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Wolf Alice on closing Ibiza Rocks

The band's drummer, Joel Amey, gives us the lowdown

Wolf Alice are blind under the indie world spotlight these days - all eyes are on them, and rightly so as they continue to prove themselves as one of the freshest, rawest bands around. After the release of their album, My Love Is Cool, it's been impossible not to catch the grunge-inspired foursome - their reach has been far and wide. This week, they'll land on the White Isle to close Ibiza Rocks on Wednesday 14 September. We had a chin-wag with drummer, Joel Amey, ahead of their first time in Ibiza and what's sure to be a debut gig to remember.


So you guys have never been to Ibiza before, and now you're closing the Ibiza Rocks stage! Would you say this is one of your 'we've made it' moments?

This will be our Kevin and Perry Go Large moment for sure. Might try and work out a cover of the Shaman before we get out there.

Will you be sampling the local nightlife while you're here - do Wolf Alice like to rave?

Yes! We'd like to for sure, it's kinda the end of the album cycle for My Love is Cool and it'd be nice to send it off in the glory of naughty Ibiza.

Who would you say your main influences are? Did all of you always want to be in a band?

This is always a tricky answer because we've come from different places musically and it can be a rough ride trying to tie us all to one thing. With us, we just enjoy keeping an open mind to all different styles and sounds. I've played in bands since my teens and have always loved performing so I feel very lucky to be doing so!

I read in an interview you saying “Honestly, if you saw Wolf Alice at the beginning, you'd be flabbergasted. We used to be so shit.” What during your journey helped you improve? Is it a matter of confidence or practice?

We all learnt our instruments as we went along really - with the exception of Joff who's always been able to shred with the best of em' - and I don't have any shame in that. We got sick of being known as kinda 'endearing' because of live shows were bit all over the shop, so we spent hours and hours in rehearsal spaces getting it to where it is now. We take a lot of pride in our live shows and I just want everyone who's there to witness the best show we can give.

Over the course of your career, is there anything you would have done differently?

I think I would have shaved my moustache off a little earlier.

What is it about festivals in the UK that makes them such a rite of passage for teenagers?

It's just so integral in the UK for music fans to go to music festivals that I'd struggle to think of one reason why. But ultimately getting to watch your favourite bands over three days of whatever with your friends can be the best feeling ever, and that's always what keeps me going back.

Speaking of the UK, you've probably heard about the closure of fabric. Do you think the UK is becoming a difficult place to be creative? What has your experience been?

I think it's gutting. I could ramble on about this for ages, but for me to see a city lose so many places of culture or spots where the arts are celebrated in my life time is so upsetting. Wolf Alice is a world away from somewhere like fabric, but to loose such an iconic venue along with about 40% of live venues in recent years is still very sad and has a huge ripple affect on everyone who either works in live music or simply loves it. I fear that soon London will find itself devoid of anything that makes it so special to me. There's just no city in the world that can give you a musical experience like London can; the diversity and the access to all kinds of genres and shows. I love this city and I know myself and many others who wouldn't be where they are now if it wasn't for many of the places that have been shut down of late. I feel sorry for the future generations whose only access to music or live shows will be what they find online or some shit or read about in magazines - like we do with clubs such as the Hacienda. These venues need protection - for the jobs they provide, for the artists of the future and just for the amazing experiences a live venue can give you in your day to day lives. I have huge respect for fabric and I hope they and many of the other venues who are struggling can find a means to carry on bringing the good times to people like they have been so brilliantly for years. Those nights are more important to the people than closing them down and making them into a f****** Starbucks or whatever.

There's talk of a new album, can you tell us a bit about it? How will it differ from your first album?

Too early to say I'm afraid, but we're very excited to be heading back into the studio and start creating new sounds. My Love Is Cool has had an amazing little run but I'm sure everyone will agree we need to be getting back out there with a few new mega riffs.

You recently announced the release of a My Love Is Cool box set, what gave you the idea behind it?

It's kind of a full stop as to everywhere we've been over the last four years, musically. I'm happy that people who maybe missed out on some vinyls the first time round have been able to get copies without getting ripped off on eBay, and I adore the photo book that our friend Jono White has produced for it.

Do you guys have any guilty pleasures?

Nah, no point being guilty about music. I do sometimes like to watch Nothing To Declare re-runs on TV while eating beans on toast in my pants if that counts.

What's your funniest tour story?

Nothing is ever as funny when you have to retell it! We've had some cheeky moments here and there but I'm saving them for my autobiography, which will be entitled Joel Amey: Swallow Tales, out in 2020 to download on your Kindles. Maybe.


WORDS | Ruby Munslow

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