Discovery: Wolf Alice

By
Photography Helen Boast

Published November 6, 2013

ABOVE: WOLF ALICE. PHOTO BY HELEN BOAST

 

If Generation Y has a town square, it’s Tumblr. The social network, which allows users to share content at the click of a button, means we’re no longer the sum of our iPods, but rather the result of our reaction to any damn thing our friends/Internet/world can throw our way. Talk of genre? Oh, please—that’s so 2000.

Enter Wolf Alice. If Tumblr has yet to crown a banner band, it scarcely find a better candidate than the London-based four-piece. A rock outfit at core, Wolf Alice blithely skips from idea to idea with a caffeinated confidence. A riot-grrrl snarl? A fizzy pop anthem? An atmospheric moper? With only an EP and handful of singles to their name, the band has already mastered more disparate elements than most bands pull off in an entire life span.

Instrument cases in hand, Wolf Alice joined Interview for a brief chat over coffee before heading to record new demos for their forthcoming full-length (due out in 2014). Topics touched on included, their “real” genre of choice, inner-band fighting, and what really brings them together. They also provided us with a premiere of their new video, “Blush,” from their EP by the same name.

 

HOMETOWN: London, England

AGES: 21 (Ellie Rowsell, Theo Ellis), 22 (Joel Amey, Joff Oddie)

TITLING THEIR NEWEST EP, BLUSH: Ellie Rowsell: It was a sensitive and exposing piece of work. “Blush” seemed appropriate. It sounded right. It suited the artwork.

ON ACTUALLY BLUSHING: Rowsell: We’re all pretty embarrassing.

Theo Ellis: Do you see how much sugar I put in this tea? That’s embarrassing. It’s shocking!

Rowsell: I have plenty of embarrassing videos of abysmal gigs that we’ve played! But I don’t know about any embarrassing moments. We’ve had embarrassing moments that aren’t funny, so we won’t say them!

BEFORE THEY WERE A BAND: Rowsell: Yeah, there’s definitely been different things. Joel has been in bands since he was 13.

Joel Amey: Yeah, I didn’t have any other option than to give this a go. I didn’t have any other routes.

Ellis: I wanted to be a rugby player. I was crap!Joff Oddie: I wanted to be an actor. Now I’m the king of Vine.

BEST NIGHT EVER: Oddie: Our gig in Nottingham. It was great. The audience gave a shit, and we couldn’t stop talking about it.

Rowsell: The audience was drunk. It was about two in the morning.

Ellis: It was ridiculous! We played the first song and the whole place was a mosh pit! It was like, all right, if this carries on, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But the end it was nuts. I had a great time. I nearly cried afterwards.

HOW TO KEEP THE PEACE: Ellis: We pass the stick around!

Rowsell: We’re only allowed to have four ideas each. You have to pick and choose and then what you say goes. You get a gold star if your idea is really good.

Oddie: I have minus stars! Sad faces.

Ellis: I won’t write shit songs. I won’t write shit songs…

Rowsell: I think we all have the same ideas most of the time.

Ellis: We have the same ideas; we just can’t convey them all properly. So we think we have different ideas and then have a row about it.

 

 

PLANNING FOR THEIR FULL-LENGTH: Ellis: [laughs] It won’t sound as good as the EP. No. I think it’s some of the best songs that we’ve ever written. We were so excited to do the EP. But as soon as it’s done the songs are old to us. Even playing them live we’re like, “ugh.”

Rowsell: I’ve been thinking about it a lot. It feels like we’ve got the right amount of songs that I’m really happy with. I really want to get them down before we get bored with them.

THE ONE THING THAT THEY CAN ALL AGREE ON: Rowsell: We all love The Simpsons!

Ellis: I couldn’t be friends with someone if they didn’t like The Simpsons. That’s just weird!

WOLF ALICE’S NEWEST EP BLUSH IS OUT NOW VIA CHESS CLUB. FOR MORE ON THE BAND, VISIT ITS FACEBOOK PAGE.