The Wallflowers are wrapping up their headlining tour promoting “Exit Wounds,” just in time to celebrate the holidays at home. If you missed them, they will head back out on the road – this time with Matchbox Twenty – in May of 2022.
Jakob Dylan and crew released “Exit Wounds” this past July, their first new album in nine years. After releasing the single, “Roots and Wings,” The Wallflowers traveled in the southern and eastern parts of the US to promote it. While they did add a CA stop at Beachlife, the 2022 tour will bring them to a wider spread of North America.
Although it was nearly a decade since the band had dropped an album, front-man and songwriter Dylan explained to Rolling Stone, “I’m the same writer I’ve always been — I was just also writing during a time when the world felt like it was falling apart.” He continued, “That changes the way you address even the simplest things, because you have panic in your mind all the time. You have anxiety. And you also have hope. And it’s all in there.” The result is a “rootsy, Americana sound” that highlights Dylan’s songwriting.
Dylan also told Rolling Stone, “I think everybody — no matter what side of the aisle you’re on — wherever we’re going to next, we’re all taking a lot of exit wounds with us. Nobody is the same as they were four years ago. That, to me, is what ‘Exit Wounds’ signifies. And it’s not meant to be negative at all. It just means that wherever you’re headed, even if it’s to a better place, you leave people and things behind, and you think about those people and those things and you carry them with you. Those are your exit wounds. And right now, we’re swimming in them.”
“Exit Wounds” was produced by Butch Walker, who – along with additional musicians – took on guitar, keys, and backing vocals. Per his usual process, Dylan used different musicians than on his last record, 2012’s “Glad All Over.”
Dylan may have gotten attention in the early days for being Bob Dylan’s son, but he has proven himself to be his own musician. When the second Wallflowers album, “Bringing Down the Horse,” was released in 1996, “6th Avenue Heartache” (with Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz) got him radio attention and an appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” Although nominated for two Grammys in 1997, it was the release of “One Headlight” that year that thrust The Wallflowers to the top of the charts. With its extreme radio airplay, it made the sales of “Bringing Down the Horse” go insane: one million, followed six weeks later by two million, then two months later it hit triple, and finally, four months later, four million albums sold to make it quadruple platinum. It scored The Wallflowers three more Grammy nominations with two wins.
During the musical hiatus, Dylan directed the documentary “Echo in the Canyon” and called it “a good distraction.” But he was ready to get back to music. He told American Songwriter, “It was enough time for me to get back to realize that I enjoy my day job and what I do. You have to do different things, especially now more than ever. You should do anything to help distract you from what’s living inside your head for hours a day, and year after year. You need something that’s worthwhile, that doesn’t cause you to turn yourself inside out with all the pressures you might put upon yourself. In doing a movie like that and collaborating with all those people, it recharges your batteries.”
Batteries recharged and lots of material surrounding us, maybe we won’t have to wait another nine years for the next album!
Find your city and get your tickets to see The Wallflowers next year when they tour with Matchbox Twenty.