This week, indie-rock band Wolf Alice performed at our very own LCR. Jacob Chamberlain caught up with them before the show to see how they’re getting on.
So, how are you guys? How’s the tour going?
Joel Amey (drums): It’s been really nice actually. This is a beautiful campus, isn’t it? I went for a nice walk.
Did you see any rabbits?
Theo Ellis (bass): We saw mole holes.
J: We thought we saw some mice in the water, but it was a reflection. (laughs)
How does it compare to the August tour?
J: The small venues tour? Very different. Those venues are really fun, they’re venues we played when we were starting off and we went back and filled them to capacity which we didn’t do the first time round. It’s great to have small sweaty shows but we do love playing these kinds of venues, like Manchester and Glasgow. Those kinds of venues have been some of our other favourite places in the country so it’s a real privilege.
You last played UEA in 2016, and it seems like so much stuff has happened since then – like On the Road [2017 film starring Wolf Alice]
J: Yeah, that was cool. There was some stuff filmed here.
T: It was filmed all over the UK. It’s not our thing, so it was quite weird for us. It’s nice for us to have it as a memory of all the things we did in that period.
How did it come about?
T: Michael Winterbottom [director] wanted a band that was touring a lot. What attracted us to it was the fictional narrative intertwined with what was essentially a tour documentary. He spoke to our manager and we spoke to him and it kind of went from there.
Where can people see it?
T: Fuck knows (laughs). Probably nowhere, it’s an independent film. Fucking torrent it.
J: A very famous scene in On the Road is me singing Swallowtail, and it was recorded here.
T: Well it’s not that famous because you can’t watch it.
J: Michael was really good though, he was lovely. He was really respectful, and it’s beautifully shot. There’s so much stuff to do with the crowd, that’s what I really like, you get to see them reacting and hugging each other after gigs. It’s really special for us.
With Visions of a Life, how did the creative process differ to My Love is Cool?
T: We had loads more time than we did for My Love is Cool. It was an amazing experience, the actual recording of it. We were in L.A. It was the first time we’ve been afforded time to experiment and be properly explorative. We had no boundaries. It was a real privilege and a very enjoyable process.
Do you have a favourite song from it?
T: No… but Visions of a Life.
J: It’s more like there’s bits I like in all of the songs rather than one song more than all the others. I really like everything for different reasons. I don’t dislike any of them.
T: That’s good.
What was the thinking behind sending out postcards?
T: We wanted to do something that was more tangible in a very non-tangible age where everything is announced on the internet and you never feel anything or touch anything or interact with anything physically. To make a relationship with something, being given a gift from a band unannounced, we thought was just a cool fun thing to do. People slowly pieced it together. It was just a bit of fun really, a gimmick if you will. Though that sounds quite derogatory.
J: We know, as music fans, how much it would have meant to us to receive something cool like that in the post. It actually worked quite well. People liked them.
How was Coachella?
T: Not for me. (laughs)
Is it a lot ‘nicer’ than UK festivals?
J: Yeah, much nicer.
T: A lot less gurning and a lot less mud.
J: I physically bumped into Leo DiCaprio like three times. Like ‘fucking hell, it’s you again. Take your sunglasses off, it’s night time’. The first weekend is bonkers. The second weekend is a bit more music oriented. It was still a privilege to play there. It’s Coachella, it’s sick.
Have you guys had time to do any cool Norwich things?
J: I went to the uni gym. It was rammed. There are some bodybuilders in Norwich. I couldn’t even get on the weights. I should have run around the campus because it’s so beautiful. I was like “fuck this” then I came back and had some soup. You watched Countdown.
T: I watched Countdown. I got a 5. Tunnel or something, is that 5?
J: No. (laughs)
Have you guys watched Big Cook Little Cook?
J: Yeah. Why, were they playing our music on there?
No, they’re on after you.
J: (Gasps). We played Bestival and before us was the Chuckle Brothers and… to be fair, literally living legends in my eyes. It was crazy. Us, the Chuckle Brothers and Craig David.
Wolf Alice’s sophomore album Visions of a Life is out now on Dirty Hit records.