Reignwolf is Turning Heads and Raising Eyebrows Everywhere

 

Reignwolf is a bright light on the somewhat dim landscape of rock and roll. With other genres of music taking center stage (literally, and on the charts), rock has not seen many bands breaking through lately.

Doing so now is Reignwolf. In the midst of opening shows for The Who (more on that in a moment) as well as Wu-Tang Clan, the trio known as Reignwolf have been raising eyebrows.

I had a chance to speak recently with Jordan Cook, the band’s founder and guitarist. He was on the road to Georgia and had just come from a blistering gig the night before in Tampa, opening for The Who.

Invariably, I had to ask how that connection was made.

“It was probably because we opened for Black Sabbath. And then The Who’s management saw us perform at Glastonbury,” Cook marveled.

Cook described how supportive and friendly The Who camp has been. He has been destroying some of his equipment, naturally Townshend and Daltrey’s tech guys are familiar with such repair work. Townshend recently gave Reignwolf some road cases, and Cook told me how awed he was of Townshend’s ongoing creativity. “Pete told me about some new synthesizer equipment he bought, and how he was getting back into electronic sounds. He is also working with a handful of artists on new projects.”

Cook and I talked about the differences of playing opening gigs at huge arenas and then playing smaller venues. I noted that on September 29 Reignwolf will finish their run with The Who at Denver’s Pepsi Center, and a couple days later the next gig is at the decidedly intimate Casbah in San Diego.

“I love the energy of big venues and festivals, with all age groups. That makes it different from the night before in a small venue. We are thankful to be able to do both ends. The Casbah has a special place for us, it was just insane, last time we played there. It was the night after doing the Hollywood Bowl with [Black] Sabbath. I remember that Casbah show being unbelievable as we were with our crowd. It is a freeing situation in the smaller places. It is a bit more of kicking people to love you when playing the Bowl. It is great to have both opportunities.”

We then spoke about a couple more San Diego connections. Cook was stoked to hear about the upcoming benefit show at La Jolla Playhouse in which Townshend will be participating, celebrating where the musical Tommy debuted.

I then asked Cook how his band came to be a part of San Diego native Cameron Crowe’s Roadies series on Showtime. “Pearl Jam made the connection with Crowe, he and I had coffee and there we were in the second episode. He let us do our thing, which is pretty rare for someone at his level.” I advised Cook that when he is in town he really needs to make time for Crowe’s latest venture, the musical version of Almost FamousThe timing should work well.

As Cook’s tour bus rambled north, I asked how his ‘one man band’ routine evolved (in most shows he will solo on the guitar and drums simultaneously). “I once ran out of songs to play, and just moved into the one man band thing. It was first when I was in Seattle with no band, then added Joseph [Braley] on drums.” The trio is now rounded out with S.J. Kardash on bass.

Cook was pleased with the ongoing positive reaction Reignwolf has received, he had just gotten word that their Europe gigs are sold out and several gigs have been moved to larger venues.

We wrapped up our conversation with a question about how Reignwolf found itself opening for my nephew’s favorite band, Wu-Tang Clan. “It was via our manager’s brother, I was asked to do a hook on Ghostface Killa’s album, we then opened for them in Chicago and again in Memphis. Ghostface Killa joined us on stage, and that was instant credibility.”

Reignwolf is clearly raising eyebrows across the spectrum.

 

Check out more tour dates here.

Live photography by Carrie Auerbach, Tampa, September 22, 2019.


Brad Auerbach has been covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.

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