Artist Spotlight: Wolf Culture talks new EP and creative growth in quarantine
UK- based band Wolf Culture is ready to blast out of speakers everywhere with their latest EP. Dying in the Living Room was released on July 31 and the band is already hoping to be back on the road with these new songs as soon as it’s safely possible to do so. Atlas spoke with the band via email about the EP, collaborating with Kellin Quinn and pushing their creativity to new levels in quarantine.
First, a bit of backstory. How did you all get started in music and go about finding your sound as Wolf Culture?
Wolf Culture really is an amalgamation of all of our music tastes put together. We each listen to really different stuff but grew up connecting with the alternative music scene and that was the foundation for what we’ve gone on to create over the years so far.
Who do you count among your main influences and inspirations?
Max: It’s really hard for me to separate bands that I enjoy listening to and bands that have actually had an impact on the way I write songs and make music. The earliest music I remember liking was Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” so there’s that. I really just enjoy melody and genre has nothing to do with it. My teenage years were definitely filled with the bands you’d see plastered over Tumblr (circa 2013) like The Neighbourhood, Radiohead, Catfish & the Bottlemen and The 1975 – those bands made me want to form one and we did.
Jay: Although I grew up listening to bands like Fall Out Boy and Mayday Parade, our family are pretty musical and we’ve always had some other influences thrown in for good measure (Irish folk/country, swing, ska and obviously some rock-‘n’-roll).
What’s the story behind this new EP? How did it all come together?
The name Dying in the Living Room, while taken from our song “spite”, is meant to capture the feeling of being in the prime of your life but dealing with all the shit the world has to throw at you. Everyone is afflicted with something and I just wanted to touch on the certain situations that I was battling with at that time in my life. I always see writing our songs as a therapy for me – like a diary. The same with the first EP, it’s so strange to look back at those lyrics and be instantly back to that time in my life again.
What was it like working with Kellin Quinn and Alex Adam? Who else do you hope to collaborate with on future songs?
A dream. They’re both incredibly talented and a pleasure to work with. I went to stay at Alex’s and we just bashed through the songs super easy and that’s when you know you’re on to something good (hopefully). It’s gotta be natural.
How do you think your music has evolved from your first EP to what you’re creating now?
We’ve matured a hell of a lot. We’ve never tried to fit any mould at all, however we almost had these unspoken parameters to work within musically with the first EP just because we were writing what we thought people would wanna hear in our local scene. There were no such restrictions this time around.
What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
I hope it makes them feel good and even if it’s a sad song, our music is really just there for escapism.
The world has changed quite a bit over the last few months- especially in regards to live music. How are you staying creative and productive in quarantine?
Thank god for technology. We’re always writing so we’ve just had to change the process slightly. Sending files and ideas online instead of hashing things out in the practice room which can be challenging at times but you’ve got to make do. As long as everyone is safe and healthy it’s worth it.
As a band, recent events have actually really pushed our creativity to new levels, not just in music but also in problem solving. It’s been a great chance to refine our writing process. We’ve also had time to think about where we would like things to go next and we’re looking forward to taking the next step.
Now that the EP is out, what else do you have planned or hope to have planned for the rest of 2020?
The world is in such an unpredictable state right now so it’s really hard to plan ahead. We have a short tour with the boys in Palmist planned for the start of November, we would love to get back to playing shows as soon as possible especially so we can play DITLR for everyone, but the health and safety of everyone is what’s important, we’ll see what happens. Got to keep positive.
It’s a totally different world to the one we released our last EP in. Although we still have a postponed tour planned for later this year, we’re also looking forward to trying new things and doing a bit more online. It’s meant that we can interact with people that support us from all over the world and that’s crazy in itself.
You’ve toured with and played alongside some pretty incredible acts. What’s been your favorite tour/show experience to date and who would you love to tour with in the future (when it’s safe to do so of course)?
I think we’re still in awe of some of the artists we’ve been able to share a stage with. Every tour and show brings something new to the table, but it’s actually the incredible people we meet that stand out the most.
We’ve caught Holding Absence live a few times over the past two years and they bring it every time. If they’d have us, we’d love to tour with them *wink*. I think the UK is churning out some amazing bands at the moment and that’s exciting to see.
Every person and every band has a different relationship with music than everyone else. What does music mean to you and your lives? What about it drives your desire to create?
Day by day it changes, but I think that’s what’s beautiful about it. A song can get you excited, take you back to a time and place, touch you down to earth when your head’s in the clouds, the list goes on. I get all of those same feelings when I’m writing music, that’s what drives me.
I think we all have a very different answer to this question. Max sees the story or narrative in every song, it’s about capturing an emotion. Jay generally has a visual relationship with music, picturing it in the context of a film. Reece has a logical and structured approach, coming from a more production-based background. Jake just counts how many backflips he can do during one song. He’s a simple man.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you or is there anything you wish you could talk about more that you may not get asked?
This applies to all artists, but times are strange. It’s really more important than ever to support the people that make the music you listen to. Whether you buy a piece of merch, download their latest release, follow them on socials or just like a tweet…it’s all going to help keep the musical world spinning. It’s meant a lot to have such a supportive team around us during these times and we look forward to getting out and doing what we love again soon.
Stream Dying in the Living Room, out now!
Story by Olivia Khiel
Image courtesy of Wolf Culture