2015 has seen Wolf Alice catapult into the spotlight with the release of their debut album, My Love Is Cool. Walking into the dressing room, Theo (the band’s bassist) greeted me with a high five with the other hand clutching a just-made sandwich, and offered up a beer before we sat down to catch up about the tour, album, and the Mercury Prize.
Sporting ripped jeans and putting on a knee length coat before he sat down, Theo was relaxed back in his chair as we spoke about arriving in Southampton from Sheffield. On exploring Southampton, he said: “I just went to a shopping centre and bought a football from Sports Direct. We were playing football in the hall, played outside for a bit.” He commented on how unfit he’d become, but the image of the band kicking a Sports Direct football around o2 Guildhall is a pretty good one. “I’m a bit tired at the moment but I’ll be fine in a minute. Should probably stop drinking beers. I’m really excited. This room’s fucking beautiful, it’s massive as well,” he went on, in response to how he was feeling about the night’s show.
Their tour comes to an end in London on Saturday, the band’s home city. “I’ve really enjoyed playing outside of London because you know, your mum and dad aren’t there, and your friends aren’t there and people who know you, know you too well so they’re not going to have the most fun…well they are, but it’s just always nice to play outside of London too.” Theo seemed genuinely excited and humbled by the success of the tour so far, he detailed: “yeah, I love it. I would quit if I didn’t. It’s amazing, it’s the best thing in the world”- not even minding that they’ve pretty much been on tour since January.
The scale of Wolf Alice’s explosion this year following the release of My Love Is Cool cannot be underestimated. But they’ve actually been around for a lot longer, “putting EPs out for a while…so it’s kind of a slow steady process for us from our perspective but obviously putting a debut out helps and being on the BBC Sound Of list and loads of other shit.” Continuing to be pretty blasé and chilled about the band’s success, Theo commented on the gold vinyl for the debut: “I’m really proud of the way that looks actually. We’ve tried to outdo it with our light show today. A lot of glitter, a lot of sparkle”- which they definitely delivered, with a stunning variety of twinkling lights.
On the back of their debut, Wolf Alice have been pitted as favourites for at least a nomination for this year’s Mercury Prize Album of the Year award. Does that excite them or add pressure? “Excited, they haven’t even announced the draws yet, so I don’t know. Maybe. I mean I doubt we’d win the Mercury Music Award, it’d be an honour to be nominated for it. I think it’d be pretty cool if we were nominated.” It’d definitely be cool if My Love Is Cool were nominated for the Mercury Prize, and a female-fronted band winning would be great for the industry.
Wolf Alice have generally escaped being pinned to a specific genre, which is a rarity. Delving into the band’s sound, Theo described them as “kind of fun, happy, sad, energetic, glittery. Glittery songs for glittery people.” Sporting glittery cheeks on stage later on, and their incredible glittery lights, it’s clear to see that this band have a thing for sparkles.
Although My Love Is Cool is just three months old, Theo said, “We just wanna continue the momentum and write as quickly as possible and put out a second record”. Second albums are often harder than the first, but casually detailing that they hadn’t had time to think about it much yet he said that he hoped it would at least be progressive.
Rounding off the chat, we concluded with the songs Theo was looking forward to playing on the night: “I love playing ‘Giant Peach’, I love playing ‘Fluffy’, I love playing ‘Silk’. Yeah we’re playing the whole album in full so there’s a lot of slower moments. But yeah, should be fun.” It was definitely fun.
Wolf Alice graced Southampton’s o2 Guildhall with glitter and their debut album in full on Wednesday 23rd September.