Dead Wolf Club have just finished an
excellent set. Before that they were driving. Driving was the
rest of the day. In Inclement weather they had come all the
way from Inverness, got out of their transport, put their stuff
on stage and started playing. If I hadn't already heard their
album, that alone would have endeared them to me.
They then walk from the stage to my table
and we talk. It was pretty great.
Martha, John, Sarah and Alwen were lovely and patient as I tried
to record their answers under the Brude's post-gig PA.
Just as they have introduced themselves
and I am trying to remember the first question, the music stops.
CJC: I am so glad that just stopped
Sarah: How convenient!
CJC: I remember that years ago, I saw a picture in
Kerrang of Megadeath, backstage. On the stage door, was a sheet
of A4, and printed on it was “Today is TUESDAY, You are in POLAND!”
Have you experienced anything like that yet,
on your tour?
John: It's definitely been that you don't know what day or time
it is and you don't know where you are, I think touring really
can do that to you because you have to get up and go to different
places and there's no time-frame you can anything into. It is
relentless (Alwen: It really is)... It's lots of fun and this
is our first tour so we're really excited.
Martha: Yeah It's always good, and The Simpsons gave us a really
good tip, you can write the name on the back of your guitar
and then you can check! (Sarah: Hello!!! <looks down>
SPRINGFIELD!!) and then you know you're in the right place.
CJC: When I saw the picture I mentioned, I hoped it
was true. I thought it perfectly encapsulated what it's like.
Sarah: It’s like a vacation, but we've only been doing it for
4 days and already we're like “wow!”
CJC: and, now you have extensive expereience of Leeds,
how're you finding it?
Alwen: We've literally spent... an hour here. We spent 45 minute
setting up and playing and 15 minutes of that was getting a
CJC: I saw you!!
Alwen: It was really really nice that people came out, especially
in the snow.
CJC: well, there are some people I know and their house
renting decisions are made on “how close are we to here”
The PA is still playing while I am talking to the band,
and so far two Pixies songs have played. I don't normally like
pointing out that a band's influences are identifiable, but
here it seems OK, I tell them that I hear an awful lot of Pixies
John: why would we be mad about that? (Loud agreement)
CJC: Good, that's what I thought,
John: We all really like that sort of stuff, so of
course that will really come through.
CJC: This is your first record, I reviewed it and
I really like it. I have to tell you though, it went online
as an album by Dead Wolf Cub, I'm really sorry. I really am.
Martha: this happens with our record label too and quite a
few people have been getting it wrong...But Dead Wolf Club's
new album is coming out on Scene Not Herd.
CJC: Have you changed how you play based on where you
are playing? Has it been something you thought you'd have to
Alwen: but every town you go to you get a different
crowd and the mentality is different and that's why we've gone
touring. London is, like, a million venues but the crowds aren't
Last night we played Inverness and the crowd were just really
into it. Some people just really embraced it... we were really
going for it but they were just... They were way too wasted
to know what we were playing (grins)...but they respected us
for going for it. If we hadn't gone as hard, we would have fucking
got boo'd out. It's amazing the different crowds.
Sarah: and we're only on the...wait is it Wednesday already?
We're going to need something to put on our door.
Alwen: As John pointed out before, we played to some punk OAPs,
so punk, the most punk guys you've ever met, but really old.
Sarah: and one of them just wanted us to play (excellent Scottish
accent) Sex of Fiurrr!
Alwen: We'd be playing guitars at these old people and they'd
say “Play Sex on Fire!”
CJC: But that's the pub band staple! Never play THAT!
Even if an OAP asks you!
Martha: We wouldn't know how to play Sex on Fire.
Alwen: It is actually one of the harder, technically hard songs
CJC: I know, it's got tons of dead notes in it, but
it's not that hard to play, is it?
I have to admit that at this point the recording is just a mess
of voices all talking over each other. While laughing. So I've
completely failed as an interviewer and have instead started
to have fun with some people I've just met. The world already
had a Hunter Thompson and he had the skills to make stuff like
this his day job. All I will say is that I was definitely having
a good time.
Alwen: and there's a bend in there, it isn't an ordinary bend.
I think it's powered by gigawatts.
CJC: a bend that can power time travel? I think I'm
going to have to re-evaluate what I think of what Kings of Leon
Sarah: Damn straight.
At this point, Monkey Gone To Heaven gets to “If man
is 5...” and we all wait for it to pass, because it's skill.
CJC: I have a terrible terrible open ended question. What next?
I don't mean the tour.
John: we're going to go and right some more and then try and
get some supports...who were we going to get in contact with?
Alwen: Peter Hook.
Martha: YES! Hooky!
Alwen: Peter Hook, if you've seen this amazing tour, or if
you know him, I've got a feeling he'd like our band. And even
though you're in the army, if you like our band, can we come
on that tour where you play the Joy Division albums? Please
John: We're begging you Pete. Please. Give us a fucking hand?
Alwen: Not even, I don't even like Joy Division.
CJC: well, from what I hear, he's a lovely and friendly,
accommodation man and not at all grumpy or curmudgeonly, so
I imagine you're all set.
Sarah: I think we're in there then. We're in!
John: we're going to, really, focus on new material, release
something in the summer , try and play some festivals and record
a split cd.
Sarah: we just need a lucky contender. Someone fortunate enough!
(That's quite an amount of wryness she got into those sentences)
CJC: I really enjoyed reviewing your album, and seeing
you live. What do you like most, what are the differences you
enjoy of each?
And here, I have to confess that I am fine that the response
is a tumble of the whole band talking enthusiastically at once.
I honestly can't make out much of what they say for 2 minutes.
I think that's great. It's a good enough answer all by itself.
Especially as they're all laughing with each other.
Alwen: In response to your original question, when we play
live it's unpredictable. We rehearse, but you've just got to
go for it, and if you lose the plot and it ends up being aa
three song set, I like that.
With recording you get to think about it.
Sarah: I like the freedom of it. There are some situations where
it's very nailed down and you're asked to play this beat, and
this beat, then this beat in that order. But if I want to change
my groove, I love that these guys will go with it [live] they
want to, it's great.
CJC: I have a criticism. I don't know why are you so
mean to your instruments.
(rest of band laughs at John, the main guitar hurling
John: no, always trash your guitar as much as possible at every
single show. You have to have at least 10 new bashing.
CJC: No! C'mon! Think of the bands that do it! You
have KISS, and Motley Crue!
Alwen: Wait! Think of it like Pagans! We're The Dead
Wolf Club, and at every show there has to be a sacrifice!
CJC: OK! OK!
Alwen: It isn't a club, we're not Bombay Bicycle Club,
we're not named after an Indian Restaurant and we never will
be. We're not being trendy. We are a club and our instruments,
they know! They signed up for this, like the Ribena berries!
These guitars were sat in the shop, waiting for this. Every
time John sees one, it's nearer to reaching Nirvana...I should
CJC: I'd rather you didn't, because this is gold!
Alwen: There's too many analogies. Things have all
kinds of different uses. These tables, they aren't here for
eating off! I'm going to get someone and put them through the
fucking table. Everything has many uses. Guitars have loads
I feel I have to point out that this is someone holding
court, not necessarily advocating violence against anything
other than guitars and Ribena berries.
Sarah: This is a subject close to your heart isn't it?
CJC: it started off terrible, now I think your breaking
Alwen: I apologise, to my bandmates, I got a little
bit passionate there...
Rest of band: various versions of hearty We enjoyed hearing
CJC: I can't wait to transcribe this!And so, as they
pass me a bottle from their rider, I leave Dead Wolf Club to
see friends and then drive off to somewhere else and do it again.
I am not in the slightest bit jealous. That's a lie. I am, however
glad that they get to do it.
I have also been left with a tip to look up WolfMonkey,
who are a three-piece folk band from Lapland who do metal covers.