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Rock ‘n’ roll is often hard to define, or even to find, in these fractured musical times. But to paraphrase an old saying, you know it when you hear it.
And you always hear it with the Wallflowers. For the past 30 years, the Jakob Dylan-led act has stood as one of rock’s most dynamic and purposeful bands – a unit dedicated to and continually honing a sound that meshes timeless songwriting and storytelling with a hard-hitting and decidedly modern musical attack. That signature style has been present through the decades, baked into the grooves of smash hits like 1996’s Bringing Down the Horse as well as more recent and exploratory fare like 2012’s Glad All Over.
Good band name aside, that life’s work continues with Exit Wounds, the bands’ brand-new studio offering. The collection marks the first new material since Glad All Over. And while the wait has been long, the much-anticipated record finds the band’s signature sound – lean, potent and eminently entrancing – intact, even as Dylan surrounds himself with a fresh cast of musicians.
As for what Butch brought to the sessions? Beyond his pedigree as an in-demand producer and first-rate singer-songwriter and musician, he’s also, Dylan says, “someone I’ve known a long time, and that was important to me. Because you go through a lot when you make records, to be honest. When you’re young, you’re taught that if you don’t have conflict in the studio, then you’re probably not doing anything good. But I don’t believe that. And so it was more of a joyful experience making this record.”
For Dylan, Exit Wounds is the next chapter in a career devoted to chasing – and capturing – that magic. “I came up in an era of great rock ‘n’ roll bands making great music, and it’s the way I always imagined I would do it one day,” he says.
“So that’s always been my vision with the Wallflowers – to be a great rock ‘n’ roll band. And I’ve worked on it for 30 years now and I still have a lot to say. It’s something I started a long time ago, and it’s far from finished.”