Are You Bored Yet? Dylan Minnette sure isn’t.
February 27, 2023
Nepo Baby? Nope.
Citing Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Arcade Fire, and The Smiths as influences for their sound, Wallows have yet to disappoint with their continuous creations of unique instrumentals, distinctive vocals, and overall fun songs. With over 7,000,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, the band has made a lasting mark on the indie rock scene. But, who are Wallows? And more specifically, who is Dylan Minnette?
Before he was the face of the band, Minnette was (and still is) an actor. After his family moved from Indiana, where he was born, to Chicago, he was scouted as a child model at the age of 9 and had his first role in an episode of Drake and Josh. After a few years of minor roles in films and television shows, he began getting bigger roles, including a main role in the show Saving Grace and the film The Clique. From there, he began to star in a multitude of films and television shows, including Prisoners, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Goosebumps, Don’t Breathe, and Scream (2022). He is best known for his role as Clay Jenson in 13 Reasons Why, which aired from 2017 to 2020. Notably, Minnette flourished within Hollywood due to his talent alone, which followed him to his music career.
The band released their first single, “Pleaser,” in 2017 and signed with Atlantic Records after the song received critical acclaim and reached #2 on the Spotify Global Viral 50 Chart. The band is much more album-focused now, stating that “it’s always been important to us that our albums can be cohesive projects front to back, and we worked hard to make sure this had a great flow and all makes sense together (L’officiel).” They released their debut studio album, Nothing Happens, in 2019, their debut EP, Spring, in 2020, and their newest album, Tell Me That It’s Over, in 2022.
Noticeably, the band released their first single in the same year that their lead vocalist secured one of the lead roles in 13 Reasons Why. But, Minnette never let his career get in the way of his commitment to the band. Minnette, Lemasters, and Preston first met in 2011, when they first formed their band, Join the Band. Over the years, they changed the band’s name to Feaver, then to The Narwhals, then finally settled on Wallows in 2017.
Similarly to the band’s name, their music too has changed over the years. The band knows that they are capable of much more than sticking to the traditional indie rock sound. “We don’t want to be just a rock California pop breezy summer band. We have way more that we’re inspired to do than just that (L’officiel).” They pride themselves on their variety of songs within their albums and their equality of pitching and writing songs between the three members. Regardless of their role in the band, each member has written and performed songs that they have conceptualized, which creates a perfect blend of different songs on their albums. Wallows truly does not care about sticking to a particular sound, which is why they have managed to make a place for themselves in the indie community. And despite his successful acting career, Minnette has refused to let the band go to the wayside. If anything, it’s his priority.
I had the honor of being able to see Wallows perform during their Tell Me That It’s Over tour in Philadelphia last summer and I’d honestly have to say that it was one of the best concerts that I have ever been to. The list why is endless: every song sounded better live, their stage presence was incredibly engaging, and their banter in between songs only added to how fun the experience was. While I left with my ears ringing from the screaming for the band to return for an encore, I also left with the reinforcement of my views on the pure talent that the band had.
Essential Listens: “Only Friend,” “Remember When,” “Are You Bored Yet (feat. Clairo),” “Especially You,” “These Days,” “Coastlines,” “Quarterback,” “Pulling Leaves Off Trees”