Wallows on bringing fans behind the production curtain and working with Ariel Rechtshaid

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Wallows on bringing fans behind the production curtain and working with Ariel Rechtshaid

Words by Benjamin Lamb

"The videos were long at first, we had to cut them down a lot!"

The world of alternative rock is a jam packed one, talented groups across the world work their way into the genre, with many finding it hard to sit apart from the pack. Los Angelites Wallows aren’t your everyday rock group, with cool production, unique songwriting, and a love for gear, they’re definitely one of a kind.

The group consists of Dylan Minnette (vocals, rhythm guitar), Braeden Lemasters (guitars), and Cole Preston (drums), who bonded over their love of music a decade ago and have quickly become a staple of festival lineups and playlists across the globe.

Fans were recently gifted with the group’s sophomore release, Tell Me That It’s Over, and the trio are currently on their debut tour of Australia. We caught up with them at the Forum in Melbourne to chat about all things guitars, Aussie fans, and production.

Read up on all the latest interviews here.

With many comparisons between Los Angeles and Melbourne, the coffee capital is the perfect place for their first taste of Australian life.

“It’s crazy our music has travelled this far,” Braeden says. “Sometimes you just have to stop and reminisce about what it all means.”

Wallows are on an Oceanic tour in support of Tell Me That It’s Over, the record produced by an icon in the music world, Ariel Rechtshaid, who has worked on albums from artists like Madonna, Charli XCX, and Sky Ferreira to name a few. The trio shared a lot of love for him prior to their partnership.

“He’s made some of our favourite records.” Dylan says. “He’s always been one of those people that was an ideal dream option to work with.

“He was the first person we reached out to, and he was down, we’d already worked with him in the past on a single that made our EP Remote.”

For a band as tight as Wallows, there’s not much to touch when it comes to their demos, Rechtshaid coming in at the right time to fine tune tracks and make them into the album that has found fans across the globe.

“He brought a tonne to the table,” Cole adds. “There were pretty full fleshed out ideas before we started recording with him.

“But once we did start recording with him, he was with us from the ground up really like taking each song as an individual song and just figuring out exactly where we wanted to take it, which was cool.

“He’s a pretty heavy-handed force on this record, many of the songs would not be at all what they are, if not for him.”

It’s clear that the boys have a love for the production process and working a song from demo to release, even breaking down Tell Me That It’s Over song by song and giving a behind the scenes look on how the album came to life, you can find those videos here.

“Whenever we talk about the songs, the demos, and the recording process, we could talk for so long, we thought the breakdown videos were a fun way to show clips of demos because we can’t really find a reason to put out demos.”

“It was a fun way to walk people through the process of how it got from point A to the end. The videos were long at first, we had to cut them down,” Dylan adds with a laugh.

These videos also tiptoe into the Logic sessions for the record, Cole noting that it’s a good way to break down barriers and show it’s something anyone can get into, if they have the interest.

“Music production software is so accessible, there’s a lot more kids than there was who are interested in it.

“You see people like Kenny Beats doing live streams and he’s literally showing you exactly how he would build a song in Ableton and there’s so many people watching.

“Or you go on TikTok, and I’ve seen this trend where people speed run beats, and they go off and do well.”

It’s been well documented that Wallows are influenced by groups like Arctic Monkeys and The Beatles, but some new artists entered playlists of the trio and influenced certain moments throughout Tell Me That It’s Over.

“Happy Mondays is a big one,” Braeden adds. “They had a big influence on the bridge to ‘At The End of The Day’.

“There was a lot that Ariel introduced us to as well,” Dylan notes. “Especially from a production standpoint, there’s a lot of directions that helped take it in that we wouldn’t have thought of like a band, a big one was a band called James.”

Chuck on their album on your favourite streaming service, and you’ll notice the crisp sound bleeding through your headphones, a lot of attention goes into the instruments you hear, and that falls through to the live stage, Braeden detailing the choices behind guitars.

“On the first tour I was playing a Rickenbacker 360 or 330 I think.

“We changed my pedal board this time around, and Eric, our guitar guy, gave me pedals, and my Rick’ didn’t sound good through it, so I play my Dad’s Stratocaster on this tour, and it sounds amazing.

“So if a string breaks and I have to go to the Rick’, I think ‘Oh No! it doesn’t sound good at all!,” Braeden adds with a laugh. “So that was a big decision, choosing which guitars to play.”

While they’ve been a part of some of the biggest festivals across the globe, they’ve heard a few different things about Aussie fans, their show in New Zealand giving them a taste of what to expect.

“We just played New Zealand, which I feel like it was like a good taste of it (Aussie crowds). Everyone’s really excited and energetic!”

Tell Me That It’s Over is out now via Atlantic, check out more info here.