Marcus “The Protagonist” Andersson, vocals and riff guitar of Wolver, rattles through our Headline Act questions and tells us a heck of a lot about the Swedish band! And probably the best worst gig ever story that we’ve heard to date…
We are a Swedish band from the town of Karlstad.
How did you meet?
Elias “The Brawler” and I met at university where we studied music- and sound engineering for three years. We tried for years to find the perfect guitarist to complement our music and it was not until I got Filip’s (”The Charmer”) number from a friend that everything clicked. I simply picked up the phone, called and asked if he wanted to change the world in a rock band! He said yes… and here we are!
How long have you been playing as a band?
I believe I might have answered this in the previous question, but if you want a date, Elias and I started seriously playing together about a year into university so that would be in 2012. And believe it or not, we actually have an exact date when Filip joined, it was on March 16, 2018!
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The band was at first supposed to be called Final Act, but that got scrapped when I woke up one night and for some reason had the name stuck in my head. I wrote it down on a piece of paper on my nightstand just to wake the next morning, took a look at it and knew that that was it!
What are your influences?
Personally, I would be lying if I did not start with saying Muse. However, as a band I believe our greatest influences to be Queens of the Stone Age, White Stripes, Queen, Royal Blood and possibly De Staat.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We have plenty of elements that I believe make an original sound. Firstly, by having a unique line-up where I am playing both a guitar and bass amp at the same time while writing songs that will have to work on this particular set up. Secondly, our pedantically polished harmonies that are heavily featured throughout our songs. Thirdly, we always try to come up with new alluring hooks and details that we hope will intrigue the listener, keeping them on the edge of their seats. I could go on and on, but lastly I have to mention our ability to combine all these elements into songs that actually are enjoyable to listen to with a lot of diversity between tracks.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
When writing lyrics, I more often than not just spew things out until I find a hook or a theme that I feel suits the song. I actually started writing lyrics long before writing songs and I still get a rush every time I stumble across a hook or a phrase with flow and meaning that I did not know I had in me. They often embrace my personal political views or my views of society in full, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes outspoken. However, occasionally a love song is woven without intention and if the song is good enough it will make the cut for our repertoire. We celebrate diversity!
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
The most of our time has actually been spent to create a well-developed theme while recording and mixing every track to be the absolute best they can be. We played some festivals, live radio appearances and even went down in Europe for some gigs as well. But when Covid-19 eventually is defeated we will play as much as humanly possible, and trust me when I say that we will bring an experience that you do not want to miss! We’re working on a show that quite literally will bring you to another world.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
It was maybe not so much the live show, but everything surrounding a gig we did at an afterski way up north in Sweden. It was a 9 hour drive to get there and when we arrived late at night our rooms were still not ready, and we had to sleep in the staff’s corridor without as much as a cover. On the floor of the bathroom someone had shaved their head leaving a huge pile of hair. The next day they had not arranged with a sound technician and not just that, their whole PA system was not plugged in. We had to spend three hours sorting it out along with functioning cables which laid in an intertwined mess beneath the mixing board. And suddenly the bartender insisted that he had to use our rental bus to drive an hour to pick up a belly dancer in a nearby town.
Our guitarist was not too keen about lending it out so he reluctantly agreed to drive him, on the way back the belly dancer wanted to stop for a nude photoshoot in minus twenty degrees celsius and the bartender admitted that he actually did not even have a driver’s license. But after all the stress and trouble we’d gone through it was finally time to get on stage!
Unfortunately… they had miscalculated the crowd size from promising 400 people to now being 1 guy sitting at the blackjack table. Luckily I had an acoustic guitar close at hand, so I started playing some covers to get people to take notice of the live music and voila! Thirty minutes later we actually had a decent crowd in the narrow pub that they promised would fill 400 people (it was probably more like 50, and then it was packed)…
But lo’ and behold, something yet again had to come up on this god forsaken weekend.
The manager called the pub and said that the acoustic set was too loud and that they could not possibly have a live band playing. So after all this trouble… NO SHOW! The next day we had to spend an hour packing everything up and yet another nine driving back home. It was probably the single wildest emotional ride that any live show has brought us so far.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I touched on this a little on an earlier question, but elaborating on it our line-up consists of two guitars, drums and three vocals. My guitar is processed through various pedals and eventually enters both a bass amp and a guitar amp. I then merge the two output signals on both EQs, making a sound that is supposed to stretch through the whole frequency spectre. This along with the drums make up the backbone of every song, Filip’s guitar then comes in and lays some smooth sparkling touches with different types of pedals to add his special sauce to the tracks. We lastly glue it all together with lead vocals and embellishing harmonies.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We are always promoting critical thinking and source criticism. There is way too much talk about “fake news” and people only pointing to articles and specific incidents that strengthens their arguments, all while disregarding statistics and proven facts by unbiased sources. The divide in politics and racial issues has gotten so much worse the last couple of years and we strive to be part of the rope and glue to pull and keep the crack together in the future.
What are your plans for the next few months?
Our plans into 2021 are to keep maintaining our online presence while polishing our upcoming live set, and when Covid-19 is finally defeated we will head out and take the world by storm!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
We would love to have our dear friend The Siberian Machinist open for us, a terrific guy with amazing songs that would fit perfectly with our live narrative. In a perfect world we would absolutely open for Muse, I can only imagine sitting backstage after a successful gig, sipping a beer while Matthew Bellamy is blasting out riffs on stage some mere metres away!
From previous Band of the Day Muscular Child: Dave Grohl, Mick Jagger, Prince – Who would you kiss, who would you marry and who would you kill?
If I was to kiss anyone it would most definitely be Prince if he was still alive, then I would marry Dave Grohl who seems to be a wonderful family man! Unfortunately I would have to kill off the legend Mick Jagger, but I bet he’s been through worse so he’ll probably survive anyways.
From another BotD, Vanity: If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
And from Charly&Faust: What’s your underwear colour?
What is “underwear”?