The Curly Wolf
Diesel fuel, burning tires, and Fernet-Branca…that would be the aroma coming out of your speakers if you could smell the music. The Curly Wolf delivers a hard charging alt-country rock sound that comes from a variety of musical and cultural influences. Cash, Hank, Waylon…Rancid, The Misfits, Queens of The Stone Age…Trucks, Choppers, Vans…these are the common threads that brought these boys together to create an aggressive new music alternative to today’s standard country music. Born on a Northern California ranch, Grant Benziger picked up the guitar at an early age and quickly developed his skills. He discovered punk and heavy metal through the local skate punk scene and immediately started putting his own bands together. At the ripe age of 14 he was fronting punk bands and playing bars and clubs he normally wouldn’t have been allowed to step foot in as a minor. His diesel-trucking brother soon showed him the ways of traditional and underground country music. Grant instantly took to the sounds of Hank Williams, Pasty Cline, Johnny Cash and many other old-time country legends. This influence began to meld with his current style and he began to develop his own aggressive rocking country sound. Mike Bouchard spent most of his adolescent and college years in Georgia where he played in local punk and rock bands. In high school he quickly advanced to Captain of the drum line where he developed much of the chops he still uses in the band. After a move to Los Angeles, Mike opened Gasser Lounge in Redondo Beach- the place to go if you like your music loud and your drinks stiff! The bar would later play a key role in the creation and development of The Curly Wolf. Mike’s style is loud and heavy. He is the backbone to The Curly Wolf sound. Matt Pliskin was born and raised in Los Angeles County’s South Bay. Growing up in an area responsible for bands like Black Flag, The Descendents, Circle Jerks, and Pennywise, Matt couldn’t help but be heavily influenced by the genre. He followed in the footsteps of these influences playing bass in various hardcore punk bands around the South Bay. It was through the sounds of rockabilly and pyschobilly that he realized the power of the upright bass. Matt and Grant attended the same music school in LA, but only linked up after answering an ad Grant posted looking for likeminded musicians. This was the start of The Curly Wolf. From Nirvana and Metallica to The Wu-Tang Clan and NOFX, Billy’s musical influences run the gamut in punk, metal, and hip-hop. Billy played guitar in local punk and metal bands for over a decade. One day he heard some Bill Monroe and immediately fell in love with the mandolin and became fanatical about learning to master it. As a fan of the Curly Wolf Billy really wanted to play with the guys, so he offered his services and started joining their set from time to time. It was an immediate and natural fit. He continued to play more and more Curly Wolf shows, so much so that they decided to make it official and the band now had a full time mandolin player. Billy’s aggressive yet beautiful (Mike likes to call it twinkly) sound on the mandolin really rounds out the Curly Wolf sound. As previously mentioned, Mike’s Gasser Lounge played a key role in the formation of this group. Mike had received a copy of a unique cover Grant and Matt had made of “Die, Die, Die” by the Misfits. Mike instantly loved this version with Grant pick’n the banjo and Matt slappin’ the upright bass. Mike decided to have them play the 3rd Anniversary party for his bar. Instantly a crowd favorite, this was the beginning of not only great new friendships but a new musical movement in the South Bay. Like the legendary punk bands that came before them, The Curly Wolf is rallying against the status quo. They are creating a harder, more aggressive style of country music that pays homage to its roots while trying to push the genre forward.