Taking the American Express Stage at Austin City Limits the morning after Paul McCartney headlined on the same stage, drawing thousands, would seem like a daunting task. But to the California indie rock band the Wallows, it was nothing but a punch line in a joke.
On stage lead singer Dylan Minnette sent a friendly jab at Paul McCartney stating that because he was on stage before them, Paul McCartney was their opener. This was just the start to a performance that was in the simplest form just pure fun for the band and audience.
During the Wallows set at ACL they worked through a few covers, and almost their entire discography including a new track released days before ACL called “Drunk on Halloween. ” Guitarist Braeden Lemasters, said it came together with single “1980s Horror Film II,” around the same time, and it’s purely coincidence that they came out in October.
When asked about their inspirations for these recent releases Lemasters took the wheel by saying that “Drunk on Halloween” came together while he was procrastinating writing another song.
“Dunk on Halloween”is the most recent thing we’ve recorded and is also the most recent thing we’ve released. Which is cool, it feels really fresh,” Cole Preston said.
While on stage they worked on performing songs from their “Spring EP” which contains their most popular song “Pictures of Girls.”
“Cause pictures of girls are not for me, you see,” wailed Minnette and Lemasters, a final cry before of the youthful band left stage.
Compared to most indie bands, their song structure and lyrics are loosely stripped back, giving way to songs that easily meander about the listeners ears. During their interview with the Daily Lobo they talked a bit about the way their songs come together.
Lemester began to talk about song writing saying, “it’s a group effort, no one has one single duty.” To this Minnette launched off into laughter about Lemasters use of the word “duty.”
I’ve been around a ton of rock and indie bands, and I’ve met groups who seem and treat each other as coworkers or acquaintances in an apartment complex. The members of the Wallows seem to be the first group where I’ve gotten an honest feeling of friendship. None of the group members missed a chance to joke around, they built off each other’s humor and comments. It’s not hard to imagine them munching on a pile of snacks, cracking quick witted jokes and writing music together.
Along with using Paul McCartney in his jokes, Lemasters included him in his long list of inspirations that he and the other band mates draw from. Lemasters and Minnette went on to list Brockhampton, King Krule, Frank Ocean, Rex Orange County, and many more as their inspirations. Preston also pointed to his shirt which was merch from the band, The Marías, listing them as another one of his inspirations.
With a handful of singles and an EP behind them, along with a decent following, I asked about any upcoming projects. Minnette confirmed that there is an album on the way.
“We just need to finish it first,” Minnette said.
A hopeful sign that the California band has bigger plans in mind as they look to secure a larger fan base and expand their musical catalog. Before heading out for a quick picture they let slip that there is a tour planned for next year, with New Mexico being on the list. The group didn’t announce dates or locations yet, but it’s something for the Land of Enchantment to look forward to.
As the Wallows and I stepped out of the press tent into a shaded spot, Preston tucked in his shirt, Minnette adjusted his button down and Lemasters through a shirt around his neck as they began to pose for a few pictures. After a few snaps of my shutter we parted ways until the next time our paths cross.
Colton Newman is the photo editor for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Coltonperson.