An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. “One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego. “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. “This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”
That Cherokee proverb means a lot to Gabriel Vargas. This introspective Native American influence weaves itself throughout his daily life and within his important new release, Like Wolves – a song that traverses the tenacity of old wounds and turning victimhood into empowerment, out March 2. He has also released an accompanying video that captures the true, undeniable beauty in the way that humans are able to grow and move past traumatic events. Gabriel Vargas will be launching his stunning new offering at Melbourne’s Croxton Front Bar on March 17.
Like Wolves is all-encompassing, and it’s not often that a song that carries such weight is put out into the world. The music itself is superb – alternative indie at its finest – yet it is so much more than the sum of its musical parts, as Vargas explains, “Like Wolves is not only a single release in the physical sense but also a cathartic release spiritually and emotionally…it feels like slowly removing the bandage of an old wound – the marks of the past are still there, but there is a newfound strength and hope for the future.” Vargas also opens up about the deeply personal influence behind the song, saying, “Initially, it was written about a disagreement I had with my mother, which really was a by-product of a much larger energetic shift and recalibration happening within my family. In 2009 my step-father committed suicide and that had thrown the family dynamic into a bit of a tailspin whereby other revelations came to surface…including that of sexual abuse, of which I and my sister were directly affected by (I prefer not to use the word “victim” as it implies helplessness and it is something which has now been integrated and transformed into “empowerment”). So, this whole period really required the stripping away of a facade which had been outwardly projected as a “picture perfect family” …and with that came the inevitable arguments and disagreements, as we all went through a metamorphisis both collectively and individally. For me, this whole process conjured up the spiritual image of fire and the burning of the old to welcome the new…and understanding the “wolves” that we each hide behind..which was based on an old Cherokee Proverb Two Wolves.”
The distinctive Cherokee influence is evident not only on the track, through the inclusion of exquisite Native American flute melodies, but also within the breathtaking clip that accompanies Like Wolves. Conceptualised by Ian Ritter, directed and edited by brothers Matt and Trevor Holcomb, whose short film Flat Daddy was nominated for AACTA’s Best Short Film of 2014, and starring Vargas’ younger sister Raquel and her partner Marlon Castilho, and longtime friend and collaborator Red Horse, the clip follows the story of a young woman who leaves an abusive relationship and, throughout her journey to freedom, is guided by the spirit of Red Horse. Red Horse, through dance and ceremony, evokes the courageous spirit of the wolf which signals the beginning of the woman’s newfound empowerment.
Gabriel Vargas is looking forward to launching the track at the Croxton Front Bar in Melbourne on March 17, and fans can expect a deeply effecting, skillful performance from the seasoned artist – and Like Wolves is not only a significant moment for Vargas as that artist, but as a man. Due to the familial and personal connection to the subject matter of this release, he has decided to donate all profits from the online sales of Like Wolves to the The White Ribbon Foundation.
Like Wolves will be released on March 2 and is available to pre-order now.
‘LIKE WOLVES’ LAUNCH SHOW
SAT 17 MAR | CROXTON FRONT BAR, THORNBURY VIC | +18
Tickets available from www.ozitix.com.au| 1300 762 545