The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Howling at the Moon: Starkville-based band Wolf Cove plays lively shows, attracts large following in short time

Courtesy Photo
Wolf Cove

A self-proclaimed wolf pack roams Starkville, the Palmer Home has a shortage of gas station wolf T-shirts and Rick’s Café holds events like “Wolf SOMETHING.” 

The culprits are three Mississippi State University students who went from camp counselors to bandmates.  Clayton Waller, Ben Watson and John William “Dub” White, are the powerhouse trio that rock the stage as Wolf Cove.

The members met as a result of their summer jobs at Alpine Camp for Boys. This origin follows the band: the name Wolf Cove derived from camp. Waller said the band’s namesake was his summer home at Alpine.

“The cabin that I stayed in for most of the summer was called Wolf Cove, and we liked how it sounded,” Waller said.  “It would be appropriate to call the band that since it is where it all started.”  

Whiled the trio threw around the idea to play together at camp, the members followed through on their discussion when they returned to Starkville.

 Watson said their first show was at a friend’s house party.  Waller, Watson and White had never practiced together, but Watson said they jumped on stage and played anyway. The three realized they worked well together, and the house party’s successful performance encouraged them to continue playing as a group.  

Since their first impromptu show, Wolf Cove has performed in venues that range from sweaty, rowdy house shows to bars like Rick’s Café. The band has even played shows on the road, including a recent performance in Auburn, Ala., with Knoxville-based band Dirty Guv’nahs. 

Wolf Cove draws sizable crowds to its shows around Starkville.  White said each band member brings varied facets of support because they each belong to a different fraternity on campus.  The members’ social connections attract diverse crowds, but Watson said the band members also display a range of personalities. Watson said he, Waller and White think along different lines and have varied taste in music, which gives the band a wide-ranging musical IQ. 

Watson said this keeps the band’s music from becoming pigeonholed into one genre or falling into a repetitive rut.  

Although the band members play various instruments and rotate during shows, Waller writes the majority of the songs.  

He said his lyrics tend to correlate with happenings in his life at the time he puts pen to paper, but his lyrics strive for an accessible transparency. 

“I tend to write about stuff I’m going through or about things that people in general go through,” Waller said.  “I just want to be real.  I mean, I feel like our music is pretty uplifting and positive but at the same time dealing with real stuff.”  

While the band’s lyrics strive for universality, Wolf Cove stakes out a particularly intense, funky and riff-filled sound. Watson said many fans refer to their genre of music as “post hardcore.”  The genre fits on some levels, as their primary instrument lineup includes White on guitar, Watson on bass and Waller on drums. The band is known to play a range of covers, from songs by the Dead Weather to Miley Cyrus. Though the band’s set may be an unpredictable mixture of cuts from its first EP, “Ben’s Basement,” and covers out of left field, Wolf Cove’s live shows carry a trademark energy (and sometimes screams akin to howling).

Wolf Cove’s college days will quickly end, as its three members are seniors. The band members said Wolf Cove’s future is somewhat of a mystery right now.  Watson has his eyes set on medical school, and White is looking for a management position in construction.  

White said Wolf Cove will continue to perform once its members graduate from MSU if proximity allows. 

“If we all live somewhat close next year, then we will definitely keep playing together,” he said. 

 However, if future endeavors separate them, the name Wolf Cove will stand.

Waller said although Wolf Cove may experience a time of flux, he plans to carry the band past his time at MSU. 

“I’m definitely going to keep writing music under the name Wolf Cove even if the original lineup doesn’t work out in the years to come,” he said. 

 Wolf Cove will live on regardless of the paths each member chooses to take after college. The sound may change and the members may change, but the howling begun in Starkville will continue to ring toward the moon in times to come. 

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Howling at the Moon: Starkville-based band Wolf Cove plays lively shows, attracts large following in short time