On the opening track their debut album Wakefield cheekily declare “We’re in it for the money, all the groupie honeys/We wanted to be famous… we sold out.” Which leads one to ponder: are the guys admitting that they’ve sold their souls for rock ‘n roll, or is there more to the story?
“We get so tired of hearing that we’ve sold out,” complains guitarist JD Tennyson. Lounging in the Gold Club at Toronto’s Kool Haus prior to a recent show, Tennyson takes exception to the term “sell-out.”
“All of our favourite bands are being called sellouts,” he says. “Kids these days are so fickle. You like one type of music and a band, and all of a sudden [the band] changes their style a bit and tries to grow, or a certain amount of people start to like them… and kids think that’s selling out.”
“You can’t expect a band to be the same band for 10 years,” chimes in drummer Aaron Escolopio.
Well, Wakefield hasn’t been around 10 years yet, and only time will tell if the band’s peppy brand of pop-punk will carry them through the ages. But things are definitely looking up for the Maryland natives. Arista Records climbed aboard for Wakefield’s debut album American Made and the band is already inspiring comparisons to Canadian punk heroes Sum 41 and Not By Choice. They’ve even shared a stage with labelmate Avril Lavigne.
“She was a lot shorter [than I expected],” Tennyson notes of the in-person version of Ms. Lavigne. “She has her own security system – she’s always surrounded by six or seven guys. And she’s busy. One of the guys in the band wanted me to get stuff signed by her, so I went up and asked her and she said no.”
Ah, the trials of being a rock star.
Though Wakefield has always been “it” for Tennyson, bassist Mike Schoolden and vocalist Ryan Escolopio (who shares both genes and hair gel with brother Aaron), Aaron used to play on the Good Charlotte team. But now that Good Charlotte has garnered large-scale mainstream success, is there any resentment from their ex-drummer?
“I’m much happier now,” Aaron asserts. When pressed for info about his relationship with his former bandmates, Aaron simply says that both bands have been “super busy.”
Come on, that’s no fun… we wanted to hear about a bitter band feud.
“I think people want us to feud,” Ryan laughs. “We should set up a mud-wrestling complex or something, raise money for a good cause.”
Wakefield vs. Good Charlotte in the mud pits? Now that could be interesting. Rock ‘n’ roll.