Arts, Lifestyle & Events Hong Kong

Interview: Wolf Alice on their Mercury Music Prize-winning album and their return to Hong Kong

With Clockenflap festival in full swing, HKFP sat down with London-born, alt-rock band Wolf Alice to discuss life on tour ahead of their return to Hong Kong. Guitarist, Joff Oddie, shares his thoughts on the year after the band won The Mercury Prize for their 2017 album Visions of a Life.

Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice. Photo: Clockenflap.

Belated congratulations! Have you decided how you will spend your winnings?

We’re yet to spend the prize money. We’re thinking very carefully. It would be nice to reinvest back into another creative project or perhaps the next record.

Have you heard the speculation that the Mercury Prize is cursed? Has anything strange happened since winning?

Haha! I sincerely hope not, but I am aware of those rumours. We saw a good spike in streaming and album sales which was great. The guy checking us in at the airport the day after said that he saw us on the 10 o’clock news the night before which was nice. It feels so great to be a part of such a strong list of past winners and what happens next is firmly up to us and I’m very confident in us, so I’m not too worried about the curse…

As a band, Wolf Alice dances between indie rock, folk and pop music genres so seamlessly. How do you balance out preferences in style or taste?

We all listen to a broad range of music and get bored very easily. That mix has always worked well for us in moving around genres and different moods etc. We tend to let the song dictate where it goes musically and what would bring the most out of the songwriting, and best facilitate the telling of that individual story.

How have you grown between the release of Visions of a Life and My Love Is Cool?

We played a lot of gigs, listened to a lot of music, hopefully grew up a little. Thought we would understand more about life, but in reality became older and more confused. Visions of a Life painted a picture of where we were at that point in our lives. Technically, I think it’s a step up.

What was it like touring with veteran punk band, the Foo Fighters? 

We’ve toured with some great musicians over the last couple of years. Foo Fighters are definitely one of them. We did a little run in the states with Queens of the Stone Age and that was a lot of fun. Those guys are real pros and take being in a band very seriously. Watching them every night was a truly humbling experience to share a stage with them.

Are there other artists who have inspired you lately?

We played a show last week for Q Magazine in Camden with a band called Idles and they were fantastic! The singer really has something to say and I think it’s important that we all hear it. I think they’re an important band at the moment.

Do you have any secrets to keeping the energy up whilst on tour?

The expectation of a gig does that itself. No matter how tired you are or how homesick you may feel when you’re about to walk out on stage you never fail to get that tingle of excitement that tells you something special is going to happen. Gigs are magic!

Are you excited to be in the line-up for an eclectic festival like Clockenflap?

It feels great! We love playing gigs and we love going to gigs, so festivals are all around pretty [fun] events. Hopefully, we’ll be able to hang around and spend some time watching bands. We came to Hong Kong a couple of years ago and had a great time so we’re really looking forward to it.

Which artists are you keen to see if you get the chance?

I’d love to see Jarvis Cocker. Big fan! He’s got a great song called C*nts are Still Running the World. I would very much like to hear him sing that live.

Interview: Wolf Alice on their Mercury Music Prize-winning album and their return to Hong Kong