Any worries about how, or if, Wolf Alice could follow up 2017’s Mercury Prize winning ‘Visions of Life’ were blown away earlier this year when the band released ‘The last man on earth’; a tour de force single pre-empting third album ‘Blue Weekend’. Damian Robinson caught up with one half of Wolf Alice, Ellie Rowsell and Joel Amey, to find out more about the single, the new album, and their recently announced Newcastle live show.
Damian: Congratulations on The Last Man On Earth single, for what its worth I thought it was excellent. Is the sound of Last Man a good indication of what we can expect from the new album?
Ellie: Thank you, it’s a good idea of the sound of the album but there’s lots of sides to the album so it doesn’t fully represent the album as a whole.
Joel: We really enjoyed recording this single, Markus Dravs, who is producing the album took us into interesting places especially with The Last Man and we definitely thought it would make a good first statement about Blue Weekend.
Ellie: There are different elements and sounds on the album, a track like ‘Smile’ for example came from combining two demo’s; one which was quiet Chemical Brothers esque and the other which used a really upbeat riff. Smile is very different, for example, to Last Man. It’s often hard to talk about the sound of an album when each song is different and has a different sound, though you can definitely hear us on this record.
Damian: The video supporting Last Man is also really interesting, is your visual output an important ingredient of how you want the band to be perceived?
Ellie: thanks, they are. We did that video with Jordan Hemingway and actually we’ve recorded videos with him for all of the tracks on the album so there’s a real continuous visual, in a sense, with the album and how the videos look.
Joel: Yeah, we had two mad weeks to record all of the videos so it was really fun and actually made us use the same characters across all of the songs. I think we ended up creating our own small visual world with Jordan, which was really interesting.
Damian: The Jools Holland performance showed a different side to The Last Man, are you already thinking about how to play the new songs live?
Joel: We are yes, there’s a lot of layers and layering on the album which we need to work out. With the Jools show primarily it was just so good to be out playing live again and connecting with the songs, that was most important for me. We were really happy with the performance and seemed to get good feedback from it. In terms of the tour we’ll have to spend time working out which songs to play and how to play them live.
Damian: So you can’t tell us yet what you’ll be playing in Newcastle?
Ellie: oh wow, yeah, we can’t wait to play live again, but no we’re not thinking that far forward just yet.
Joel: We’re so excited to even think about getting back out and playing live; if anything the past year has made me realise how important and celebratory live music shows are and I can’t wait to get out and enjoy those celebrations.
Wolf Alice’s ‘The Last Man on Earth’ is out now, their album ‘Blue Weekend’ is released 11th June. The band play Newcastle City Hall in January 2022.