Wolf Eyes

Last updated
Wolf Eyes
Wolf Eyes in Glasgow in 2006
Background information
Origin Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Years active1996–present
Website www.wolfeyes.net
MembersNate Young
John Olson
Past members Aaron Dilloway (1999–2005)
Mike Connelly (2005–2012)
James Baljo (2013-2017)

Wolf Eyes is an American experimental music group from Detroit, Michigan, formed in 1996 by Nate Young. Currently a duo, Wolf Eyes are a prominent act within contemporary noise music. They have collaborated with a variety of artists from different countries and art forms.



Wolf Eyes began as a solo project of Nate Young. Aaron Dilloway joined in 1998 while also playing with John Olson in Universal Indians. Olson occasionally performed with Wolf Eyes under the moniker Spykes and joined Wolf Eyes in 2000 after Universal Indians disbanded.

In 2005, Dilloway left Wolf Eyes, uninterested in extensive touring. Mike Connelly (of Hair Police, Failing Lights and Clay Rendering) replaced Dilloway, first appearing on the 2006 album Human Animal . Dilloway did some production work on Human Animal. [1] He has since performed with them on at least two occasions.

It was announced in February 2013 that Connelly had left the group to concentrate on his solo work and Hair Police. He was replaced in the lineup by another Michigan musician, Jim Baljo. [2] Both Dilloway and Connelly appeared on the 2013 album No Answer: Lower Floors . Wolf Eyes is currently composed of Young and Olson; the latter described the band as a "morphed organism that expands and condenses as needed or not." [3]

The group has released 297 recordings during its 20 years of activity. Official releases have appeared on labels including but not limited to Hanson Records, Bulb Records, American Tapes, Fusetron, De Stijl Records, Sub Pop, Third Man Records, Troubleman Unlimited, AA Records, Gods of Tundra and Freedom From. It has collaborated and performed with numerous artists, including Anthony Braxton, Merzbow, Sonic Youth, Black Dice, Dominick Fernow (also known as Prurient), Double Leopards, John Wiese, Mammal, FLUCT, MV Carbon, Twig Harper, Andrew W.K., Jaimie Branch, Emil Beaulieau, Richard Pinhas, and Smegma. [4]

Since 2013, Olson has run the Instagram account inzane_johnny, formerly wolf_eyes_psychojazz, which was initially used to promote Wolf Eyes but has now gained a large following through music-related memes. [5]

Reception and influence

In an article for Spin Magazine, Henry Rollins named Olson's noise bands in a column about his five favorite bands, writing, "The guy has over 1,000 releases on his label, and I have almost 700 of them. I have a great deal of time for all of these noise terrorists—it's modern avant-meets-stoners in a basement". [6]

Fred Thomas of AllMusic observed

Their development since the earliest rumblings in 1997 (and further back than that for those with the energy to dig into pre-Wolf Eyes projects) has yielded some of the most staggering and genre-defining sounds of noise and sound art's dense, largely obscured history. [4]


Most Wolf Eyes recordings are self-released, following the DIY tradition of bands such as Smegma.

Wolf Eyes' first major release was the studio album Dread, released on the American Tapes and Hanson Records labels but distributed through Bulb Records. Other major releases include Dead Hills on Troubleman Unlimited as well as Burned Mind and Human Animal on Sub Pop. Most Wolf Eyes recordings are released as lathe cuts, cassettes, or CD-Rs.

Partial discography






















Related Research Articles


Metalux is an American noise band consisting of M.V. Carbon and J. Graf, both members of Bride of No No. They are occasionally joined by Nautical Almanac member Twig Harper. Early material was released on the Hanson Records label, while their Waiting for Armadillo album was released on Load Records in 2004.

Hanson Records

Hanson Records is an American independent record label founded in Brighton, Michigan and now based in Oberlin, Ohio. It is operated by the musician Aaron Dilloway, formerly of the band Wolf Eyes.

Bulb Records

Bulb Records is a Michigan-based record label that was formed in 1993 by Peter Larson, and James Magas.

David P. Madson, better known by his stage name Odd Nosdam, is an American underground hip hop producer, DJ and visual artist. He is co-founder of the record label Anticon. He has remixed tracks by a variety of bands and artists including Boards of Canada, The Notwist, and Sole.

Kevin Drumm American musician

Kevin Drumm is an experimental musician based in Chicago, United States.

Doom (British band) English hardcore punk band

Doom are an English hardcore punk band from Birmingham whose first lineup were together from 1987 to 1990. Despite its short existence, the band is considered pivotal in the rise of crust punk, a punk rock style that fuses extreme metal with anarcho-punk. They recorded for Peaceville Records and are cited as an early precursor to grindcore. Doom were also a favourite of BBC Radio DJ John Peel.

The Dirtbombs American garage rock band

The Dirtbombs are an American garage rock band based in Detroit, Michigan, notable for blending diverse influences such as punk rock and soul while featuring a dual bass guitar, dual drum and guitar lineup. The Dirtbombs were formed by Mick Collins as a side project and started recording songs by 1995.

Hair Police is an American band based out of Lexington, Kentucky, that formed in 2001. They have released records through labels such as Troubleman Unlimited, Hanson Records, Gods of Tundra, Freedom From, and Hospital Productions. They have also released a split record on Load Records with Viki. Members of Hair Police have also played with other groups such as Wolf Eyes, Eyes and Arms of Smoke, Burning Star Core, Three Legged Race, Von Hemmling, ulysses, Warmer Milks, and ATTEMPT.

Harry Pussy

Harry Pussy was an American noise rock band from Miami, active from 1992 to 1997. The main members were Bill Orcutt on guitar and vocals and Adris Hoyos on drums and vocals. Other members included Mark Feehan on guitar, later replaced by Dan Hosker. They recorded primarily for the Siltbreeze label.

Neil Campbell is a British musician, notable for his vast catalogue and his many collaborations. In 2005, The Wire declared that he, Richard Youngs and Matthew Bower had "provided the map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during most of the 80s and 90s".

Nautical Almanac was a noise music group based in Baltimore, Maryland with a rotating membership fronted by Carly Ptak and Twig Harper.

Greg Anderson is an American musician, a co-founder of Southern Lord Records.

Meneguar was an indie rock band whose members had previously played under different arrangements and names, but which reached its current form in 2004 in Brooklyn, New York. The group released the albums I Was Born at Night and Strangers in Our House on the Troubleman Unlimited label. Hybrid Magazine positively reviewed Strangers in Our House, saying that, "Like a fucked up conglomeration of Modest Mouse and Q and Not U with a little The Flaming Lips thrown in for artistic sense, the band walks an interesting line that ebbs and flows across the album, moving with an energy that is addictively daunting and dauntingly addictive at the same time."

Wooden Wand

Wooden Wand is the stage name of singer-songwriter James Jackson Toth, who has recorded under his given name as well as the name WAND. The style of music recorded by Toth and his many incarnations has drawn on a variety of both conventional and experimental folk and rock influences, including psychedelic folk, freak folk and indie. Though he was a significant player in the New Weird America trend of the early to mid-2000s along with Devendra Banhart, Akron/Family, Joanna Newsom, and collaborators The Vanishing Voice, Toth has been difficult to pigeonhole in one genre; recent releases have been identified as acid folk, free jazz, outlaw country, and country-tinged rock. Toth has appeared on labels including Kill Rock Stars, Ecstatic Peace!, Rykodisc, and Young God.

The Flying Luttenbachers is an American instrumental unit led by multi-instrumentalist/composer/improviser/producer Weasel Walter. The Flying Luttenbachers have created a body of work focused on musical extremity and dissonance. Over the course of the band, the personnel has shifted numerous times around the artistic leadership of Walter. The music ranges from intense, all-acoustic free improvisation, to complex, modernistic rock composition; electronic noise to punk-inspired jazz. Walter has been quoted as drawing inspiration from the fields of punk, death metal, free jazz, and no wave.

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma is a multi-instrumentalist, member of several bands, and co-founder of the Root Strata record label based out of San Francisco, California. Cantu-Ledesma got his start in the band Tarentel. He was one of the founding members and is still a primary figure in the band's line-up. Cantu-Ledesma continues to be involved with many musical projects.

Nmperign is an experimental improvisational jazz group formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1998.

Emeralds (band)

Emeralds was an American electronic music trio founded in 2006 by members John Elliott, Steve Hauschildt and Mark McGuire. The band was based in Cleveland, Ohio and Portland, Oregon, United States.

The following is the discography of Burger Records, an independent punk and rock label and store based in Fullerton, California. Uniquely, most of the releases are on cassettes, and artists include both smaller regional bands and larger well-known acts such as Dave Grohl and The Go.

John Olson is an American experimental musician, visual artist and writer from Detroit, Michigan. Olson is mostly known for his involvement with the noise rock band Wolf Eyes. His music is often made with handmade woodwind and brass instruments, various electronics, usually processed using effect units.


  1. Sub Pop Records. "Human Animal site". Sub Pop Records. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  2. "Nate Young Facebook Page". Facebook.com. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  3. Flanagan, Nick (February 22, 2019). "Wolf Eyes find bizarre fame on Instagram – and it feels weirdly right". Nowtoronto.com. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  4. 1 2 Fred Thomas. "No Answer: Lower Floors - Wolf Eyes - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  5. "Wolf Eyes' John Olson Tells Exclaim! How He Became the King of Instagram Memes". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2020-03-15.
  6. "Playlist: Henry Rollins' 5 Favorite Bands". SPIN. Retrieved 29 November 2014.