April 25, 2019 Interview – Jordan Cook of Reignwolf
Out of the Pacific Northwest, Reignwolf is a band on the rise. Debuting back in 2012, their brand of Rock-n-Roll cannot be bottled up and sold like any other generic product, but is raw energy with an untamed soul. Best described as a mix between Classic Rock, Blues, and Soul, in the case of Reignwolf, the force of natural intuition guides the players involved. Named one of the 10 new artists you need to know by Rolling Stone back in 2014, their steady growth continues in 2019 with the release of the debut album, Hear Me Out, and shows lined up through the summer; including an appearance at Welcome to Rockville and Woodstock 50. Eager to spread the fever more, Lead Singer and Guitarist Jordan Cook sat down to talk the origins of the band, work on Hear Me Out, plus much more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in Rock-n-Roll music since a very young age and have done various things prior to Reignwolf. First tell us, what inspired the formation of Reignwolf?
Jordan Cook – Reignwolf started in Seattle. It truly was only supposed to be for one show. That performance was a special one, it was a hipster spot on Capital Hill. Kim Thayil of Soundgarden ended up coming out and we were hanging outside after and a very drunk girl was yelling Reignwolf all the way down the street. It kinda just stuck…
Cryptic Rock – (Laughs) That is pretty wild. The band’s sound is a mix of heavy Rock stylings. What really stands out is the edgy, more raw qualities of the music. When shaping the sound of the band, was it important for you that this sound was as rough and authentic as possible?
Jordan Cook – There really wasn’t a plan of what we’d sound like – I think it just happens. We let it just tell us, you know.
Cryptic Rock – Right, sometimes when you have no exceptions, the best results develop. It has been an upward climb for Reignwolf over the past 6-7 years. You have appeared on the Showtime series Roadies, were named one of the 10 new artists you need to know by Rolling Stone in 2014, and had your music showcased in the HBO series The Leftovers. How redeeming is it to see the band getting noticed like it has, and have you, yourself, witnessed more and more people paying attention?
Jordan Cook – I think every show we play is wilder and more packed out than the last. With new music on the streets, we’re noticing more and more people singing along. That’s probably one of the best feelings yet.
Cryptic Rock – That is great to hear. Speaking of new music, the band recently released their debut album, Hear Me Out. What was the writing and recording process like?
Jordan Cook – It was a bit all over the place, but seemed to really come together at the mix stage. We were lucky to have guys like Mario Caldato Jr., Tchad Blake, Tony Hoffer, and Vance Powell all put their stamps on it.
Cryptic Rock – The album has a very live feel, but also some really great production. Was it your objective to strike that right balance?
Jordan Cook – I think we originally were thinking this should be a live vibe, but then kinda put that idea away and let the studio be the studio. We started experimenting with tones and vibes and it seem to bring the energy.
Cryptic Rock – It certainly does. Your voice shows itself to be quite diverse throughout Hear Me Out. There clearly are Blues influences, among other styles. How have you developed your vocal approach through the years?
Jordan Cook – I’ve been singing since I was a little kid and have always just used the “go for it” attitude. While making this record I started finding different places to go as recording in the studio is very dynamic. At times maybe too raw and honest. (Laughs)
Cryptic Rock – That raw, honest vibe is what is interesting to listen to. You have a handful of shows coming including an appearance at Welcome to Rockville, and later this summer, at Woodstock 50! For those who have yet to see Reignwolf live yet, how would you describe your live sets?
Jordan Cook – We play it different every time we do it – not many rules at a Reignwolf show, you know.
Cryptic Rock – The element of surprise is always good. Let’s talk more about your influences. As stated, you hear Blues, Classic Rock, and even some Soul in your sound. That in mind, what are some artists you grew up listening to?
Jordan Cook – My dad was listening to Elvis, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy, and Stevie, while my mom was into things like Tina Turner and Ray Charles. There is no doubt that all of these move me still to this day. I also like Punk and Hip Hop.
Cryptic Rock – It all bleeds through in one way or another in your music. Last question. Beyond music, Cryptic Rock also covers movies, particularly in the Horror and Sci-Fi genre. If you are a fan of these genres, do you have any favorites and why?
Jordan Cook – I’ll never forget seeing Candyman (1992) when I was a little kid. I’m about to watch Suspiria (2018) now.