-Interview by Ben G

Judas Wolf have just released their debut record, ‘Snow Turns Red’, which they officially launched in December.  We spoke with vocalist Meg to get the lowdown on all the latest happenings in the Judas Wolf camp.


Tell us a little about how the band came about.

Nicko and I had both been asked to start a band by a mutual friend, but it fell through. At the time, Brett was also chatting to our friend Emillie (who is now playing in our sibling band Tempest) about doing something, as he was looking to play guitar in a band as opposed to writing riffs and then playing bass. They reached out to Nicko and myself, but Emillie had some other commitments – so we reached out to Yells, who had just started learning bass! And we knew Brian would be a perfect fit on drums. He had been sailing with Sea Shepherd for years and was ready to get back into playing music now that he’s living on land! We’re pretty much five best friends eating pizza, hanging out, making music and learning together.


Can you explain what the title of your record, ‘Snow Turns Red’ means to you and what some of the inspirations behind the tracks were?

“Snow turns red” comes from a line in our song, Ghost. For context: “Induced panic, killed as they fled. Angel of murder, the snow turns red”.

Ghost is a song about the namesake of our band. Ghost was the name given to someone known as the Judas Wolf. I often like to explain this if we’re playing to a crowd who mostly haven’t seen us play before. A Judas Wolf is used as a method of culling wolf packs in British Columbia and in the South Selkirk region in Canada (and likely many other areas…).

In a nutshell, Ghost was captured, sedated and collared with a tracking device. He was then released back into the wild to find his pack, unknowingly leading humans directly to them. Once reunited with his family, helicopters fly overhead with snipers on board who kill off the pack, leaving Ghost alive to roam, alone, until he finds a new pack to join – the process repeats. By simply living and trying to find companionship, Ghost unknowingly betrayed those he was bonded with and innocently played a part in their demise.

Natural predators are often scapegoated and the culling of them has long been a cruel and ineffective solution to the decrease in populations of prey animals. In the case of these murdered wolves, we’re talking about Mountain Caribou whose habitat is being decimated by land clearing – by humans. It’s a bigger issue than we have the time or space to discuss here, but I warmly welcome anyone who wants to chat and hear more about it to come and find me at a show for a friendly conversation.

The record sounds pretty huge.  How did you go about deciding who to record with and where, and how was the recording process?

Oh wow, thanks! Yells and Brett have both recorded with Mike Deslandes in the past and I’d heard lots of great things about him from other friends who have, too. We all felt really comfortable on these recommendations and experiences! We recorded at The Black Lodge in Brunswick East (Melbourne).

The recording process was really comfortable, fun and overall such an encouraging experience. Mike was full of great suggestions and kind words, but also no nonsense and just really helpful – I felt very comfortable and trusting and would happily record with him again. We got everything done in three days, with the exception of I think the vocals for one song, plus crew vocals, which were all done one night after work a few days later.


What were some particular highlights and challenges you all encountered?

When we were starting the band, a few people told me to just do it with people I wanted to hang out with and, honestly, it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever been given. Recording with people I love, trust and respect, who grant me the same, was such a fun, encouraging and rewarding experience. Figuring out how to play the Jurassic Park theme on the melodica was a personal highlight. Everyone pretty much smashed their individual parts. A challenge for me was warming up in a room where everyone could hear me – I felt pretty self conscious! So I cheated a little and used a first take of the first song as kind of an extended warm up.


Your Bandcamp page states “Judas Wolf advocates for a vegan lifestyle / For all animals / For the planet.”  Can you tell us a little bit about the band’s history with veganism / animal activism and planet conservation?

Thanks for asking about it! If our collective veganism were a person, they’d be a septuagenarian. I don’t want to speak on behalf of anyone else here, because of course our experiences may all be different, but hardcore had a big influence on me in terms of showing me the ways my lifestyle can align with my values. Animal rights and many social issues have been introduced to me through friends and through bands that had important things to say.

Brett and Yells have both been advocates for justice and rights for all beings for as long as I’ve known them. They have both had a big impact on me personally for many years, for which I’m so grateful.

Nicko started and continues to run a community initiative called Scab Duty, which focuses on reducing and eliminating single use plastics, educating others, partnering with other local groups and councils and takes action with clean ups. Saving animals by cleaning up their habitats! And doing what we can to stop waste at its source – us.  Nicko in recent years has also been sailing with Sea Shepherd.

Brian and I are both lucky enough to have full times roles in these areas – Brian in marine conservation with Sea Shepherd and myself with animal protection organisation Animals Australia. I had been doing bits and pieces with a couple of different groups and when a position came up, I was very kindly recommended to Animals Australia. Brian started volunteering with Sea Shepherd almost a decade ago, as an engineer, and is now responsible for the entire fleet. He has quite a long history in animal rights prior to that, too.


Another year has just gone by, can you list a few of your favourite releases from 2018?


Bystander EP

Tempest – Self titled

Outright – Holler

Wake of Humanity – Fight/Resist


With the 7” release now under your belt, at least for the Melbourne chapter, what do you folks have planned for the near future?


We’ve got a few new songs almost finished and who knows, maybe by the end of next year we’ll have a full length… not too sure but that’d be cool to look forward to. We all have busy lives with commitments in addition to this and we’re doing it because we want to and it’s fun, so although we’re motivated, we’re not about rushing things.


We’re hoping to get some more interstate shows happening towards the end of summer! Adelaide and Sydney at least. We’ve also had a kind offer for a few shows in Europe, so we’re looking at the logistics of that! We’ll keep everyone posted of course, so keep an eye on our social media (@judaswolf).



‘Snow Turns Red’ is out now through Reason And Rage Records.




Photo by @bitterxclarityphoto

‘Snow Turns Red’ artwork by Annie Walter