Manchester’s progressive rock youngsters Wolf Company have just released their debut video single titled “Your Stain”. The future for the band seems bright, and about this and other topics we talked with Wolf Company.
Hey Matt, thanks for doing this interview. You have just released your debut single for “Your Stain”. Tell me how did the creative process go?
Overall the process was pretty smooth, we spent around 2/3 months I would say from the first sight of a song to the time we had everything nailed. It was sculpted around a couple of bass riffs that were introduced in one of our writing sessions, and after we put some groove to those, we matched them with a chorus that Hogg (guitar) had already written. He and Mike (vocals) then worked on vocal melodies to go with the basis song we already had, and from then it was a case of adding the finer parts on top. Sometimes it’s the finer details that make the biggest difference, so this is usually a fairly crucial part of the process that we spend a decent amount of time on. I will normally spend time listening to the melody of the song in my head after the rehearsal has ended, and particularly pay attention to any aspects of the melody I can decorate and bring out illustratively with my playing. Hogg is an awesome song writer, and because he prides himself as being a song writer as opposed to a guitarist, he will often refrain from doing anything flashy which leaves room for me to do the odd thing here and there. I think that works really well.
Are there any events in particular that inspired the “Your Stain” story?
There aren’t any specific incidents that triggered the story but I think as it isn’t directly influenced it can be left open to the listener to gather any sort of interpretation they may have. The songwriting is in the style of Paul McCartney, in the sense of we have created the story ourselves and structured the idea we created in the song we’ve written. However, the concept of the story is something that can be moulded in to whatever scale you choose, be it insignificance in a worldwide scenario or merely between a friendship, for a example.
In a recent interview with Manchester Rocks, you are “shamelessly” mentioning influences from 50Cent and Snoop Dogg. Tell me which bands and artists influence your work with Wolf Company?
Haha yes! Well with Wolf Company, as a band we draw influence from everywhere. We’re all fans of a wide range of stuff, so the music we make somewhat meets in the middle of what we all love. I personally am a prog man, but don’t like to draw lines at where my playing influences can come from, because that could restrict where the band can go musically. I admire people like Mike Mangini and Matt Garstka of course, but I adore Jeff Porcaro’s playing and also love Joe Morello. I often find my drumming influences and musical admirations are different, so I can love bands and artists who’s drummers don’t necessarily inspire me as much – 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg being the prime example! As a band, we draw collective inspiration from bands like Karnivool, Mastodon, Protest The Hero and Twelve Foot Ninja. The genre choice is just a point of reference, musically we’re always looking to push boundaries.
Where do you stand when it comes to the full-length debut?
A full length LP is on the horizon – we have more than enough material to go in to a studio and record, however we don’t want to rush things. We’d like to come away with a product that shows what we’re about from every angle. The songs we already have recorded capture a few of these angles, but a full length gives us the chance to really show people that our music can go in any direction, which should be interesting. In terms of the near future though, we’re planning to release a couple more singles (one of which should hopefully be out in the next few months) before releasing anything bigger.
You will be playing on August 21st in Manchester. What can people expect from a Wolf Company’s performance?
Indeed. You can expect heaviness, soft stuff, genre shifts, lots of groove, lots of time signatures, and lots of happy faces (Hopefully!).
Do you have plans to tour Europe in the near future?
We’d love to go over and tour Europe. With the releases that we’re planning, we’re going to be playing live a lot in 2016, so who knows?
Everybody knows that it’s the British progressive scene that is crucial for development of the genre. How do you see it today?
I think there are hundreds of thousands of new bands doing more or less exactly the same thing in the music scene of today. This is why the progressive scene is so important, we need to push boundaries by not being narrow minded about where prog can go, work together to create waves by pushing each other’s music, gigging and touring together and helping each other gain new fans. There are loads of ace prog bands from the UK – Sikth, TesseracT for example. However there is a limited amount out there making real impact. It’s a case of pushing newer bands through to the higher tier of the scene.
Where do you see Wolf Company on the British prog scene in the future?
The music industry is notoriously fickle and we are just starting out, so while we are aware there is no guarantee that we’ll make it we have a product we all completely believe in. Music has been pretty much central to human development throughout history and Wolf Company is standing on the shoulders of Prog Rock giants, so to grow a loyal fan base who listens to our music and even gains inspiration from us would give us satisfaction.
I know that you are also involved with Kill and Cure. What are you up to these days? Do you find it challenging to play in two stylistically different bands?
What I do with Kill or Cure is quite different to the Wolf Company stuff. We’ve just finished this year’s gig cycle and we’re currently writing album number three, with the second set for release in early 2016. That stuff is a lot more metal focussed, and normally more physically fatiguing as the riffs tend to be a lot thrashier and demanding speed wise. Wolf Company on the other hand usually shifts more musically – between genres (from heavy rock to swing, for example) and time signatures etc, so mentally I have to be really switched on. I’m kept on my toes by both, it’s great!
Is there anything you want to share with our readers?
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