Los Angeles-based Bad Wolves have made waves since they stepped onto the heavy metal scene in 2017. With the success of their cover of “Zombie,” made famous by The Cranberries, and the release of their debut album, Disobey via Eleven Seven Music, they have been extremely busy ever since. They have also managed to do it all in style, especially when it comes to their feet. I spoke with lead guitarist Doc Coyle about the adoption of the Air Jordan 1 as the “official sneaker of Bad Wolves” and his journey into sneaker culture.
What led to the decision to make Air Jordan 1s the official sneaker of Bad Wolves?
Doc Coyle: Tommy Vext (lead singer of Bad Wolves) and I were already wearing them and that was our thing. Then Chris (Cain), our guitar player, he was into shoes, he was kind of into different shoes. He was wearing like Yeezys and different stuff like that. I was like “yo, this would be kinda cool if that’s our thing.” I don’t remember a metal band being associated with a shoe since like Korn.
Me and Tommy, we come from a more urban lifestyle. I thought it gives the band a different complexity. It gives it kind of a cooler cultural aesthetic. Because metal can be a little bit corny, a little bit very samey and that just being true to your personality and you kind of put it out there. I’m wearing (Air Jordan) 4s right now, and right behind are some 3s, we’ve kind of expanded on that a little bit. Trust me, it’s an expensive habit. I was looking through my receipts last year and was like “I need to slow down” but I definitely love it.
Here’s Bad Wolves bringing their punishing track “No Masters” in video form:
Do you think your guitar collection is bigger than your shoe collection or do you think your shoe collection will surpass your guitar collection?
Coyle: No, because guitars are all about utility for me. I don’t collect guitars. Since I don’t collect guitars, I have guitars because I need to use them for certain jobs. And I have a multitude of guitars for different tunings, for different sounds, and you know there’s guitars that I want to get. I want to finally get a real Strat or a real Les Paul, a real Martin. From a tool perspective, it’s something every guitar player should have if they need it for any kind of gig, probably a Telly as well.
Is there anything special about the Air Jordan 1 specifically that drew you to it?
Coyle: I was always wearing Nikes but I would wear like Air Force 1s, Dunks, which to the laymen look very similar. So, I didn’t really understand the distinction ‘cause when I was really young my parents didn’t have money and I never sniffed a Jordan. All I knew about Jordans when I was a kid was like kids were getting shot for them in the hood. That’s all I knew. In a way, I was like “I don’t want something that someone’s going to shoot me for. I don’t want to be that cool.” I’d rather stay alive, you know, especially where I lived. So I didn’t have a great concept of what it was.
Tommy really actually took me to go get my first pair of Jordans. I put them on and it was a pair of black mids with a little red tint. After a few days, I was like “oh this is a different game over here.” They’re not really any more expensive, they’re like 110 bucks, you can get regular Nikes for 90 dollars. It’s not a big difference but once you start getting into it and collecting them… “Oh there’s these kinds and it’s a drop and if you don’t get first day then you gotta pay twice as much for them” and so they become rare and you start getting into it like any subculture.
Check out Brandon Turner’s killer gallery of both performance shots, and the band’s Air Jordans:
Do you consider yourself a sneakerhead?
Coyle: Oh definitely. I am now but I only buy Jordans, and there’s some others I’d probably look at, like the Adidas (Ultra) Boosts. There’s definitely something about the Jordans. It’s also like a secret club. You see someone with dope Js and you’re like “what’s up, man?”
Do you keep a large rotation on tour of what you wear on stage and off stage?
Coyle: I’ve kind of learned what is resilient, and there’s certain shoes that just can’t. These are pretty nice but I don’t play in these. I’m wearing the Teal 4s right now and that’s just to chill in, I’ll probably put them away today and won’t wear them again for the rest of the tour. Because I have four pairs out right now and three of those I’ll wear on stage. There’s probably one pair I’ve just brought out that I played on stage that I never have and they got wrinkled in a way they just don’t get when you wear them. I don’t even retire them, it’s like “I guess they’re in the rotation now.”
They’re cool, they were actually one of the pairs I got from the Nike official site for super cheap. And now they’re worth double that, probably can’t resell them now that they’re all beat up.
Have you invested in any more custom made shoes?
Coyle: No, I have an idea for a custom. I used a shop called the Illery and then our guitar player Chris started doing his own that are as good as a shop. So basically I want to get these black patent leather 1s, and I want to make a band look or maybe even a bred toe kind of thing. Or get a pair of the Orange Gatorades and add black to that, I think that would be really cool too.
Disobey was released on May 11st, 2018 through Eleven Seven. Check out the cool cover artwork:
On wearing the Gatorade set together:
Coyle: Chris had one pair and I was going to buy a pair and was like we should all do this, this would be sick. Unfortunately, they only had four (colors) so John Boeklin (drummer of Bad Wolves} couldn’t really take part, but I just thought it would be ridiculous and over the top. It was a nice thing for solidarity.
Any new styles catching your eye?
Coyle: I just set a reminder to get the (Air Jordan SB Court Purple 1s) on Saturday, I have 35 pairs, so I’m good. I’m not a very materialistic person, it’s the only thing I collect and I don’t like to have a bunch of stuff just to have stuff. A lot of times shopping for people is like an addiction, right? You get hyped up on something, you buy it, you get “high” for a couple of days, it wears off, and you need something to fill it. I want to be healthy with it. And not be someone who has to accumulate things. I could be like “yeah, I could get some shoes or put that money into savings” or I can invest in some recording gear as opposed to, like, buying stuff you just don’t need because you’re scratching some itch.
Have you christened any pairs after playing a big event?
Coyle: Not yet, I’ve thought about certain pairs like if we go to an award show. I have these gold toes, they’re not even the most expensive pair out there I just think they’re one of the most dynamic. That’s like, you get more compliments on them. And then the Travis Scott Cactus Jack 4s, the baby blue ones. I was trying to get the (Travis Scott Air Jordan) 1s so I could flip them. But you know even the Purple 4s don’t look as good as the baby blue. They’re still pretty dope. I think that was the best shoe that came out in 2018.
“Remember When” is the fourth single and music video released off Disobey.