Cry Wolf (band)

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For other uses, see Cry Wolf (disambiguation).
Cry Wolf
Origin San Francisco Bay Area, United States
Genres Hair metal[1]
Years active 1985–1994, 2007-Present
Labels Epic/Sony Japan, Grand Slamm/I.R.S. Records
Website Official website
Members Dyna Shirasaki
Steve McKnight
Phil Deckard
Past members Tim Hall
Susie Major
Chris Moore
John Freixas
JC Crampton
Paul Cancilla
John E. Link

Cry Wolf is a hair metal band formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-1980s. Originally named Heroes, the band consisted of Tim Hall (vocals), Steve McKnight (guitar), Phil Deckard (bass), John Freixas (drums) and JC Crampton (Keyboards).

Originally formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid ‘80s before relocating to Southern California, Cry Wolf has been described as “much a part of the LA rock scene as Poison, Mötley Crüe and LA Guns, but they only managed one album, 'Crunch', released in 1990. This was a harder, darker affair than the products of their peer group and categorically distanced them from hair and glam rock.”

Twenty years later, Cry Wolf has returned with their highly anticipated new CD ‘Twenty Ten‘. “This is modern melodic rock“, states Brian McGowan (, “Edgier, grittier, more challenging than its eighties' predecessor. A generation later, 'Twenty Ten' is a natural progression from 'Crunch'. We've all grown up and so has the music.”


Early years (1985–1989)[edit]

Originally named Heroes, Cry Wolf was formed in the San Francisco East Bay Area with Tim Hall (vocals), Steve McKnight (guitar), Phil Deckard (bass), John Freixas (drums) and JC Crampton (Keyboards) in the mid-1980s.

In 1986, the band moved to Los Angeles and started working the Hollywood club circuit, soon thereafter recruiting Hall's friend Paul Cancilla on drums. Soon after, keyboardist JC Crampton left the band, and they were forced to change the band’s name. A contest was held in the local BAM Magazine, with the person(s) coming up with the winning name winning Mötley Crüe/Whitesnake concert tickets. The name "Cry Wolf" was chosen out of hundreds of entries.

Looking to set themselves apart from the thousands of other bands flooding into Los Angeles in the late ‘80s, the band gave away their four-song demo to anyone willing to sign their mailing list. Soon, however, the demo was garnering international attention. Kelv Hellrazer (“Metal Forces” magazine) described the four song demo the best he’d ever heard, and further stated “I know it’s all been said before but I kid you not. Cry Wolf almost defy description. The legend begins here!”. Billboard magazine even recognized Cry Wolf as “One of the top five unsigned bands in the world” (The only other American band being the then unknown Pantera).

Live and Unsigned in Japan (1989)[edit]

The success of the demo, along with their growing reputation as one of the most energetic and powerful live bands playing in Los Angeles, Cry Wolf was given the unprecedented invitation to tour Japan in February 1989 as an “unsigned” band (releasing their original demo as a limited-edition “Red Vinyl” EP via Monster Records). This was short-lived, however, as the band was promptly offered a recording contract from Epic/Sony on the night of their first show of their tour, which by then had completely sold out.

In September 1989, the band returned to Japan for a month-long sold-out tour to support their critically acclaimed self-titled debut on Epic/Sony, which featured the Beatles song "I Am The Walrus" and the immensely popular "West Wind Blows", a hit video on MTV Japan.

Crunch and disbanding (1990–1994)[edit]

The Japanese success led to an American recording contract and the re-release of the debut album on Grand Slamm/IRS records, titled "Crunch." This album, along with the debut in Japan, were produced and engineered by David DeVore (REO Speedwagon, Foreigner), and mixed by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, The Melvins).

The US release had a little different track listing. The band dropped "I Am The Walrus" and "Wings" and replaced them with "Road To Ruin", "On The Run" and "Dirty Dog Night". Along with an immensely popular MTV Japan video of "West Wind Blows", the band also released a video for "Pretender" on MTV's Headbangers Ball. While touring in support of Crunch, the band had played alongside such bands as Kings-X, Savatage, Every Mother's Nightmare, Saigon Kick, Judas Priest, Lynch Mob as well as many others, including a triple-act show featuring XYZ, Cry Wolf, and CHARLOTTE at the now renamed Palace (Avalon) on Vine St. in the heart of Hollywood .

While in Houston, TX, during a tour in support of "Crunch", however, the band's equipment truck was stolen, abruptly ending their tour. At this point, Paul Cancilla had decided to leave the band. The band brought in drummer John E. Link, as well as changed management. The band continued on as Cry Wolf through 1992 with a darker/heavier new sound, and began recording song demos for their second album with former Ratt bassist Juan Croucier as producer. Unfortunately, the band’s record company went out of business, and the second album was never recorded. Soon after, John left Cry Wolf.

Tim and Steve regrouped and began writing and recording demos of new material, soon forming the band SHED with drummer J. Harley Gilmore (Black Summer Crush, Blu Cantrell) in 1994.

The trio began auditioning musicians to complete the rhythm section, and played briefly with bassist Chris Marx, eventually completing the lineup with former CW bassist, Phil Deckard.

SHED was a complete departure from Cry Wolf, incorporating rich vocal harmonies over a darker themed, industrial-heavy sound. The band wrote, recorded and rehearsed for nearly seven months before performing select live dates around Los Angeles.

The work paid off as SHED began grabbing the attention of several music label/management scouts after only a few shows. Unfortunately, personal issues ultimately lead to the demise of SHED in 1996 but not without leaving a catalogue of material which is the foundation of the latest Cry Wolf offering, "Twenty Ten".

Reunion, Reformation and Twenty Ten (2006–Present)[edit]

Cry Wolf Live

In 2006, a “Cry Wolf Tribute Page” was created on MySpace by longtime friend Mike Wilson, who was originally bass tech for Phil Deckard then later for drummer Paul Cancilla. Garnering an enormous response from Cry Wolf fans worldwide, Mike approached the band about a reunion show. Along with a few eager fans, created a grass-roots type movement to reunite the band for a reunion show in its native San Francisco Bay Area.

Finally, at the urging of their most fervent fans, the original members of Cry Wolf gathered to play together for the first time in 15 years in August 2007 for what was intended to be a one-off show as a “thank you” for their most die-hard fans. Along with Tim Hall, Steve McKnight, and Phil Deckard, both Paul Cancilla and John Link performed at the show.

The response to the Reunion Show was overwhelming. The magic was still there and strong, and the band realized that as they had all matured as musicians, their music had never sounded more powerful or dynamic. In short, the band sounded better than it ever had. They also realized that their passion and drive for Cry Wolf had not faded. So, the decision was made to reform the band in earnest. (Due to ‘logistics’ however, neither Paul nor John were able to commit to a “permanent” reunion.)

The band spent 2009 and early 2010 recording their highly anticipated new CD ‘Twenty Ten‘, mixed and mastered by Bob Daspit (Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas) and perfecting their live show. Cry Wolf is discovering that there’s a wide audience for hard rock delivered with fire, emotion and relevance without being nostalgic.

Jeff Abercrombie (Fuel bassist) puts it best:

"The two best words I can think of to describe Cry Wolf would be "Dynamic" & "Explosive". I've had the opportunity to see these guys live a few times and was blown away every time. After one listen to the new album, I'm convinced they've got a winner with this one. The songs have hooks so big I just can't stop listening from start to finish."

As of early 2011, the band is performing throughout California and looking forward to a long over-due return to Japan.

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]

  • Tim Hall – lead vocals (1985–1994, 2007 Reunion Show–2012)
  • Susie Major – lead vocals (2012-2013)
  • Chris Moore – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2009-2013)
  • John E. Link - drums, percussion (1991–1994, 2007 Reunion Show)
  • Paul Cancilla - drums, percussion (1986–1991, 2007 Reunion Show)
  • JC Crampton - keyboards (1985–1987)
  • John Freixas - drums, percussion (1985–1986)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Crigler, Pete (February 2015). "Hair Metal". Perfect Sound Forever. Archived from the original on June 27, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2016. 
  • "Cry Wolf". Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  • Rock City News, Los Angeles, 1990 vol 8 no 13, pages 70–71

External links[edit]