Image Source: Pooneh Ghana
Finn Wolfhard is entering a new stage of his career. Many know him from Stranger Things and the It franchise, but the 17-year-old star is also a skilled musician who's preparing to drop a new EP, Soda & Pie, as a part of the musical pair The Aubreys. The rock duo consists of Wolfhard and Malcolm Craig, both of whom were members of the band Calpurnia before their split in November 2019.
Ready for the next chapter of their symphonic adventures, Wolfhard and Craig are bringing their love of newfangled sounds to the three-track EP, which will feature their latest synth-rock tune, "Loved One." Ahead of Soda & Pie's March 13 release, POPSUGAR spoke to Wolfhard about the forthcoming songs and the beauty of being free to rock out.
Finn Wolfhard: For sure, it's good to talk to you again.
PS: First, how did you guys come up with your band name?
FW: We wanted to name our band The Audreys, but there was already an Australian group called The Audreys. So we switched the "D" to a "B" and named it The Aubreys. We just liked the way it sounded.
PS: And you guys have been making music for a long time together, right?
FW: Yeah, we've been making music since we were 11. We're 17 now.
PS: What's your EP Soda & Pie about?
FW: It's mostly about friendship and growing up in this weird time we live in.
PS: We are in some weird times. Now, walk me through your creative process. How do you guys think of concepts and then begin finding the sound?
FW: Usually, we start with a demo. One of us will do something on our own, like a voice memo or a GarageBand or Logic demo. Then, we'll meet up in Malcolm's basement and figure it out by working on what we have and making the song. We'll either write the lyrics together or one of us will already have the lyrics. Sometimes, one of us will think of the drums and the other will write the bass. It's a very liquid process and a freeing process, too. There are no rules, and we're both really honest with each other.
PS: When you're thinking of the melodies, is it something that just strikes you or do you surround yourself with influences and develop it from there?
FW: I listen to music so much, and a lot of that inspires me to write different songs. But, usually, I'll just sit down and play my guitar. I'll play a riff that I think sounds cool and build it out by myself. I'll write a melody that goes with that, record it, and send it to Malcolm to see what he thinks of it and what I could do differently. Then, we meet up and create everything.
PS: What artists and songs have sonically influenced Soda & Pie?
"Every time we play, we're progressing, which is really cool. Everything's just getting better and better."
FW: When we were talking about what we wanted sonically, we said we wanted it to sound like the fun and craziness of The Flaming Lips with the earnestness of Wilco. So we listened to a lot of them at the time. We were also listening to The Clean, which is this band from New Zealand. It's really fun rock music to move to.
PS: Now, obviously, you have a strong background in music. But did you learn anything new through this process or develop any more skills?
FW: Totally. We learn something new every time we're together and play music and record together. We're getting way better at our instruments. That's a huge thing. Every time we play, we're progressing, which is really cool. Everything's just getting better and better. We're also trusting each other and hearing each other out, and that's a big thing. But it's easy for Malcolm and me to do that because we've known each other for so long. We know how to talk to each other, and that's also why we can do songs in such a fast turnaround.
PS: That's awesome. Have you guys had any mentors helping you along the way or is it more of a partnership?
FW: Oh, yeah, totally. I mean, it is a partnership between Malcolm and me, but we had so much help from Cadien Lake James from Twin Peaks and R. Andrew Humphrey, who was our producer and mixer on this EP. They were both the coproducers on our Calpurnia EP [2018's Scout], and we're all really close. They were huge in helping us and making it sound the way it does. They've also just been good friends to us, and they give us good advice about life in general.
PS: What's it been like for you guys going into this new chapter after Calpurnia?
FW: It's been great. We don't really have any complaints about what we're doing right now. It's really freeing. We don't have anyone to answer to but ourselves. There's no contract, so it's completely us, which we're really happy about.
PS: That's what making music should be about.
PS: What excites you the most about this upcoming EP?
FW: I'm excited for people to hear how much fun we had making the record. People will hopefully hear all of the DIYness and — that's not a word.
PS: We're going to go with it. It's fine.
FW: [Laughs] Yeah, I'll just say it. I hope people hear how much fun we had making it — just fun, easy music to listen to in the car or hanging out. We're excited for people to hear it and respond to it in whatever way they want.
Image Source: Matthew Craig
PS: A lot of times, for actors who are also musicians, they have to navigate ways to balance those two things. Do you hope to create a separation between Finn the actor and Finn the musician?
FW: Yeah, 100 percent. That also has to do with how we are publicly, how we play shows, how we release music, and how we post stuff on social media. I definitely want to separate it as much as possible, and we're working on ways to do that. Our Instagram is even kind of managed by these alter egos we came up with and are still figuring out. So we're creating that separation.
PS: Gotcha. So I'm always looking for new song recs. Who are some artists or songs that you currently have on repeat?
FW: Hmm. I already talked about Wilco. I've been listening to this band called Pottery a lot. They're awesome. Ohmme from Chicago — they're these two amazing people. Twin Peaks, obviously, and Post Animal. Whitney is also huge. There's Neil Young — Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. A lot of '70s folk-rock. Who else? I'm trying to think. Oh yeah, The Sounds is huge for me. There's The Nude Party. There are so many amazing bands out there. There's The Bats from New Zealand, there's The Growlers. I can go on and on.
PS: My rock playlist on Spotify is about to get a major update. Finally, switching gears, how has your short film Night Shifts been going?
FW: It's been going great. We just submitted it to a lot of festivals. Hopefully, it gets into at least one of them. I'm excited for people to see it. I worked really hard on it and had a lot of fun doing it. In a few years, that's where I want to be in life — a filmmaker and a musician.