February 1, 2018

All Ears On: Wolf Alice

Article submitted to the Polaroid Originals Magazine by Nicola Phillips.

When Wolf Alice released their first EP in 2013, they were an alt-folk band to watch. In the 5 years since they’ve matured into a dynamic rock outfit with rough-and-tender sounds reminiscent of ‘90s darlings like Elastica and Hole. The 2018 Brit Award-nominated group from North London includes frontwoman Ellie Rowsell, guitar/violinist Joff Oddie, bassist Theo Ellis and drummer Joel Amey. We caught up with them to chat about the strangeness of touring and how they’ve grown as a band, together.

Do you feel that your sound has evolved drastically over the years and with your latest album? If so, what altered this musical direction?

I don’t feel like it has changed drastically. I think it has matured a little as we have become bolder with time and experience. We have gotten better at our instruments, and aren’t afraid to experiment a little more.

Does your creative flow come naturally as a group, or you find your separate parts and then come together? What is the common factor that makes you work?

We do a bit of both. We don’t have a set way of working. I think it works best once someone comes up with a shell of an idea and we all flesh it out together.

Have you found yourselves trying out new techniques or returning to the well-known and effective processes?

A bit of both. We have learned from what we did and what we didn’t do in our previous studio visits. For example, we like to use Joff’s guitar to make synth sounds which is something we return to a lot. We’ve learned not to be embarrassed to suggest things, which perhaps we felt a little bit [when we were] a younger and newer band.

Photo: Jono White
Photo: Jono White
Photo: Jono White

How has life on the road influenced your working together as a band?

The consistent practicing helps, and we’ve learned how to give each other space.

And as a result, do you feel more confident performing live now as opposed to the early years?

Yes in a way. I am better at my instrument and less nervous before shows. However, with time new anxieties can replace old ones. But that’s another story for another time!

Do you find yourself capturing/taking notes of these raw moments that can only be found on tour? Could you give an example of something that sticks in your mind?

Yes definitely. I am fascinated with tour life and how strange it is. I have a thing for hotels as well which I think about a lot.

With your Bands 4 Refugees project already achieving so much, what would you like to accomplish next?

There is no end to things we can do to help others! I would also like some time to dedicate to other projects outside of touring Wolf Alice songs.

Photo: Jono White

Get your ears on Wolf Alice’s music, tour dates and news via wolfalice.co.uk

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