The Next Great Phenomenon: Interview with Wolf Alice
Not so long ago, stepping out of teens, in 2013 Wolf Alice with a handful of songs turned the music world upside down. While the label “grunge” stuck to them from the very beginning, on their debut album “My Love Is Cool” they finally blurred the boundaries between genres.
Michaela Gladovich met with vocalist Ellie Rousell and drummer Joel Emey in Berlin and interviewed.
Another young British indie band, from which, after a couple of EPs, all music critics just write boiling water. Magazines and blogs show off their accolades, the BBC in 2013 called Wolf Alice “the most-write-about-blogging group.” A year later, they received the “Best New Artist” award at the UK Festival Awards. With their first longplay “My Love Is Cool”, Ellie Rousell (guitar, vocals), Joff Oddi (guitar), Theo Ellis (bass) and Joel Amey (drums) prove their musical versatility. Thus, they hope to stop incorrect comparisons with the icons of the 90s grunge, so that once again they do not read in the magazine that they are a mixture of The xx and Hole.
But no one can deny that on the four-track EP “Blush” and “Creature Songs” released about 2 years ago, you can hear echoes of raging kids in sneakers and flannel shirts with Fender Jaguar in their hands. On their first album, Wolf Alice indulges in vice in the form of enhanced pop effects with catchy choruses and echoes. In “My Love Is Cool” there are more nuances and its sound is richer than that of its predecessors. Despite the inherent pop music, the catchiness of gloom did not diminish. It was such a mixture that a group from north London discovered.
“It’s just fantastic how everything harmoniously interacts, from sound to the album cover. I feel like we actually found ourselves as a band,” says Joel.
In fact, it is surprising that they needed an album for this, because Wolf Alice had already given impressive performances: at home at the Glastonbury, Leeds & Reading festivals, with a jubilant crowd on Benicàssim and SXSW, on a tour with alt-J.
“We always wanted to be a group that performs live and sounds harder on stage than in a studio recording,” says Ally, tired of the constant trips, taking a sip of energy.
For Joel, it is also clear that this was the best way for their group: to see how they sound live and not rush to record in the studio.
“During the show, we learned and understood a lot of things about our sound, noted what the audience reacts to and what she likes. An ideal environment for experimenting.”
Recording “My Love Is Cool”, the band collaborated with Arctic Monkeys’ first producer, Mike Crossy. When we talked about this, Joel goggled, almost choking on water. He is still fascinated by science:
“… releasing really good albums with powerful guitar sounds. Mike has a great talent for it and he helped us find our sound.”
Ellie quickly adds:
“But we never wanted the producer to help us write the album. We came to the studio with a 90% finished album and our own ideas. It’s important to be prepared and at the same time open to new methods. I never really wondered about the release of the album. Now the way I listen to music is fundamentally different from what it used to be: why is there an echo? Why is the refrain so early? Sometimes it’s even annoying. ”
For better or worse, they themselves do not know.
“Often the songs lose their charm of unfinishedness, all the interest, in the recording process. You should keep this in mind.”
Unlike Ellie, Joel is passionate about the recording process. While the rest of the Wolf Alice members in their youths studied using the scientific poking method, a lanky drummer with disheveled hair was recorded with friends in cheap rock studios.
“We wanted to write and release absolutely crazy things. A few years ago it seemed to us impossible to grow with the group. But when it comes to recording, everyone can, most importantly have a little money and do everything yourself. If you invest in plugins, then with just a laptop, you can sound like Justice’s latest album. ”
Thank goodness the band held up their debut.
Joel, like Theo’s bass player, joined the band in 2012. Ellie and Joff began performing in outdoor venues under the name Wolf Alice in 2010. It is clear that in a couple of years in the history of a rather young group, the mass of everything has changed. The success came to the participants at the age of 22-23, exactly between adolescence and maturity.
“In fact, not so much time has passed, but we certainly have become completely different. This is audible in our sound and lyrics,” concludes Ellie, who randomly chose the name of the group after reading the story of Angela Carter. “When I listen to songs written 5 years ago, I sometimes get the feeling that I outgrew them.” Nostar “from our EP, for example. A month after recording the song, I thought:” The moment … I don’t like it! ” .
But Wolf Alice has not only matured musically. When a group so young and full of energy is thrown into the jaws of show business sharks.