Sitting down with Neil Harper and Robert Childers is a bit of a nostalgia trip as much as it is a conversational whirlwind. Having known each other since their early teens — Harper was 12, Childers was 14 — the two have plenty to talk about when it comes to past bands and adventures and their current project, 2013 Wolves.
"We've taken many psychedelic voyages throughout the galaxies and I've seen the rainbow of colors that have come out of Bobby's body," Harper says. Childers quickly follows with, "We've been all over the Southeast together ... it's kind of wild."
The two have been in a handful of bands together — No Commercial Value, Serpentor and Products of the System among them — but it's the Wolves that has lasted the longest. Having been together for nearly seven years, they've released two albums and, with Harper recently "retired" from owning The Milestone, the duo might pick up the pace.
"We'd like to record a new album this year, but we haven't really started on it yet. We have a few songs written," Harper says. "In 2008, we did a two-week tour, but that's about all we could do while I was running a club. We'll try to get on tour this year, at least for some shows."
Along with any touring possibilities for 2013 Wolves, Childers is also the drummer for Overmountain Men and the organizer of a new showcase that will feature musicians and art in one venue. The first one will take place on Jan. 29 at Tremont Music Hall and feature both of Childers' bands along with Andy the Doorbum, Hectagons and Jason Aswell. The artists being featured include Ronnie Farmer, Kelly Keith, Curtis Gaston and Childers' father, David.
"I think monthly might be a little too ambitious," Childers says of the showcase idea. "We could probably do it three or four times a year. We've done showcase things ever since we were really young. We've always liked to throw a few groups together that are different stylistically."
The words "different stylistically" not only describes the event, but the music of 2013 Wolves, as well. The band fuses elements of rock, blues, metal, country and punk with occasionally screamed lyrics, drums and a guitar with an octave pedal to broaden the sound. Perhaps it's something like The White Stripes, but fueled by PBR and a lot more testosterone.
Six years ago, the two decided it was easiest to just play as a duo instead of trying to find other members. Over the decades, Harper says, they always had trouble getting people who didn't have schedule conflicts or gig conflicts. "When it's just me and him, I can say, 'Do you want to practice?' and it's done," Harper says. And the band's goal is simple. "Really, I just want to warp kids' minds," Harper adds. "I want to tell them how being fat and watching lots of television will help you to survive the apocalypse."
The group quickly gained a name for itself by smashing a variety of things during its shows. This led to fans smashing things or expecting things to be smashed. The idea was dropped and the band has focused on the music ever since. It's just the future that they have to worry about.
"Neil and I are into survivalism ... They say the world will end in 2012. The Wolves are post-apocalyptic," Childers says. Harper adds, "I guess if the world doesn't end, we'll have to disband ... or change our name."
Or there's another option Harper, who has dreams of moving to Central America, jokes about. "I guess if the world doesn't end, I'll have to kill Bobby and then move to Costa Rica." Childers retorts, "I don't think that's a good plan. I'm against it."