Sometimes all you need to start a band is a little bit of chicken, honey mustard and talent.
Twelve years ago, Braeden Lemasters and Dylan Minnette were in a Los Angeles Cheesecake Factory and met through their mothers. They both ordered chicken wings and immediately knew they had a connection.
Lemaster and Minnette eventually discovered they both had a passion for something other than chicken and honey mustard — they both loved rock ‘n roll.
“Our friendship really began after one fateful sleepover,” Minnette said. “We bonded over classic rock and realized that we both had a passion for music.”
Lemasters and Minnette met Cole Preston, the third member of their band, at a music convention called “Join the Band,” in the Valley. Lemasters and Minnette saw Preston’s drum skills and formed a band that has been together ever since — though they haven’t always been called Wallows.
In 2011, when they were known as Feaver, they performed at Warped Tour. Then, shortly after, they changed their name to The Narwhals until they finally stuck with Wallows because they felt that it was more professional. Now it seems to be the perfect fit.
The Wallows’ song “Pleaser” quickly became a hit with over six million streams, but you’d never know by talking to them. The band focuses on upholding their group dynamic and making sure they stay ready for the big picture.
The band’s favorite song to perform together varies from member to member. Preston’s favorite song to perform is “Drunk on Halloween” while Lemasters and Minnette’s is “It’s Only Right” or “Pictures of Girls.”
“Most of the time one of us comes up with an idea and then brings it to the other two, and we’ll all work on it from there,” Lemasters said about the songwriting process.
The band’s compatibility is clear and obvious when they perform. When the band played the 2018 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, they joked around in between songs and just had a fun time playing together, which makes for a much more enjoyable experience as a listener.
“It’s fun to perform in a place with such good energy,” Minnette said about New Orleans.
When asked about their first tour as a band, Preston spoke about the beauty of performing in different cities. His favorite part of touring was seeing how crowds reacted to Wallows’ music in different places.
Wallows’ music can be described as indie rock or surf rock, but the band’s sound is more complicated than a single genre of music. Having Minnette and Lemasters as the two lead vocalists makes their music more dynamic, and having Preston on drums adds a calm rock style that is catchy no matter your music taste.
The beauty in having a small band is that conflict is limited. Since the band grew up together, they are like a family, which makes the entire process of touring and growing as a band easier. Wallows has a clear style, but that isn’t to say it won’t change.
The band is most consistently compared to The Strokes, but they are beginning to make a name for themselves, and their signature style is definitely subject to change as they are constantly striving to grow as a band.
Though the Wallows have been together for quite some time, they have the ambition of fresh artists with no end in sight.
“We are so comfortable because we grew up together, and we’re constantly evolving as a band,” Lemasters said. “We also have respect for each other and trust each other.”