Interview With Wolf Gang’s Max McElligott
Bastille has capitalized on the smashing success of their recent release, Bad Blood to headline a Sold Out tour of the United States. Their support for the tour? A band familiar to both Bastille and RARA’s Farm, an act on the cusp of breaking through, London’s Wolf Gang. We caught up with uber-talented Wolf Gang frontman Max McElligott to chat about the tour, their new album and a few other interesting things.
Cretin: Max, when we first saw you a few years back at the Social, I loved the show, and your charisma.
Max: Thank you.
Cretin: At that time, it seemed as though the rest of the band was just starting to come into a groove as a band, and it was almost more of your project. Since then, has it been the same group of guys in the band?
Max: Yeah, even before that point where you had seen us, we were playing together as a band for two or three years. It’s always been the same guys. When you saw us, I was still signed as a solo project, but I was playing with the same group of guys, James, Gavin and Lasse, and we had formed into a band.
Cretin: On the Suego Faults album, you played all the instruments?
Max: I did, I hopped about from the drum kit to the piano, etc. This time out, everyone was putting in their own effort. It’s cool. On this last record, (Black River) everyone got a vote.
Cretin: Which is good because you get more creative spark.
Max: Yeah it’s just nice to hear the different personalities, which you hear on the record. We sound much more like a band.
Cretin: Are you still doing the primary writing?
Max: It’s shared. James (Wood the bassist) also contributed quite heavily, so it’s a mixture.
Cretin: The new EP is out. Will we hear these songs on the forthcoming full-length album?
Max: The album is all done, and those three are on the album. So that’s a taste of what can be expected, but there’s still another seven or eight songs that will be on (Black River).
Cretin: On Suego Faults all of the songs came together nicely, almost like it was a concept album. Was that the plan?
Max: Yeah, there was a theme that ran through it. A dreamy, ethereal type experience, a romantic one, I feel. And, this next album also has a theme to it, but it’s more grounded in reality and our own experiences. It’s almost as though you’ve woken up from that dreamy ethereal Suego Faults experience. This is much more like the real world, but still with notions of romanticism but just a little more realistic about the lives we are living and friends of ours are living and that you reach in the late twenties; people questioning the paths in their lives, so it’s a little more autobiographical in a real way I suppose.
Cretin: A lot of the great albums over time were written by band members of that age. It’s a fertile time for writing.
Cretin: So how has the sound changed in the last two years, any noticeable changes? Will we still hear that same Wolf Gang?
Max: Well, you’ll hear tonight, I guess. I think it feels obviously a little more bandy and maybe a little more raw, and there will still be synthetic elements and sort of atmospherics, but maybe that’s been reined in a little bit. I think vocally I’ve pushed myself a bit more and I might sound a bit more truthful to my voice. I absolutely loved the last album and this is just slightly different, but I love it equally.
Cretin: So how did you end up touring with Bastille?
Max: So, funny enough, maybe seven or eight years ago, I used to go down to Brighton, a town about an hour South of London, and I’d play these acoustic nights and Dan from Bastille was kind of doing the same thing. So we actually played together in small pubs long before Bastille existed and long before Wolf Gang existed. It’s actually very nice and quite surreal to be out here and seeing Bastille absolutely smashing and to be playing these big stages with them and to think we were just two young boys trying to pursue some kind of career in music. So it was really nice to support them. They’re a great band and they’re all lovely guys.
Cretin: Perseverance has paid off for both bands. It’s nice to see that success for both of you. You realize you’ve sold out tonight?
Max: Bastille sold out tonight.
Cretin: We’ve been giving Wolf Gang great props because you guys are so great live. I think everyone coming out is going to enjoy you guys, as well.
Max: It’s been going damn well. It’s a good support, because it seems that the guys coming out to see Bastille have seemed to be appreciative of our music. On Twitter the feedback has been real positive.
Cretin: Your Twitter has exploded in the past few months.
Max: It’s nice when you actually have something to be promoting and talking about and you’re actually doing something. The whole last year was sort of a hibernating period of just writing and recording. But now that we’re out on the road again and meeting people and shaking hands and taking photos and playing for them and hearing what they think of the new songs. It’s nice to have that activity going on again.
Cretin: Will we see you back in the States this year?
Max: We’ll be back I think in the summer. Maybe hit the West Coast. We try to spend as much time in America as we can.
Cretin: When are we going to see the new album released.
Max: Realistically the album will probably be coming out late summer, maybe September time. I think because we’ve been outside the game writing and recording, we wanted to build that up again and get people excited about us.
Cretin: Anything we’ll hear tonight from the new album?
Max: Yeah, plenty of new material
Cretin: Excellent, looking forward to it.
Max: Great to see you again.
And from there, they hit the stage, and killed it… again. Watch for this talented, quickly rising band in your city, and in the meantime, check out our show review from a few weeks ago: Wolf Gang Orlando Concert Review.
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