On a July night in Chicago, Wallows fans sat patiently through the Midwestern humidity for five hours to catch the alt-rock band’s set at venue The Vic. The group hadn't played a show since the inaugural leg of their tour ended a few weeks prior, but singer Dylan Minnette wasn't stressed about their imminent return to the stage. He was, however, fretting about the following day’s set at Lollapalooza—their first time back at the festival in four years. “I’m fucking nervous for tomorrow,” he told me, leaning against a tunnel wall under The Vic.
The band—composed of Minnette, drummer and guitarist Cole Preston, and vocalist and guitarist Braeden Lemasters—has been playing together for well over ten years, and friends for even longer. Now, hot off the release of their sophomore album, Tell Me That It’s Over, Wallows is ready to take their tour global. Below, Minnette, Preston, and Lemasters discuss their love of hotel TV, debate the inevitable return of skinny jeans, and (accidentally) reveal their unreleased tour stops.
You guys last played Lollapalooza in 2018. How does it feel to be back?
Dylan Minnette: Amazing. I went last year just for fun, and I knew we were playing this year when I was there, and I just couldn't wait to be back. When I was watching all these sets I was like, “I can't wait to be in one of these positions next year.”
Cole Preston: The stage we're playing, I remember we watched The Cure play.
Dylan: Tyler, The Creator in 2018 played the exact exact slot we’re doing. I remember watching that [thinking], “This is crazy.”
What do you think has changed the most about you as a group in those four years?
Cole: At that point, we hadn’t really done the things that bands typically do. We hadn’t been through a big, proper tour; we hadn’t been through the process of putting out an album. That was the precursor to all the things that we actually did.
Braeden Lemasters: Our styles changed. I saw a photo today from back then. We wore the craziest stuff.
What were you wearing?
Braeden A Hawaiian shirt tucked into Vans pants. It was hilarious-looking. Cole was wearing something similar.
Cole I’m wearing tight-ass jeans. I don’t know if skinny jeans will ever come back into style.
Dylan: Oh, they will. Everything has a comeback.
You’re touring your sophomore album, Tell Me That It’s Over. How did you go about making something that felt fresh, but still true to you?
Braeden: When the first album came out, we already had albums with the songs released, like singles and EPs. So it all just felt like a continuation, because all the songs are written at the same time, and we decide where they should go. I wasn't too afraid of the second album just because it was, like, our 58th song release. We've been a band for four years, this already feels like our fourth or fifth album.
Cole: What's 10 more songs? Whereas, another band might be like, “We're doubling our discography right now.”
You're about to go on the next leg of your tour until 2023. Do you have any bucket list items?
Braeden: I want to drink wine and have pizza in Italy.
Cole: It was going to be on your birthday. But now we're in Germany on your birthday, so we're gonna have beer and sausages.
Braeden: Yeah. And then Japan, obviously.
Cole: Going to Tokyo, I think we all would agree. (To Minnette) You’ve been to Tokyo?
Dylan: Yeah, I have been to Tokyo. That’s not announced, but it doesn't matter if we say we’re going.
Cole: Oh, fuck!
Dylan: Yeah, we're gonna make it to Asia and South America. We're looking forward to that.
Now onto the Culture Diet questions. How do you get your news?
Dylan: Twitter, for sure. I actually just read that the House voted to ban assault rifles.
Cole: I have Apple news, so it'll show me The Atlantic or Harper's. I try to look at it, but otherwise it's Twitter. It's fast.
Braeden: I'm kind of more of an ancient news guy. I like learning about history.
Is that news?
Dylan: It’s news to him.
Braeden: I'm going to start a place called “Ancient News.” It will be recycled news for people that don't know it.
Dylan: So a museum without the artifacts, basically.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
Dylan: I was looking at the Lollapalooza schedule.
Cole: Mine’s so boring. We were programming one of the keyboards, so I looked up how to layer sound. Before that, I looked up the Mega Millions numbers.
Braeden: The Vampire Weekend setlist from Crystal Ballroom in Portland.
What books are on your bedside table right now?
Dylan: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Cole: I am reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
What is your go-to show to binge on the road?
Dylan: I was curious to watch the new Stranger Things season, so I finished season three and started season four on the road.
Cole: I feel like I've watched every episode of Beat Bobby Flay in our hotels.
Braeden: Paranormal Caught on Camera. I watch that in every hotel.
Dylan: You go to a hotel and put on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
What song or album do you have on repeat right now?
Braeden: “Since You’re Gone” by The Cars.
Cole: I’ve been playing Bladee, 333.
Dylan: I've been taking in the new Beyonce album, Renaissance.
Do you remember the last movie you saw in theaters?
Dylan: I saw Thor: Love and Thunder by myself.
Braeden: I saw Nope with these guys.
Dylan: There’s that, and I saw Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, which was one of the best movies I've ever seen.
Do you believe in astrology and what are your signs?
Braeden: Aquarius—and what people say [about my sign] is sometimes true. I’ll believe in it. Life goes on.
Cole: I’m a Libra, and do I believe in it? You know, I don’t.
Dylan: I'm a Capricorn. I'm indifferent to astrology. But I will say, just a few nights ago, I was looking on Co-Star and it was scary accurate. I was like, “I think I believe in astrology because this is freaky.”
Cole: I remember reading that since the original astrology map has been charted, the whole sky has shifted. So technically, if you were to invent astrology today, everyone’s sign would be different from what it was when it was first invented.
Braeden: I’m curious who invented astrology.
You could look it up for “Ancient News.”
Cole: That would be news to all of us.