Wolf Alice - the new British Invaders
Everyone loves a good UK rock band. From classics like Blur, or Oasis, to newer rockers like the Arctic Monkeys, the Brits have been killing it on the musical front basically forever. Welcome the newest, and most out there addition to the genre, Wolf Alice. The end of this month brings their debut album My Love is Cool, aptly named for a band that’s too cool to care, and just wants to do them.
The four person band consists of Ellie Rowsell (vocals/guitar), Joff Oddie (guitar), Theo Ellis (bassist) and Joel Amey (drummer). Like their new record, they can’t be pinned to one genre. From writing a song called Fluffy, about Ellie’s cat getting neutered, to sweeter, more intimate ballads like Blush, the band’s sound has been indeterminable since they started their musical career. Milk Made’s Jordan Mack got to snag a moment with Joel, the floppy haired, floral shirt loving drummer of the group. Much like the band’s eclectic sound, the conversation found no boundaries, from boxing, to comic books, to playing secret shows in their friends apartments.
For My Love is Cool, did you guys have a goal when you started out, and do you feel like you reached it?
I don’t think we really had a goal. This might sound a bit cliché, but you always want to make the best album you can. We weren’t out to make a concept album about dragons or something. We just want it to sound good. This is our debut album. It’s a statement of what we’ve been doing for the past two years. It was a lot of us trying to branch out, not just be a guitar band. We wanted to change up the instruments, but not the sound, if that makes sense. We’re all really happy with it, which is what we were the most nervous about. ‘Will I actually like my child once it’s born?’
You’re in the middle of this huge US Tour right now in anticipation for the new album My Love is Cool. What’s your impression of the States?
We’re kind of blown away really. There’s a checklist that you really want to get done as a young band, and one of those things is definitely just driving across America. In March we traveled across Europe, and the response was fantastic. The singles have been getting onto the radio and stuff. You can see how influential radio is, because we would play shows in Vermont, a place we had never even heard of because we’re stupid little English kids, and yet there’s 200 people there who knew the words and are jumping around! It’s pretty awesome. We drove by Niagara Falls, and it was all frozen over. We’re really grateful to get to be doing this.
If you could do a perfect cover band of any 3 musical artist, who would you choose?
Oh, that’s hard. I would love to do Outkast. There’s so much creativity there, between rapping and singing. Next, I would want an all out hardcore metal band, or a punk band. Maybe Fugazi? You just go to a shitty bar and just scream for an hour and everyone just goes mad. The third one I think would have to be Neil Young. That’s just such a catalogue to choose from.
You guys really focus on your live performances. Is there a type of venue that you really love to play?
We recently played at this really great venue called Shepard’s Bush Empire in the UK. It’s this really gorgeous, classic venue. It’s an old theater, but it seats like 2,000, which is a lot for us. With that, you get this really epic sense of occasion, and you want to put on a performance like that. But then a couple of weeks later, we did a secret show in our friends apartment. Everyone was all squished, and completely over the top. It was really mental, we were just packing people into this tiny little flat! I’m really shocked no one called the cops. That’s another fantastic show to play though. It’s all about finding out what works well in those situations, you know?
What’s the coolest thing that’s happened on the road?
That one was definitely pretty cool. Let’s see. If I don’t come up with another one, we sound boring! Oh no [laughs]! I don’t know. I think the coolest thing has been going to somewhere like St. Louis, and there being people there who just want to hang out. We sold out the other night. We got as many people as we could into that venue. We’re just happy that there are people here, waiting to see us. I don’t think we even drank the first week. We were trying to be good, but we did end up at a bar trying to watch that Mayweather fight. We couldn’t find it so we just drank loads [laughs].
Mayweather or Pacquiao?
Pacquiao all the way, man. He seems like a folk hero that just punches people, but he’s definitely been a nicer person to more people than Mayweather.
You guys have been blowing up. ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ was used for an Arrow commercial–
I actually never saw that [laughs]. It’s not in the UK, and I don’t really watch TV anyway. It’s still great though! I mean, we would never put our song behind something we’re not into, so it’s pretty cool knowing that it’s out there. It’s great that a show like that is willing to support a newer band.
Totally. I mean, I got really excited when I saw it on TV.
Really? Well okay, I do follow the show. I’m actually a bit of a nerd.
Are you a big comic book guy?
Not huge, but I do like to watch that those programs on the plane. I really like it.
Did you get to see the new Avengers movie?
No! We were actually saying that we all really want to sit and what that at some point, when we get the chance! We’re going to try and watch it when we’re in the UK. I’m really into the Avengers right now. I’ve got the game on my phone and I’ve been playing nonstop, just punching various Captain Americas or whatever.
Is there anything else you want Milk Made reader to know?
Just look out for us! We’re pretty surprising, and that’s coming from someone in the band [laughs].
My Love is Cool is out on June 23rd.
Wolf Alice will be previewing their new album June 18th at Le Poisson Rouge. Get tickets here
Check out Wolf Alice’s website here