Wolves debuted fourth on the i Tunes rock charts and sixth among Billboard's "Heat Seekers." The band self-issued Wolves with the help of a professional management team in Nashville and a New York publicity firm that has represented Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Zac Brown—not bad for an act that intended its last album, 2012's Burn. To get there, Barham knows, he has to watch his habits. I didn't realize my parents were struggling to make the mortgage payment." Barham was smart and confident, loud and argumentative, driven and fearless.He doesn't think he's done drinking forever, but he's at least done drinking for sport. "If I want to live to see 40, I need to quit." n the evening of May 3, 1984, B. Barham was born in Greensboro's Wesley Long Hospital; his only sibling, Brandon, followed 15 months later. He wanted to know everyone, and he wanted everyone to know him, too.
In high school, he joined clubs, played four sports and filled his time with the extracurricular activities that college admission offices favored. State University and set his sights on a double major in political science and history.
He became student body president and graduated in the top five of his class. He was the first in his family to go to college, so he wanted to make it count.
The two are talking about leaving downtown Raleigh apartment life and buying a home.
Having lost weight and found energy, he says he's never felt better.
He stuck with it, though, pushing to do more than imitate his idols.
The band lived on the road, and their relentless touring engendered a respectable fanbase in places other acts called "secondary markets." While attendance lagged in Atlanta or New York City, American Aquarium started selling out rooms in Oklahoma and Arkansas."All the musicians he had playing with him were college kids who owned instruments," remembers Corbin, who joined in 2007. One person had to ride in the back, clutching a pillow and a blanket."They were all, 'Oh, I'm going to go on and be a doctor or whatever.'" But Corbin shared Barham's dream: He wanted to make music for the rest of his life. "We would come to your town, and we were the lovable drunks," Corbin remembers. We weren't barfighters or brawlers; we'd just hang out and be goofy." Locally, their boisterous alt-country proved an uneasy fit.American Aquarium's sixth album, Wolves, has raked in rave reviews since its release last month.Rolling Stone's country wing named the band a must-watch act of 2015; The Wall Street Journal streamed the record in full. Legitimate, sustainable success doesn't seem so distant.He realized he could die; he'd seen it happen in his own family. 31, 2014, during an end-of-tour bender in Forth Worth, Texas, he took his last drink—most likely a shot of Irish whiskey, he thinks. "Nobody sat him down and was like, 'Dude, you're out of control,'" says Bill Corbin, the band's bassist and most long-term member, except for Barham.