
Well, honestly drinking. But I'm taking a break from that. We'll see how it goes. It's hard not to drink but I'm giving it a shot. I'm still a wild man though.
How would you best describe your music?
We sound like what it feels like to be eaten alive.... Hard, scary, fast and brutal.
How does a COTW song get written?
All different ways. Sometimes it will be a joke we're throwing around. Some songs are more personal than others. We all pitch in. In the end everyone contributes.
Who are some of your influences? Any we’d be surprised with?
For me it's a lot of Thin Lizzy and Motorhead. I also like a lot of old punk bands like the Germs, Wipers and what not. Allison and Max are really into Cock Sparrer right now. I also like them. The Damned is a big one. Early Metallica, Rose Tattoo, you know, tuff guy rock 'n' roll basically.
Talk about the making of LEAVE YOUR LEATHER ON, who worked on it with you, if there were any interesting experiences that occurred during the recording of it, etc.
We recorded it at Rare Book Room in Greenpoint/Williamsburg area with Nicolas Vernhes. Matt Sweeney (of Chavez, plus a lot of other things) and Jesper Eklow (of Endless Boogie) were there helping out the whole time. Tom Gloady was assisting with things. We recorded it in like 3 days and mixed it in 3 days. Unfortunately I wasn't there for the last day of mixing because my ass was in jail that day -- an undercover cop busted me for some stupid minor shit.
What sets COTW apart from other bands?
Well, I kinda hate coming off like this but what sets us apart is that it's real. All the songs' subject matters relate to our lives. Hard partying, abusive relationships, movies we like, etc. Track One on Leave Your Leather On is really about the Autobahn in Germany. They drive really fuckin' fast on that sucker. I think a lot of bands try too hard and end up coming off, I don't know... not like us. This is a really hard question to answer sometimes because I'm not trying to come off righteous. But whatever, I'm going to end up sounding that way anyway because I'm doing an interview, haha. We aren't trying to look cool or sexy. This is the way we are. Some people will probably just think we're a bunch of dicks. I'm fine with that. People are entitled to their opinions. I know I'm a nice guy. If someone has a problem with something, keep it to yourself though. I hate it when people try to belittle people. It's one of the only things that can make me lose my temper. I don't like bullies. I root for the underdog always. Call of the Wild are not bullies. We bully the bullies.
Why should people come see you live?
I don't know. Because we're fun? If you like high energy rock n' roll then yeah, come see us. We won't disappoint.
Any final words?
Um, hello everybody! Hurray!