Interview: Wolfasaurus REX

Written by Laura Curry

Wolfasaurus REX Logo

The music of Wolfasaurus REX encourages listeners to get rid of negative influences in their lives and revolt against the normalcies of everyday life. Inspired by well-known bands such as Nirvana and Green Day as well as the artists in the local music scene around them, Wolfasaurus REX delivers alternative rock-influenced punk music that evokes an emotional response in the listener. If you want to feel as though you are a part of the camaraderie of the band, come out to Wonder Bar tonight to enjoy their high-powered performance.

Who is Wolfasaurus REX:  Wolfasaurus REX is a four piece alternative rock outfit comprising of lead vocalist, Brittney OnFire, guitarist/vocalist, Ryan Hanratty, drummer/vocalist, RJ Noebels, and finally, bassist, Todd Grosshans.

What year did the band form: W.REX formed in April 2015.

Where are you based out of: Wolfasaurus REX’s members hail from both New York and New Jersey but our bassist’s home in Colonia, NJ acted as a sanctuary for the band for a majority of our first year.

What’s the story behind your band name?  It sounds like quite a strange looking dinosaur: (Laughs) Wolfasaurus REX actually got its name from Brittney’s dog, Zoe. Brittney and Todd once had Zoe walk across a room on her hind legs and while having her arms fully extended, she resembled a T-Rex—an adorable T-Rex. Zoe is by far the one of the cutest dogs you’ll ever meet. So it seemed only right to try to immortalize this cuteness in music history!

a2829762760_2 In terms of the sound of your music, do you just generally say that you’re a punk band or is it more specific than that? How would you describe the sound of Wolfasaurus REX in just a couple of words?

We love punk rock and it’s ingrained in our tastes, but we don’t want to limit ourselves. We are still growing and refining our musical talents and we want to show growth in our music. I think we are best placed under the banner of Alternative Rock.

Who has your sound been likened to?  Our music has been compared to that of The Distillers, The Muffs, Garbage and Nirvana.

Are there any bands or artists that you draw inspiration from when it comes to the songwriting process, singing style and stage presence? Who are they?

We draw inspiration from so many artists that the list is seemingly endless. Although, I think a majority of our influence can be found in bands such as Bayside, Green Day, and Nirvana. In addition to that however, bands that are a part of growing local music scenes have played crucial roles in our development. We definitely learn a lot from watching our friends play. If a fellow local artist steps up on stage, we watch and support them so that we can learn and become better musicians ourselves.

Have you performed in bands before Wolfasaurus REX? If so, what are the names of those bands and how did they influence the sound of Wolfasaurus REX?

Wolfasaurus REX is certainly a busy bunch. Our guitarist, Ryan stars in his own solo act entitled Catch Me If You Can, while our drummer RJ, is in another local act called Atomic Earth.

Brittney is no stranger to the stage either. She fronted her first musical effort titled The Wolf Inside back in late 2014. The band, currently a duo, occasionally resurfaces to play acoustic gigs. Todd carries a lot of experience as well. He has been playing both bass and guitar for different local punk rock outfits, such as Ramshackle and The Doof Bags, ever since he was in high school. Altogether, I think we have taken lessons from our previous and current endeavors and carry what we learn to Wolfasaurus REX so that we may become the best musicians we can be.

Photo Credit: Jeff Crespi/Jeff CRESPIROCKS
Photo Credit: Jeff Crespi/Jeff CRESPIROCKS

Are there any major themes that you explore on your EP RAWR? If so, what are they?

RAWR! is a very emotional CD. Not only is it our first ever major band accomplishment but the lyrics focus heavily on personal experience. Some of those experiences are based on relationships between friends and loved ones, while others are inspired by the world around us. “FLOOR IT!!” for example is a song about being let down by those we look up to and those we aspire to be. We want listeners to realize that believing in yourself is most important in today’s world. If you don’t believe in yourself, than there is no one who can truly help you get to where you want to be in life. Overall, this EP was a major release of personal rage and aggravation towards the way things are and I think our future tracks will express similar motifs but in a more mature and refined way.

How do you want the audience to be feeling during your performances? Is crowd interaction a main goal?

Crowd interaction is awesome. We want fans to know the words to our songs as well as we do and to scream them back in our faces. We want mosh pits and dancing! We want smiles, laughter, and a damn good time had by all. That is what concerts should be about. Nothing feels better than knowing and seeing something you created affecting and evoking emotion in someone else. We strive for this goal with every note we write.

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What’s been the most memorable show so far? What makes that specific show stand out?

Our most memorable show thus far I think would have to be our first of 2016. We had a huge crowd cramped into the Court Tavern, a New Brunswick punk rock venue, and we played our hearts out. Not to mention, somehow RJ ended up naked and Todd and Ryan shirtless…it was quite the affair. This is doesn’t happen often though, we promise!

What’s your favorite part about being in WolfasaurusREX? 

The best part of being in a band is feeling like you have a second family. I think we have developed a feeling of camaraderie and I think our bonds will only grow stronger the longer we make music together.

When you think about all the bands in the Asbury Park scene, what makes Wolfasaurus REX unique?

I think uniqueness can be found in our performance, I’m sure we’re not the only ones, but we want the audience to feel like they are part of the band as well. We want them to realize they make the scene what it is, without music lovers there is no scene.

If someone has never heard your music before, what song would you recommend they listen to in order to fully understand what Wolfasaurus REX stands for, and why? 

“FLOOR IT!!” displays a plethora of our influences and shows the listener we strive to send a message. We hope that after hearing “FLOOR IT!!” fans will want to come back for more.

What is your proudest accomplishment as a band?

Our EP release is probably at the top of the list.

What are your goals for the rest of 2016?

We want to get our music out there and we want to play at venues that are new to us. Once we have the time and resources, I think we want to get back in the studio and then possibly push toward a first tour as well.

WOLFASAURUS REX PERFORMS TONIGHT WITH THE TURNBUCKLERS AND FORTUNE YELLER AT HAPPY MONDAYS AT WONDER BAR IN ASBURY PARK.

Laura Curry is a Rutgers University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Interviewing bands and writing about music is her passion. She is a frequent concert-goer, whether they’re happening in New Brunswick basements, Asbury Park venues, concert halls in NYC and anywhere in between. Alternative rock is her go-to genre (i.e. Kings of Leon, Cage the Elephant, Foals, The Maine and lots more). When she isn’t writing for The Pop Break, she works at the North Brunswick Public Library, which offers plenty of Fantasy/Adventure novels to quench her love of reading. Additionally, she takes on creative projects from dream catchers and scrapbooks to paintings and jewelry making. She’s always happy to talk about her furry Maine Coon cat Austen and his knack for playing fetch and hide and seek. Just try not to ask about her next career move, because trust me, she’s working on it.