“How are you?” Steve Lamos’ voice delivers pleasantries from down the line. He sounds far …
The secret is out! Wolf Alice have just announced their return to Australia this September in a run of national headline dates, a first for the North London alt-rockers.
Bursting at the seams with this secret and now finally able to discuss it, knowing things others don’t is, as drummer Joel Amey puts it, a good place to be. “The idea was thrown around like, ‘That would be nice if that happened’ and it’s actually happening. Sometimes these things get suggested and you’re like ‘Oooo…!’
“This is the first time we’ll be there with two albums worth of material and we can deliver an hour and fifteen [minutes] worth of music that we’re super proud of and we’re very excited to get back over and do these headline shows.”
Wolf Alice appearance at this year’s Laneway Festival was for Amey, their most fun Aussie shows to date. “That line-up, I was living inside my iTunes for three weeks. Walking around with everybody I listen to every day was a bit weird but it was a thrill.”
And Wolf Alice have been riding that rollercoaster of thrills all year. They’ve been out touring with some of the biggest acts around, most recently supporting Queens Of The Stone Age and on the cusp of heading out with Foo Fighters, the latter an opportunity that arose after the unlikeliest of meetings. “It’s funny,” Amey begins, “When we were making our album the Foos were making an album in the room next door and we kind of got to the studio like. ‘Urgh. There are so many famous people [here],’ it was kind of ridiculous, and then there’s like us, just being like, the weirdos.
“We hung out with the Foos and one day Chris [Shiflett] and Dave [Grohl] came [to us] for a barbeque–the thirteen year-old in me was freaking out! A year later it’s come full circle, from sharing barbeques to sharing stages!”
That’s a tradition that should be carried on by all bands, to make others feel as welcome as they made us feel.
[ Joel Amey ]
Considering it was only 2015 Wolf Alice released their debut My Love Is Cool, it seems like a rapid escalation to amazing opportunities, to us outsiders anyway. “Probably fast from your position,” laughs Amey, “But I guess, the four of us have been playing together since 2012 and we had probably two like, beautiful wilderness years, where we were sharing the same guitar lead [with other bands], sleeping on people’s floors and stuff, and it was great.
“The first album was obviously the real first injection of interest from all over. And we did come over and do some shows [in Australia] off that album. But I think [now] we’re coming back a little older, a little wiser, and actually I think slightly better than when we first came over! I’m buzzing to get over and play these gigs now.”
Endless touring, all over the world, rubbing shoulders with the stars, any support on tour with Wolf Alice will swap places with them, the upcoming bands in the same spot as Wolf Alice have been when supporting the big guns–pressure much? “We always take our own support bands for our tours, and I love the idea that if we’ve got a larger platform you can showcase an upcoming band–I find that really exciting. I still think one of the biggest buzzes you can get is when you find a new band.
“I remember Sunflower Bean, when we first went out to America we had this EP of this band, they did some shows–now they’ve released their second album and they’re absolutely killing it. I guess Foos and Queens, they still have that in them. Queens Of The Stone Age were just Queens Of The Stone Age, it was the biggest thrill, and they were the nicest people. When we saw how it was going to go, like we thought would we even see them? But it wasn’t like that, we’d see them in our changing room every day with bottles and bottles of tequila, super funny and just the nicest guys. That’s a tradition that should be carried on by all bands, to make others feel as welcome as they made us feel.”
“And I love Australian music,” Amey gushes, “Body Type, WAAX, Pond and stuff… I’ve been listening to a load of Australian music. I just wanna see Australian music when I’m out there.” If Amey does that, you never know, five, ten years from now, Wolf Alice could be where Foo Fighters are now, finding their own wallflowers to nurture and feed barbeque in the studio. “Oh God, they’re not gonna eat my barbeque! I’ll just give ‘em a bun,” Amey says seriously. “I’ll give the sausage to Joff [guitarist Joff Oddie] he’s quite good at cookin’. And I’m good at eatin’. It’s a beautiful partnership.”
At the risk of offending Australians on a national scale, probably best Amey stay away from the grill. “Yeah… But I like the culture there of just like, entertaining. I just love Australia. I’m very excited to get back.”
Wolf Alice will be touring Australia/New Zealand on the following dates:
Thursday 20 September // Powerstation // Auckland
Saturday 22 September // The Tivoli // Brisbane
Sunday 23 September // Metro Theatre // Sydney
Tuesday 25 September // Corner Hotel // Melbourne