The Wolfe Brothers Talk New Single “No Brakes”, Life, And What They’ve Learned Along The Way

Kat Harlton

Any history of The Wolfe Brothers that doesn’t begin four generations ago isn’t quite complete. The revered country duo, comprised of brothers Nick and Tom Wolfe, have become renowned over the past few years for their jaw-dropping live shows and slow-but-steady ascent to Australian country music’s upper echelon. Part of their rise has been due to talent, and a lot of it due to hard work. But the truth is that music is in The Wolfe Brothers’ blood. 

The duo recently announced the Canadian release of their brand-new single “No Brakes” and a global recording deal with BMG on April 17, 2020. “No Brakes” is the first single released via The Wolfe Brothers’ new label home and is an upbeat track about diving headfirst into a new relationship. The track is a joyful fusion of country, rock, and pop representing the genre diverse direction The Wolfe Brothers are taking in this exciting new chapter of their career.

“No Brakes” follows seven years of success for the Tasmanian natives; the band have had 12 consecutive #1 radio airplay singles in Australia, all four studio albums have debut at #2 on the ARIA chart and #1 on the Australian Country Music Album Chart, and the band have been nominated for 19 CMAAs, winning ‘Group Of The Year’ in 2015, 2016 and 2019, Album of the Year, and Song of The Year in 2019.

We spoke with The Wolfe Brothers about their new single, life and what they’ve learned along the way.

Kat: For those unfamiliar with your background and your music, how would you describe yourselves?

Tom: We are brothers from Southern Tasmania. We are fourth generation farmers and musicians. We grew up on the family farm spending our free time jamming out music in the old farm shed or picking berries in the orchard. We love making and performing our music.

Nick: We’re not alone brothers… we are band mates, co-writers and best friends who’ve been touring Australia almost constantly for the last ten years. We’ve worked hard but we truly love what we do and we’re grateful to have watched our sound and live show develop over that time – and with it our fan base. As Tom said, we come from four generations of farming musicians so it was almost inevitable we would wind up doing one of the two. We’re happy to say the music is well and truly our focus but it is really nice to still have our family farm to go back to in our downtime.

Kat: Can you talk about some of the musical influences that have inspired your sound?

Tom: Our Dad was drummer in a local Rock N Roll cover band so we grew up to the sounds of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dire Straits and much more. We love so much different stuff all the way from Traditional Country through to Metallica or Def Leppard. I think all of our influences come out in a music in little ways.

Nick: We’ve always listened to a pretty eclectic mix of music. I’d say we can thank our mum for our country side.

Tom: Ya, although Mum being not musician herself played a lot of country around the house. Garth Brooks, Dwight Yoakham and Billy Ray Cyrus were regulars in the household.

Nick: That said, we’ve been into rock and pop of all decades and we have a soft spot for ‘hair metal’. When we first started writing our own songs they kinda just came out country – but I think you can hear other influences in there. And thankfully today country is such a diverse genre that borrows from the sounds of all genres we feel very much at home.

Kat: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your single “No Brakes”?

Nick: No Brakes came about in a co-writing session with producer Lindsay Rimes. Lindsay is an Aussie who has been really kicking goals in Nashville over the last few years and we’ve wanted to work with him for literally years but it just never worked out for one reason or the other. Thankfully on our last writing trip to the states we managed to lock in a date and No brakes was born one hot Nashville afternoon! It was at the end of a 3 week writing trip so our wee of ideas was all but dry but Lindsay is so enthusiastic and the vibe was so great on the day No Brakes came together really quickly. We had watched the classic Will Ferrell movie “Talladega Nights” the day before and I think the fun loud motoring racing vibes came out in our subconscious.

“No Brakes” is all about committing and going all-in, full speed ahead. Whether it be in love, a personal goal or whether that goal is just going out for a good time. There’s no point doing things half way! We feel we’re at an exciting point of our career with our new international deal with BMG we’re just ready to work hard full steam ahead and see where the ride takes us!

Kat: How would you say “No Brakes” compares to work you’ve done in the past, as far as sound direction?

Nick: Our last album ‘Country Heart’ was quite reflective and serious.. And not that that’s is a bad thing, in fact the album really was life changing for us. We won 4 Golden Guitars in including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Group of the Year at the Australian Country Music Awards. That album had a serious tone and it captured that time in our lives perfectly and I think No Brakes is capturing the ‘now’ phase of our career! We’re both incredibly happy personally and professionally and I think the lyrics and vibe of No brakes reflects that perfectly!

Kat: If you could do a collaboration with any artist, who would it be and why?

Tom: Without a doubt… The Beatles, or The Stones or Johnny Cash or George Jones.

Nick: I’d probably say The Eagles or Glenn Campbell or Def Leppard or Warrant. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We could both reel off probably a hundred acts each we’d love to collaborate with. I guess that’s the coolest thing about music, it might be the biggest artist in the world or the guy playing at the local bar that has that one song that connects really deeply with you as a person and the circumstances in your life. As songwriters nothing makes us happier than when we see people at a show just totally immersed in something we’ve written because they’ve made it their own personal soundtrack.

Kat: Have you been given any advice that’s made a lasting impact, or do you have any advice for emerging artists?

Tom: I think the best advice we have been given has to just be ourselves. There is only one you and I think it’s really important to embrace that and be proud of it. Our Dad would say this to us (in a very Australian accent) “You’ve got as good a chance as the next bloke!” I guess what he was trying to say was believe in yourself and back yourself. You’ll fail from time to time but as long as you keep going and keep moving you’ll get to where you need to be.

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