Wolf Alice on India, their favourite fan moments and the best songs on their album Advertisement

Wolf Alice on India, their favourite fan moments and the best songs on their album

Get to know the alt rock stars from North London

By Stuart DaCosta  February 16th, 2018

Wolf Alice, the 4-member alternative rock band from North London, chats with ELLE India about their unique sound, recording their album Visions of Life and their to-do list while touring India with the Backdoor Festival. 

How did you guys get together? Was this the original line-up or did you have many iterations before this?

Ellie: Joff (guitar) and I started playing music in North London in 2010 and Theo (bass) and Joel (drums) were playing in different bands. We had a mutual friend who got us to attend each others’ gigs. When the two people that were playing with us at the time decided that we couldn’t play anymore; that mutual friend got us together, and that was 5 years ago.

So was there a point when it all just sky-rocketed?

Ellie: I think when we walked out together as the four of us, that’s when things started to move faster. It felt like we had discovered an identity that we were looking for. We all had the same intentions and motivations.  

ellie wolf alice

Ellie Rowsell   Photo: Bikramjit Bose

What was the last song you heard today

Joel: I heard the new single ‘Power’ by Peace, they’re a really good band
Ellie: I really like Miguel. He’s a pop-star, but kinda funky. I’m really enjoying his happy and upbeat music.
Joff: {Music from} Mississippi John Hurt, this really old blues musician from the ’50s. He was one of the artists discovered in the libraries of Alan Lomax. 

Do you have a to-do list while you’re in Mumbai?

Ellie: No, actually because we’ve never been here and didn’t know what to expect. Everything is like a sensory overload.
Theo: We got recommended to go to Leopold. I also want to go on a ‘tak-tak’. I love rickshaws… so that’s my aim.

Joff wolf alice

Joff Oddie     Photo: Bikramjit Bose

How would you describe your sound?

Joff: We are a poppy band that plays under rock tradition and we like to dip into its sub-genres. At the same time, we aren’t popping in and out of jazz or classical musical or hip-hop music. It’s all kind of under the rock umbrella.
Theo: That’s a great name for a third album. Under the Rock Umbrella… 
Joff: Sounds like a Ringo Starr song. 

Does anyone have a favourite song from the album? 

Theo: I love ‘Sky musings’, it’s one of my favourite songs . I really latched onto its lyrics and themes and the passage that happens at the end.
Joel: I love ‘St. purple and green’. I love the way the song changed from where it began to where it ended up. 
Joff: I really enjoyed playing ‘Visions of life’. It’s got a nice flow to it, I find when I’m playing, I get lost and caught up in it. Probably the one I have the most emotional reaction to. 
Ellie: I’d need ten years to decide. I like ‘Don’t delete the kisses’ and ‘St. Purple and Green’ and ‘After the zero hour’ because they are the more emotive ones.

Theo wolf alice

Theo Ellis     Photo: Bikramjit Bose

Visions of Life is doing well. What is your most treasured accolade?

Joff: The most treasure accolade is the people coming down to the shows and us seeing them enjoying the music because you make music and send it off and don’t watch their reaction. The gigs are an amazing opportunity to see people caught up in the music.
Ellie: When I was in Australia, I was walking down the sea front and this boy came up to me, had his headphones in and he just stopped in his tracks, looked at me like he’d seen a ghost, And I was like ‘are you okay’ and he replied ‘I was just listening to your record.’ he couldn’t believe that the song was playing and I walked by at that exact moment. I really enjoyed that moment. 

wolf alice joel

Joel Amey     Photo: Bikramjit Bose

Catch Wolf Alice live in Bengaluru at the Indiranagar Club. Get your passes here