“I don’t think any of us are fashionistas, but we all love clothes (…) Clothing is kind of a physical manifestation, just as much as changing your body.” – Joel Amey
The alternative rock band Wolf Alice have just been nominated for the Hyundai Mercury Prize with their 2nd studio album ‘Visions Of A Life’ amongst other great records of 2018.
Ellie Roswell (vocals and guitar) and Joff Oddie (lead guitar) started the band in 2010 and released an EP before they met Theo Ellis (bass) and Joel Amey (drums) in 2012 who completed the band which is Wolf Alice. The band dropped their debut album ‘My Love Is Cool’ two three later after they got signed at Dirty Hit.
We met Theo and Joel in Berlin, to talk about their second studio album ‘Visions of a life’, their fashion preferences and childhood heroes!
Thanks for taking your time on this cold but sunny day. Did you have some time to enjoy the sun in Berlin today?
Theo: Yes I went out today. I went to Berlin cathedral earlier, is that a thing?
Joel: Bought two blazers this morning. I walked all the way to a second hand store called Humana.
The big one with the 4 floors?
Joel: Ah damn I should have gone to that one!
So fashion wise, what means fashion to you and how would you describe your style?
Joel: I’ve recently been liking smart trousers and these boots. But fashion to me means you can have your own identity and you can be very creative in a way that can’t be wrong. Judging peoples fashion is completely pointless.
Theo: I agree on that. I also like smart trousers.
What influences you in the way you dress?
Joel: When I was growing up I was at a theatre performing a band called The Horrors, and that was probably the most significant fashion change I’ve had since I was like a fat grunger. So i got a bit more fashion orientated. I don’t think any of us are fashionistas, but we all love clothes.
Theo: I don’t necessarily know anything about fashion but I’ve always been into vintage clothing.
Joel: Clothing is kind of a physical manifestation, just as much as changing your body. It’s absolutely up to you what you want to do with it. So – do your thing!
Do you have an indispensable piece of clothing?
Theo: Ah yeah, I’ve got a couple of things that I love. A leather jacket I bought recently and now find indispensable. I have this one black T-Shirt that I wore at Glastonbury at the Main Stage, that’s my number one.
Joel: For me there are two things. One is a hat I got from my Mum and my aunt, that I just really like. And the second thing is a blazer they gave me for my last birthday, it’s the best fitting blazer I’ve probably ever had. It’s from a shop owned by my uncle John called Monrose, it’s in Liverpool. So if you’re ever in Liverpool go to Monrose Suit Shop, because he really is the best.
What did you pack in your suitcase as your travel essentials, besides from socks?
Joel: Socks are probably the last thing I’d pack.
Theo: I start with my trousers I wear on stage I buy at Sheridans on Carnaby Street. I’ve got a Nintendo Switch which me and Joel recently got into. Aftershaves come in handy because some places smell a bit rough/smell like shit.
Do you have any Pre-Show rituals or a lucky charm?
Theo: We always have a hug before. And I always have to have a beer, but I don’t know if that’s representable as a ritual.
Joel: One thing we were really late to the game is having a speaker in the backroom so we can just listen to songs and get the vibes. I can count on one hand how often we’ve brought a speaker to our gigs because we always forget. That’s always good, to listen to some really good music before you go on stage.
What was the most funny thing that ever happened to you on tour?
Theo: Yesterday Johnny, our sound engineer had to park and there was a car in the way, so he just got out and pushed the car out of the way. And someone took a shit at our gig in Seattle.
Joel: Johnny is quite funny in general, he would just fall off a stage or a mountain.
Theo: He’s been falling into a gap at the tube station.
Joel: Yeah it’s just funny watching Johnny fall down. That sounds really mean actually, but it’s fucking funny.
Would you say that your second studio album ‘Visions of A Life’ sums up your ‘visions of a life’?
Theo: I’d say yeah, it pretty much sums up everything that has happened to us in the two years between our first and now second album, so it’s an accurate representation of where we’re at musically and in a way also emotionally, so it is kind a collection of songs that do represent our visions of our lives right now. But no doubt that will change again when someone has a baby or looses a limb or whatever.
Do you have a favourite song on your latest record?
Theo: My favourite song changes a lot, but at the Moment it’s ‘St. Purple and Green’.
Joel: Yes I’m a massive fan of ‘St. Purple and Green’ for many reasons, because I love the lyrics Eddy made I like the route that we took to get to that stage. And I just think for the ending we had a real vision that none else first saw, but the four of us just really connected to that. And it sounds as good as we were hoping it would, it’s exactly how we wanted it.
You said in another interview once, that watching other bands playing really helped you for performing your own songs. Are you still watching other artists and bands?
Theo: Yes, all the time!
Joel: The most enjoyable thing is watching a band excite you. We watched Queens of the Stone Age recently and I just walked away as if I’ve been to my first ever gig. When you see people do things on stage and you’re like, fuck no idea how they did that – usually it comes to that stage you know what they’re doing, which pedals they use, but with them I was like – what the fuck is going on? It is unbelievable.
What was the most impressive gig you’ve ever been to?
Theo: Probably Queens of the Stone Age at Cal Jam.
Joel: I’ve seen the Flaming Lips recently. I saw Pond in Australia, they were great. It’s not always big bands, I remember Drenge and I remember being amazed at a festival watching that band called Slash playing.
What’s the best thing about being an artist and what’s the worst?
Theo: The best thing about being an artist is the capacity to convey an emotion when you don’t know how to convey it through anything else.
Joel: That’s an incredible answer! That is an amazing answer! I literally have nothing else to say!
Do you have any childhood heroes?
Theo: Thierry Henry, the football player.
Joel: Mine is probably Mario (Super Mario). No more than ever (laughs).
If you would be able to do a time travel, would you go back in time or see what the future holds for you?
Joel: I would go back to yesterday.
Theo: I would go to the future, see what’s going on. Probably a lot of cockroaches around.
Joel: No I would go back in time, take the smartphone back a bit, or actually I’d go back in time and be evil.
Theo:Can you go back in time to a different universe? Because then I’d do that.
Thanks Theo and Joel for having such a lovely chat with us and fingers crossed for the Hyundai Mercury Prize! The ceremony is set to take place on the 20th September in London at Hammersmith Apollo. For tour dates and more check out Wolf Alice’s website!
Stay tuned ..
xx smoke and echoes