- 30 Aug 16
Indie rockers of the moment Wolf Alice look forward to Electric Picnic, contemplate their overnight rise and tell Ed Power about the thrills and challenges of meeting your heroes.
Wolf Alice are one of those rare bands that seem to stand for something bigger than themselves. They write proper indie anthems – scuzzy, snotty blasts of attitude that dance with the ghosts of alt.pop past without feeling slavishly in their debt. Singer Ellie Rowsell is their secret weapon. She’s a drop-dead, fringe-in-her-face enigma in the vein of Kim Gordon, Kathleen Hanna or Shirley Manson – a pin-up for sensitive boys down the back and a role model for the empowered girls up the front. In an age when music is plastic and disposable, mere fodder for your playlist, Wolf Alice give you something to believe in.
“We can’t ask for anything else in the world,” says bassist Theo Ellis, contemplating 18 months of mind-bending over-achievement that have seen the north Londoners graduate from obscure support slots to prominent billing at Electric Picnic. “It can be be quite overwhelming and you do have to be conscious about keeping your sanity. At the same time, how can we complain? Every week we get to go to a different festival in a different city. It’s amazing.”
But success has a downside in that, as we speak, Wolf Alice are figuring out how to do it all over again. Debut album My Love Is Cool came out a year ago and now Rowsell and co are getting to grips with a follow-up. It’s true, says Ellis. Your second LP really is the one that challenges you – tests the limits of what you considered possible. They’re deep in the trenches now, figuring out what comes next.