I never expected it. It has never happened to me before but then again I have never been surrounded by one Angel and two werewolves. That’s right, you read it right, I was surrounded by one Angel, Angel Mary and two Werewolves, Tennessee Werewolves that is. The howling could be heard around the block. Seriously, I am not kidding, these folks howl when you meet them and they have got to be the friendliest trio ever.
Angel Mary appropriately named for her condition at birth which I will go into later in this interview is the daughter of Antoine, one of the werewolves. I would have guessed and in fact did assume that they adopted the name werewolf because their last name is Wolf but I would be wrong as it turned out. That was just a happy accident which I will explain later as well.
So this is how it went. Imagine this, you say hello and the first thing you hear is howling. It was a blast. They howl, they actually howl. I was immediately taken with them, especially since I had just gotten done listening to their single, Cowboy and was totally blown away by their music, style and energy. I knew I would have to start asking questions quick before they started howling again and this is how it went:
A It’s very nice to meet you. I know that the two guys are brothers?
Q Actually no, father and son.
A Angel Mary and the Tennessee Werewolves are a family trio.
Q Okay so we have father, son and Mary is whose sister?
A Christian Wolf and Antoine is our father.
Q Okay, so it’s father, daughter and son?
Q Do people know that?
A Not everybody. Now you know.
Q I was going to say because I did some reading and I picked up on the same last name for the two males.
A We are family, a family trio.
Q I saw that but sometimes because will say that when not everybody is of the same family.
A Well the whole brother thing is making me feel awesome said Antoine Wolf.
Q I didn’t know, I really didn’t know.
A Angel says Mary is my middle name. I use Angel Mary but Mary is my middle name and Wolf is all three of us.
Q Is Angel your real first name?
A Yes. I was born premature and one of my lungs had collapsed and it didn’t look like I was going to live so my parents are believers in Christ and they were praying for me to get better and they thought why not give me a spiritual name so they named me Angel and Mary is my middle name.
Q That’s a really sweet story.
A And I lived so it’s all good.
Q You lived and your lungs obviously fully developed or you wouldn’t be singing.
A Yeah and now I am a singer so it’s interesting.
Q It really is. That is a very cool story and that is going to be in this article.
A You are the first one I have ever told that story. I have never told that to anyone on an interview.
Q That’s so cool. That’s what I like. I like to be able to tell people new and different things that not everybody else touches on because who wants to read the same old same old all the time?
Q All right, so tell me, where did you originally come from and I guess we will start out with Dad? Where did you come from originally?
A I originally came from out in the Northeast and I moved out to Hendersonville almost 30 years ago and this has become my home. This is where we raised our kids so that’s how I got my start. Mary says we are in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Q I am Tennessee as well. I am originally from New York. Dad, have you always been in music?
A Yeah, as a young guy music became a really important part of my life and I started writing and I got a call from a label out here in Nashville years ago and when I came out here, my kids were young and I decided to be Dad instead of an Artist. I kept writing but shelved my ambitions to be a Dad and a husband.
Q Well you put your family first.
Q But now they are grown up and you can follow your dream with their dreams.
Q I know you are a three piece, guitar, drums and bass. You have Christian on the drums, Mary’s on guitar and Antoine is on bass right?
A That’s correct.
Q You are working with one of the Phelps brothers?
A Actually Doug Phelps, we’ve known him for a little while now. Christian and Mary went to school with his kids and we got to know him on kind of a regular normal level. When we started recording our EP he knew what we were doing and he actually fell in love with the music we were doing and decided to jump in the booth and do back up vocals. We ended up recording one of the songs that he wrote.
Q Is that Cowboy?
A No. He didn’t write Cowboy. He wrote, “Waiting on You.” We wrote Cowboy and he is doing the backup vocal on Cowboy.
Q Okay. I thought I heard him. I listened to Cowboy. You guys are involved with John Carter Cash? He is doing some producing for you?
A Mary says, yes, what is really cool is the band name was derived from Johnny Cash being Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two and the Tennessee Three and then the whole werewolf idea came from his song, “The Beast In Me,” talking about finding that other side and wanting to be good. Christian had met John Carter Cash at different cafes in town and he had told him where the name was derived from so he gave Cowboy a listen and he really enjoyed it. We had done Folsom Prison live and Folsom Prison Blues was the only cover we had been doing and so we thought why not ask him if we could do it even though we thought it was a farfetched idea. He really enjoyed our music and he thought that we did it great so he asked us to come to the Cash Cabin where he co-produced it with us. It came out awesome. He played an acoustic track on it. Christian says he originally wasn’t going to play on it. He was just going to produce it which of course was fantastic but once he heard what it was sounding like, yeah he wanted to get in there and play on it. We were thrilled and of course we let him so he played acoustic on it.
Q I got an email about the big show you guys have coming up on January 18th?
A Yes, we are excited about that. We are doing that with John Carter Cash and it’s really cool that we are going to do that show here locally. Everybody that knows what is going on with us can come out and check it out. Seeing us live is another whole dimension of who we are. Are you coming out to the show?
Q Yeah, I have been invited out.
A Well good. John Carter Cash has really gotten involved and really believes in us and it’s exciting just knowing that Johnny Cash’s son loves what we are doing. Also, what is interesting is that Terry Jennings which is Waylon Jennings son is like a real firm believer in us and talks to people too. I just think it’s awesome to have some old school country royalty that are giving us the stamp of approval because you never know what people are going to think of your music. You know you are always timid about it and to have that support is great.
Q Absolutely. Now that night, it looks like a long night, it looks like five hours of music?
A Well, we go on at 10:00.
Q Do you actually know the line-up?
A Ten o’clock we go on and right after us, John Carter Cash and all the other ones are before.
Q Oh okay. All right I was just wondering trying to set up in my head was I going to be getting home at 2:00 in the morning or 4:00 in the morning basically?
A John Carter Cash will probably go on at 10:45. We are doing a 45 minute set.
Q At the show are you going to be doing all originals or are you going to be doing Folsom Prison or?
A All originals except for Folsom Prison.
Q All right so I actually nailed it?
A Yeah you did.
Q How long have you been an active trio?
A We started our project about 2 years ago.
Q Is this Christian?
A Yes, this is Christian. Of course as musicians, we have been writing our whole entire lives and developing as musicians. About 2 years ago we started putting these songs together and decided to go for it as a family. We built up a strong following through social networking and things went fast right off the jump. We got invited to participate in CMA Fest and it was great to be on the other side because we remember as kids and our Dad taking us to Fan Fair and we would wait in line. It was surreal to be on the opposite end and have people waiting for you and also a lot of the fans that we are meeting face to face are fans that we have been communicating to back and forth on our social networks so it was great to be able to meet them and hug on them and take a picture with them. There has just been a snowball effect. We put up the song Cowboy and decided let’s record an EP just to give the fans a taste of what’s to come and we’ve just been running full force.
Q And Angel Mary, I see that you have a full page; basically you are in an AD for a guitar in American Songwriter Magazine?
A Yes. Teye Guitars, they endorse us and they have amazing guitars that came out of Texas that we are playing. You can see them in our music video, Folsom Prison Blues and that Ad is in American songwriter, I believe it is going to Guitar Player Magazine, Guitar Magazine and a couple of other ones.
Q That’s fun and that’s great publicity.
A Yeah, it’s really cool. That is a new line for them called Coyote. It should have been called Wolf but anyway it was already in the planning stage. They really love what we are doing and they support what we are doing and they have had Angel basically be spokeswomen for that new brand that new line of guitars.
Q Now I am going to state the obvious here but werewolves is derived from your last name Wolf?
A No. That’s from the song, “The Beast In Me,” by Johnny Cash. That was the main reason.
Q You mean it’s just a happy coincidence?
A It absolutely is.
Q Wow, that’s crazy. Here I thinking I am stating the obvious and it really had nothing to do with your last name and one that totally makes sense.
A Yeah right?
Q Okay and you’re an Independent Trio?
A Yes, we are right now and we know that the big ship is coming to take us across the ocean.
Q You may not even need the big ship in today’s world.
A You do and you don’t. It’s kind of a combination business. We are putting in our hard work because you know if an act gets signed and they are not working hard, not much is going to come of it. You have to work hard. We have that side down. Angel says, 2014 we are releasing an album and we are recording a song that John Rich and Gretchen Wilson wrote. So there are a lot of exciting things happening for being the new dogs in town and you are going to hear a lot about Angel Mary and the Tennessee Werewolves in the future.
Q I asked them if there was a message that they wanted to relay to all the readers, this was their response.
A Yeah, you know when you are writing songs and when you are practicing that’s all the business and the mechanical side of it but when you play a show it is like opening up your art gallery. That’s when everybody gets to come and enjoy it and you get to present it to everybody and that’s the best part. Playing music is about the connection and relationship of fans and knowing that your song meant something to someone and yes, after we play we like to meet the fans, we like to hang out with everybody. We are fans of music first and we love playing it and we love what we do.
We talked about many more things but this article is running long so I have to end it here by saying that Angel Mary and the Tennessee Werewolves will be at the Rutledge in Nashville on January 18th, 2013 and they would love the local folks to come on out and meet them.
You can find out more about them at www.tennesseewerewolves.com
Like them at Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AngelMaryMusic