Bad Wolves wanted original material to “speak for itself” on sophomore album, ‘N.A.T.I.O.N.’

Credit: David Jackson

Following the viral success of their hit “Zombie” cover, Bad Wolves kept the train rolling with their sophomore album, N.A.T.I.O.N., which dropped last fall. However, the band decided not to include any covers on the new record.

As frontman Tommy Vext tells ABC Audio, he’d actually recorded a number of new covers on his own, but ultimately he and the band decided to keep them off N.A.T.I.O.N.

“I turned them over to the band, and two of ’em got done, and then we were, like, ‘Meh,'” Vext remembers. “We were, like, ‘Yeah, let’s hold off on this.’ So it might come out some time.”

“Zombie,” of course, was a cover of the classic 1994 song by The Cranberries. As you’ll recall, Bad Wolves had planned to collaborate with frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan on the cover, but she tragically died just before she was scheduled to record her vocals. Bad Wolves then released the cover without O’Riordan’s vocals and donated the proceeds to her children.

When it came time to record N.A.T.I.O.N., Vext felt that trying to recreate what happened with “Zombie,” which reached number one on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs chart, would do it a “disservice.”

“I think that ‘Zombie’ was lightning in a bottle,” Vext says. “I think it was kind of a miraculous circumstance, where we took such a tragic situation and transmuted it into something really positive and beautiful that the entire community was able to get behind, and I don’t think there was any necessity to replicate that.”

Moreover, Vext felt that it was “very important” for Bad Wolves to “hone in” on their own original material, and let it “speak for itself” on N.A.T.I.O.N.

So far, so good: lead single “Killing Me Slowly” reached number one on the Mainstream Rock Songs chart.

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