Interview with John Boecklin (Bad Wolves)

Backstage at Rod Laver Arena before their last show in Melbourne supporting Nickelback, Cassandra Hale had a killer chat with BAD WOLVES drummer John Boecklin about the tour and about the response to their album DISOBEY which was released via Eleven Seven Records (Sony Australia) back in May last year. 

Bad Wolves band rose to global acclaim this year with their cover of The Cranberries’ inter-generational hit Zombie topping global charts to become the #1 rock song of 2018.

Released as a tribute to late Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, who was set to reprise her iconic vocals on the track before her untimely and tragic passing in January, Bad Wolves’ Zombie has resonated with audiences around the globe and embarked on a meteoric rise on global charts. The band is committed to donating all of their proceeds from the song to O’Riordan’s four children.

Zombie has received mainstream U.S. airplay from Howard Stern, KROQ, and Z100. The track went #1 on iTunes Overall (U.S., Canada, Australia), #1 on iTunes Rock globally, and #1 on iTunes Metal globally. The official music video has accumulated over 200 Million video views on YouTube combined since its release. In addition to cracking over 19 Million Spotify streams, the song has held steady as the longest-charting track of all those on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 chart so far this year (Perry is checking). The song has now gone GOLD in both the U.S. and Canada.


But Disobey is much more than one hit song. The debut collection that sees five Los Angeles music veterans flexing their creative muscles and exploring new and previously untapped sonic spaces. The record is complex and vast; it’s full of lyrics that sees biracial front-man Tommy Vext tackling everything from the current political state of our nation to the prevalence of racism — not the typical fodder for an album that’s already birthing hit singles. It also addresses deeply personal matters, with the singer stating, “This album is a commentary, but it’s also a diary.”

In addition to ZombieDisobey boasts the crushingly catchy Learn to Live, fan favourites Shapeshifterand the soaring ballad Remember When. The latter is inspired by Vext’s twin brother,  who is currently serving time for his attempt to murder Vext. Following the murder attempt, Vext began a career as a sober coach to help others break free of the cycle of drug addiction and violence.

The album also includes Hear Me Now which Bad Wolves revealed in a duet form with label-mate Diamante.

Overall, the Bad Wolves story is one of quiet resilience. The band features drummer John Boecklin (ex-Devildriver) and vocalist Tommy Vext (Divine Heresy, Snot), as well as guitarists Doc Coyle (ex-God Forbid), Chris Cain (Bury Your Dead), and bassist Kyle Konkiel (ex-In This Moment), in its ranks. The group—whose members are both seasoned veterans and talented players who have logged critically acclaimed stints in some of rock and metal’s most celebrated acts— emerges as a testament to their collective talent and rapidly expanding fanbase.


1. Officer Down
2. Learn To Live
3. No Masters
4. Zombie
5. Run For Your Life
6. Remember When
7. Better the Devil
8. Jesus Slaves
9. Hear Me Now
10. Truth or Dare
11. The Conversation
12. Shape Shifter
13. Toast to the Ghost