Branded as one of CUB’s ones to watch at Bestival, we were lucky enough to secure an interview with Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell to find out what they’ve been up to. Formed in 2010, Wolf Alice are a four-piece alternative rock band from North London, consisting of Ellie Rowsell, Joel Amey, Joff Oddie and Theo Ellis.
1) Tell us a little bit about your latest EP Creature Songs and, for those who haven’t heard it, what they can expect from it.
It was recorded in 5 days with producer Catherine Marks. It was one of our most enjoyable experiences as a band. It went pretty smoothly and we were at an incredible studio called ICP in Brussels where everyone is really quite lovely. We’ve described the two sides of the EP as the party and the hangover which I think is quite suitable.
2) What were your influences when writing Creature Songs and how does it differ from your 2013 debut EP Blush?
We had a lot of different influences. Lyrically it was less personal, Moaning Lisa Smile is about Lisa Simpson; Heavenly Creatures is about the film under the same name; and We’re Not The Same is a made up story about two friends. Musically, I think our influences are kinda the same as the Blush EP but we have hopefully progressed since then and have more freedom to experiment having had the previous experience in the recording studio.
3) You’ve been compared to Hole and the XX, but how would you personally describe your sound?
Varied, distorted pop music; I guess playing guitar music with female vocals might remind people of Hole but I personally don’t think we sound alike. The XX probably comes from the way both Joel and I sing which is quite whispery but I don’t think we are influenced by them either.
4) What can we expect to hear from Wolf Alice in the coming months?
We are waiting to go and record our debut album which we are very eager to do. We are still doing the festival circuit, though, so we are pretty busy so I’m not sure at the moment. We’ll have to wait and see.
5) As a relatively new band coming from London, you’ve managed to make an excellent name for yourself. Are there any bands that you are listening to at the moment that you think deserve the same credit?
I still maintain that Parlour are one of the best bands from London at the moment. I really love their sound but you have to go see them live as they don’t have much online. We love Bloody Knees from Cambridge cos they have incredible energy and killer hardcore pop songs. Marika Hackman is pretty special and I’m in to Happyness who have just released their debut album, which is cool.
6) You’re lined up to support The Libertines in their reunion show at Hyde Park as well as playing at many festivals, Glastonbury and Reading / Leeds included; who are you most looking forward to seeing and who are you most excited to play alongside?
I really wanted to see Lana Del Rey at Glastonbury but we clashed with her unfortunately. Reading and Leeds will be amazing; we love Paramore and Queens of the Stone Age.
7) What do you think makes a great festival; is the line-up or atmosphere more important?
With so many festivals around at the moment the atmosphere is really important to stand out. We played Secret Garden Party and although there was no one I wanted to see it was great because the atmosphere was incredible and the site was beautiful. However, I don’t think you can charge the price you pay if there isn’t a good line up.
8) In December 2013 BBC 6 Music chose you guys as the single most blogged about band that year; how do you think social media has impacted your success?
I would like to think we would be successful regardless of social media but, yes, it has definitely helped us; we have always played live and that’s just as important too, especially for guitar bands.
Wolf Alice’s second EP, Creature Songs, was released in May. Download it here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/creature-songs-ep/id859015269