Donovan Wolfington
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Donovan Wolfington

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Punk

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This Ep etc.... - draggedthroughedink


d.wolf rocked a house show etc.. - paper.lungs


heetseeking newcomers Donovan Wolfington - Barryfest


Photoset and review of Chinquapin Records Christmas Party - Barryfest


This just in: New Orleans has some great music. Crazy, right? In all seriousness, though, NOLA isn't exactly known for is punk and indie rock, but we've got the premiere of an awesome new album that bucks that trend.

Donovan Wolfington is a New Orleans-area punk band that has turned dark times and some quick growing up into a diversely alluring sophomore album called How to Treat the Ones You Love. It started off on a Green Day tip and wound up being shaped by the death of a close friend and collaborator. It ranges from the breezy hooks of "Mercurus" to a spoken word rumination on shame and sin over hardcore guitars called "Locusts."

It's streaming now exclusively via Billboard (ahead of its Aug. 21 release date) and you'll definitely want to check it out: - Chris Payne - Billboard.com


Anyone from Ponchatoula, Louisiana will tell you—there is a dark, dark cloud hanging over their town. This might be expected from the region who was scandalized a decade ago when it was discovered that Satanic worship and ritualistic child molestation were taking place right under the community’s noses at a local church. It was described as being “the most bizarre case that any normal, small town sheriff’s deputy or policeman or detective could ever imagine” by Captain Stuart Murphy, who was assigned to investigate the events. This eventually became the premise for HBO’s True Detective. This was also where Donovan Wolfington chose to record their new album, How to Treat the Ones You Love. Or rather, it chose them.

Donovan Wolfington had a dark cloud hanging over them, themselves. Their recording process began with a band member short, having lost singer and keyboardist Savannah Saxton right before beginning work on the album, the band’s second. “Why’d she leave? It was… it was just one of those things, I guess,” singer/guitarist Neil Berthier tells me.

So, down a fifth of the band, they initially started work in Kenner, a town on the outskirts of New Orleans, at Festival Studios where drummer Mike Saladis and bassist Chris Lanthier worked. One day, the studio owner Rick Naiser called in sick, which struck the band as odd. “This guy Rick, he never called out sick,” says Berthier. “We thought he just had a cold.” But it wasn’t a cold. It was myleofibrosis, a bone marrow disorder that fucks with your blood cell production. Within two weeks, Naiser was dead. “He passed away right before Christmas. It was pretty rough on all of us.” It wasn’t just the grief of losing a friend and colleague, they also had an album to finish, and were starting to doubt it would ever see the light of day.

The band went into the studio after hours—which they swear was not illegally breaking in. “We had a few nights at the studio before we had to get out of there and pretty much never use it again. So we got all the bass tracks done in like, one night,” remembers Berthier. “It was New Year’s Eve, and there were fireworks going off everywhere, it was nuts.”

They then took their half-finished record 40 miles north to the town Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey recently made notorious, and recorded the rest at a friend’s house. Right before it was finished, they lost another member—this time, Lanthier—over a mastering disagreement. But they’re still close with him, they say.

And now, with two members out, a producer and friend lost, two studios utilized, a college graduated, and way too much pot smoked, the light seems to finally be peeking in through the gray skies and Donovan Wolfington is ready to release the product of their turmoil. There’s a lot of angst behind the album, a lot of growing pains. Some songs, like “Hxc Punk,” are pure primal screams. Others, like “Ollie North,” are more measured calculations of feelings.

It’s a scattered mix of emotions and life lessons for Donovan Wolfington on How to Treat the Ones You Love. They’ve learned something about that concept along the way, too—treating your loved ones right. “I think we all lost something in one way or another, some more than others,” Berthier says of the recording process. “And it just… I don’t know. There was a lot of distracting pain involved in making it. We were all thinking about it, somewhere in the back of our minds.” - Chris Payne - Noisey.com


Discography

Sometimes Nostalgia EP

Photos

Bio

A dark representation of painful events put in a pretty and crisp bow,” that’s how lead singer of Donovan Wolfington, Neil Berthier, would describe their new record. As a band, they have unfortunately seen their fair share of loss over the past couple of years but they didn’t always have a dark cloud following them around.  As a matter fact, they found great success with the release of their album, Stop Breathing (2013), and their EP on Topshelf Records, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (2014). Both releases offered a nostalgic punk sound with a southern rock charm, which created an impressively loyal fan base. 
  
This southern charm is no surprise as the band is currently based out of New Orleans. Neil Berthier and Matthew Seferian (guitar/vocals) met in their freshman year of college where they discovered they both had a passion for music that extended further than jam sessions and the college scene. They joined forces and Donovan Wolfington was born.  Today, the band also includes Alex Skalany (bass) and Michael Saladis (drums). 
  
It was right before finishing work on their upcoming album, How To Treat The One’s You Love, that these four young men had to face the harsh reality of love and loss. They had been recording in Kenner, a town just outside of New Orleans, when friend and studio owner, Rick Naiser, uncharacteristically called in sick.  What they thought was just a cold turned out to be myleofibrosis, a bone marrow disorder. Just two weeks later, Naiser passed away right before Christmas. The grief of losing a friend was intense and overwhelming but they continued to pour their souls into their music. The production of this album suddenly became about the band righting their wrongs and realizing their failings with the people they care most about.   
  
How To Treat The Ones You Love, is an eclectic mix of genres that centers around the very themes the band experienced first hand, trust and love.  Though this album is rich with punk and metal, it still remains true to the Donovan Wolfington indie rock sound.  “Being in New Orleans and being around this culture has shaped us into better musicians,” Seferian explains, “playing bad here is unacceptable.”  This album pays close attention to detail and illustrates the journey of a band that took the time to grow as artists and become the best version of themselves. The record may be a “dark representation of painful events” but the outcome is an honest and raw example of how every experience can be molded into something uplifting.

Band Members