Singled Out: Wolves at the Gate
Wolves at the Gate kick off a tour with A Skylit Drive, I The Mighty, For All Those Sleeping and Pvris tonight so to celebrate we asked Steve Cobucci to tell us about "Planning A Prison Break" from their digital EP of covers, "Back to School," which comes out September 30. Here is the story:
For this installment of Singled Out it was tough for me to pick one of these songs to focus on as these are four of my all time favorite songs. Out of these four bands I felt that The Receiving End of Sirens was the least well known out of the group as they were a band with the likes of As Cities Burn to be one of those bands that weren't truly appreciated until they were gone. So I want to single out "Planning A Prison Break" and give you all my thoughts as to why this song was chosen, how we chose to arrange it, and a little bit of my history with TREOS when I first got into them.
I'll begin with the history and it began with a good buddy of mine named Marc Spoelstra (what's up Marc). In high school we went to rival schools and played soccer against each other. We both ended up dating girls that were best friends so naturally we ended up hanging out a ton. As with many high school relationships, both of our relationships came to an end and we thought to ourselves, "Well, there's no reason for us not to be friends." We always had the same taste in music and went to a ton of shows together, I got him into Thrice and Thursday and he was the first one to show me Underoath's record "The Changing of Times" & "They're Only Chasing Safety" and thus a great friendship was founded upon some great bands. I remember hanging out with him one day after work and he had just heard "Planning A Prison Break" online and was so stoked. There were no "hellos", no greetings, he simply just said, "Dude, you gotta listen to this band." After I heard that song I was blown away so I went and bought the record as soon as it dropped. Soon after that we heard that they were playing nearby in Jersey so we drove an hour and a half down to this sketchy club called Obsessions. TREOS headlined the tour with two other awesome bands: The Sleeping and Scary Kids, Scaring Kids. Marc and I were both front row singing all the words with TREOS. Naturally we called for an encore after their last song and they played "Dead Men Tell No Tales", it was a great set. I couldn't believe how well all three singers were. At that point my singing was solely confined to my car and was completely humbled by their talent and their own humility as well. There are very few artists that I enjoy that have the "showman" personality onstage as it is generally motivated by pride and arrogance. These guys were humble, grateful, and unassuming. After their set I jumped up on stage because I wanted to just let them know that I truly appreciated what they were doing with their music. I don't generally do things of that nature but I was also eighteen so there's a laundry list of things that I don't do now as a 27yr old. For as short as their touring history was, I managed to see them three more times at another club, on the Taste of Chaos tour, and Warped Tour. TREOS was also in a way how Ben Summers (our bassist and resident band mom) and I got to know each other. I used to wear this TREOS track jacket that was super sweet and wore it quite often enough that when in college, Ben would see me walking around campus and he thought to himself, "Wow, that guy actually likes good music." While TREOS may have been under appreciated, I hope my extra appreciation made up for it.
When we were planning for this EP I was talking with our A&R Adam Skatula and we had only originally planned for a three song EP. Our booking agent Amanda FIore contacted us during the project and threw out the idea of doing a fourth song and possibly making it an acoustic cover. No one would ever have to twist my arm to put out more music so naturally I was up for the challenge, thanks Amanda. When I was brainstorming in the studio it was almost hilarious how quickly I thought of "Planning A Prison Break" but was almost afraid to say it out loud because I had no idea how to pull it off. The song has so many awesome elements, it's complex in nature, yet neatly arranged. So at this point it was about 11:45pm on our last day in the studio for the EP, I was exhausted as I had been working long hours tracking all day, going home, and then editing until the early hours of the morning to just return to the studio that day. Half awake and delirious I wasn't sure if this was a really awesome idea or one of those ideas you record, wake up the next morning, listen to it and are almost horrified that you created something so terrible. So naturally, we just went for it. While our producer and friend Leo Quintero was setting up the mics and preamps, I went into the next room and roughly arranged how I would play the song. After about 20 minutes we got to tracking. When it comes to writing and recording I am quite methodical and like knowing how I want to track things, what I want to play, and how I want the song to sound but this was not the case with this song. I literally arranged it and composed the different parts as we were tracking it. I tracked guitars and vocals for about an hour and a half each. It was crazy how fast everything happened and how cool it ended up. Hopefully people can enjoy our take on an already great song.
One thing I wanted to do with this song was to try and make it as simple as possible so that the vocal melodies of this song could be the forefront of its appeal. The melodies in "Planning A Prison Break" are excellent and I felt they needed to be highlighted. As well as the melodies, all of the instrumentation in this song is phenomenal. Each instrument has a stand-out point in the song so our goal with this cover was to take all of these complex elements and simply them to let the vocals speak for themselves. We are really pleased with how everything turned out and hope that we did it justice.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the EP and grab the tour dates right here!