‘Best Group in England’ – Wolf Alice playing the Bourbon Theater on Monday | Music

In February, Wolf Alice won the BRIT Award for Group of the Year.

A few months earlier, the indie rock band had been named best festival headliner by the NME Awards.

In June 2021, he released his third album “Blue Weekend” to universal acclaim, earning a Mercury Prize nomination. It didn’t take the prestigious award for best album released in England or Ireland, but its second album of 2018, “Visions of Life”, did.

It’s no surprise, then, that the band – formed in 2010 as an acoustic duo by vocalist Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie, who were joined two years later by bassist Theo Ellis and drummer Arney – received accolades such as ‘the best in the UK’. bandaged.”

Two weeks ago, Wolf Alice came to the United States for his “Blue Weekend” North American tour, which will stop at the Bourbon Theater on Monday.

In early March, Ellis spoke with the Journal Star about the band, the new album and the tour via Zoom from a hotel room in Manchester, where Wolf Alice was scheduled to perform that night.

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So how does it feel to be called the best band in England?

“I think you probably don’t believe it. Or think about it too much because you’ve probably gotten a bit of a wanker if you say you’re the best band in Britain.

“It’s very nice for people to say things like that, really cool. But we’re a band in Britain. And we’re having a great time as a band in Britain at the moment. I don’t think not that there is better or worse “There are other great bands playing right now. There are fantastic ones. So we’re one of many.”

What I love about your band and especially about this album – which is great – is that you can’t just catalog your music. Is it a dream pop or shoegaze band or a grunge band or a punk band? All of these things come into play. So how did these pieces fit together?

“I think it’s because we like a lot of different styles of music between the four of us. … We’re on the precipice of a generation where we’ve started consuming music in a non-gendered way. … Just because you listen to guitar now doesn’t mean you can’t listen to rap or listen to punk. I listen to pop and I can admire aspects of folk.

“There’s such cross-pollination, that we’re inspired by a lot of different things. I think there’s a danger of it sounding a bit confusing when you do it, if you go between genres, too abrasively, but I think the new record with maturity is learning to touch on all those things that we love without it sounding like chaos. And just be inspired, right, you know?

Did I read somewhere that you really didn’t play bass when you joined the band?

“Yeah, but it’s kind of romantic because I played guitar. I didn’t play bass, but I played guitar. Joel is the most extreme case because he didn’t play drums and he just started playing drums.”

You two seem to get along well. Do you feel like that, like it’s a real section?

“I think we’re more a section than we are individuals in a way because we picked up our instruments together at the same time. And neither of us really played with anyone else. It would probably be interesting to see what it’s like to play with other people. But I’ve only ever recorded and played with Joel. So we’re kind of united at the hip musically in that sense. It’s a shame we hate each other so much.

From the band I saw at South By Southwest six or seven years ago, what do you think is the biggest change, the biggest development?

“We’ve gotten older, I don’t mean we look older but like, you know, we’ve all learned doing this as a career, which has allowed us to grow as musicians and songwriters- composers and performers, so I think we’ve perfected the tools we needed to effectively get ideas out of our heads, if that makes sense.

“We’ve kind of equipped ourselves better, whether it’s putting on a live show or knowing how to say something in a song backed by the right instrumentation. So in a way, we’ve gotten better what we’re doing. … I’m a better bass player than I was years ago. I just think we’ve gained confidence that way. And I think we feel really strong as a band where we are right now. It’s really fun to be in this band.

How does live music mixing work? Can you do a show without it being ‘where the hell are they going now?’ Or is it part of the show?

“I’m really proud of the set we’re playing right now. I wish you could come over tonight and get a taste of what the show is like. We have a great extra member on stage, his name is Ryan Malcolm. … He does a lot of extra backing with keys and vocals and a lot of other stuff. So we kind of got a little more muscle from him. We sort of cut the setlist based on a similar way you would go with a tracklist, to take you on an emotional journey or at least that’s what we think or try to achieve.

When I saw the tour was going to stop here I was like “wow”, because Lincoln, Nebraska isn’t exactly the first market people go to.

“I think it’s important for us to be able to go to as many different places as possible and, you know, play places we’ve never been before because I think you can become stale by doing that. . And, yes, America is a big ass place. So if you want to go everywhere, you have to go everywhere. It takes a lot of time. And it’s really fun to be able to go and still discover new places to go. we toured on and off for seven years or something.

Contact the writer at 402-473-7244 or [email protected] On Twitter @KentWolgamott

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