EXCLUSIVE: WOLVES LIKE US interview

WOLVES LIKE US are one of the most interesting sludge rock / post-hardcore bands ever. We hate labelling, but bearing in mind that we have to put them somewhere,...
Wolves Like Us

WOLVES LIKE US are one of the most interesting sludge rock / post-hardcore bands ever. We hate labelling, but bearing in mind that we have to put them somewhere, it would be wise to state that these ex-members of AMULET, JR EWING, and more bands are perfect for all the PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS, DRIVE LIKE JEHU, HOT WATER MUSIC and AFGHAN WHIGS fans. Powerful and incredible. Ladies and gentlemen, here they are – WOLVES LIKE US.

We spoke to the band after their April 15th show in Warsaw, Poland and then crystallized the questions on May 8th. Press play in the video below, scroll down and take a read.

Hey, guys! It’s a pleasure to welcome one of our favourite bands out there. How are you?

Thanks, we´re feeling good. Warsaw has been great, we really loved coming out to countries we haven’t visited before like Poland, Estonia and Latvia. It´s been going beyond all expectations really. Loved every minute of it.

You’ve just finished your epic tour with JUNIUS. How was it? Any crazy stories from the road?

It was fucking amazing. We love those guys. We have had good crowds all over, and such an amazing time with those dudes. All of them are cool, relaxed guys with a weird and funny sense of humor and we share lots of the same musical tastes. Touring with those guys was easy! I miss them already, you know. We had a good time, but mostly we are all in our thirties – so nothing really crazy happened – just the usual waking up in the stairs drunk with kebab on your face, you know. Some of the guys did climb a construction crane while drunk as fuck in Wiesbaden, though I only heard about it as I was sleeping. But I saw pictures from up there, they were about 30 meters up in the air. Crazy boys. Hope we will see them again soon.

You’ve been touring with many different bands and I guess JUNIUS was one of the most original bands that shared stages with WOLVES LIKE US. How did you like this pairing?

It worked out great, they drew the girls and we drew the boys! Kidding, but in a sense that is the truth also. We are quite different bands, sound and image wise, but despite some initial hesitations on whether who would play first etc. we found a natural pairing with JUNIUS that worked amazingly well. It was sort of a yin/yang thing.

Ok, let’s go back a bit. I remember listening to JR EWING while serving at a bar in Al, Norway. I was working in a hotel there and did my best to torment guests with my music instead of playing Celine Dion track [laughs]. So how are your other buddies from previous projects like AMULET, SILVER, or JR EWING? Are you in touch with them? In what directions did you all continue to work?

Sure, we all know each other still. Some of the guys are still in bands too. Erlend, who wrote a lot in JR, is in a band called MONTEE. Andreas, the JR singer, is in a few metal bands – one called ALTAAR and one called ONE TAIL ONE HEAD. They´re all awesome bands. The SILVER guys are spread a little around, Tommy is in TURBONEGRO, Peter in a band called OSLO ESS. Ivar is in a band called HAPPY DAGGER. Torgny from AMULET has a solo career too. The guys are busy, which is good.

I kind of hate same old comparisons to PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS, HOT WATER MUSIC, etc. Do you hear these influences in your music while being in the band? Do you feel you’ve created something special and original already?

Sure, we love those two bands. Without them there would be no WOLVES LIKE US. I even have a PLANES tattoo, for gods sake. We don´t get the comparison that often though, and when we do I always take it as a compliment that someone would put us in the same category as those guys. I had the pleasure of watching HOT WATER MUSIC from the sidestage at Groezrock, and the level of intensity those guys bring is amazing. If we can do 25 % of that I would die a happy man. I do feel we have our own sound, though. We´re the sum of 4 guys that have listened to very different music, and our sound cannot be compared to any other band I think. That’s just how we sound, you know. A sum of all our record collections, genes, backgrounds and friendships make us what we are, you know.

How did you end up signed with Prosthetic Records? Tell us more about the label. Do they treat you well?

They saw us play in Oslo, they were going to see one of their bands play called MANTRIC, but Duncan from Prosthetic ended up seeing us too by chance and loved it. It was only our 5th show or something. He signed us a couple of weeks later. The Prosthetic guys are great, Duncan in particular. They treat us like magic, and without Duncan there would be no WOLVES LIKE US to speak of. We love that guy.

Are you happy with the album after some time after the release? Did your attitude toward “Late Love” change?

I haven´t listened to it for a while, but I still enjoy playing most of the songs live. I´m still happy with most of the record, but like most artists and musicians I am constantly looking forward, so I don’t pay as much attention to what has been. There is still room for improvement, you know. I want the next record to be more focused and intense. More like what I am listening to at the moment, like RUSSIAN CIRCLES and ISIS.

The vinyl is beautiful. What’s the meaning behind your artwork?

Well I didn’t make the artwork, Justin Bartlett did. He drew inspiration from the lyrics, and I love the result, although is kind of metal in comparison to our music. I still think the cover is amazing. And with the re-press on white and clear vinyl, I like it even better.

Cool, I thought more “your” as a band [laughs].

I was talking about it over and over the last time we spoke after your April 14th show in Warsaw, Poland, so I’ll be boring now, but… personally, your Fluff Fest appearance (2011) was one of the greatest shows last year. I’ve been stage diving and surfing like crazy, man. It was a part of your heavy album promotion alongside the reunited SWING KIDS. How do you remember that festival and the whole run?

That festival was crazy! We didn’t expect that at all! I just remember the whole tent going nuts, and that was our real first “crazy” show where people were stagediving and having all kinds of fun. We fucking loved it, and I remember running out back of the tent after the show to puke, and people back there were cheering as I croaked. That was pretty intense. SWING KIDS were cool guys, we met Justin again when we toured with KVELERTAK and he was doing Retox in England before xmas. Such a nice guy. I miss them. We had some crazy parties with those guys.

What are your touring plans for the rest of this year? Michael Jackson hologram reunion tour maybe?

We don’t have any plans at all. We are doing 5 festivals in the summer, that’s it. We have done 4 tours on this record, and I have a family, so another tour is only an option if we get something really special. If Michael calls, maybe! [laughs] No, but seriously, we have decided to take it easy in the foreseeable future, we will try to write another record before xmas. That’s the only plan so far, but you never know. If we can get an US tour, we might do that.

So, how is writing the new record going? When and what can we expect? Any secret new to reveal on Idioteq?

Well, we played a new song in Warsaw! We have maybe 3 new songs, but nothing is really done. We´ve been on the road so much, that I haven’t had time to write anything! I hope we can get in the studio in the spring of 2013.

Ok, so let’s go outside the music a bit. Where have you been traveling with the band so far? What cities and countries did you like the most?

Wow, we have been pretty much all over Europe with this band at this point. I always love playing Germany, simply because everything there is really well organized for touring bands. Cologne has always been good for us, so has Hamburg. As I said earlier I really enjoyed going to Latvia and Poland, Riga especially was a beautiful city. And I always have a good time in Berlin, London, Vienna and Prague too. There are simply a lot of awesome places!

Are there jobs that you have separate from your music, just to pay the bills?

We all have normal jobs, we have never made a dime on this band, I´m afraid.

True that.

I love Norway and the whole Scandinavia. I’m working on my fiancé to convince her it’s not cold there and it’s a perfect place to spend the honey moon [laughs]. Help me out and tell me it’s not that bad.

It´s not that bad! The thing people keep bringing up is that it’s expensive as hell. And I’m not going to lie, it is fucking expensive here. My German friends don’t believe me when I told them a beer is 9 Euro in the bar I work at. But nature is beautiful, things are a little weird around here still, which I like. Oslo is my home town, and I could probably talk about it for hours. I grew up here, so its hard to distance yourself from the place. Id rather have you guys call me when you get here, and ill show you all the cool spots.

Have you been traveling around your country a lot, the far north, Preikestolen, Rondane, Trondheim, Lofoten, etc.?

Yes, I´ve been pretty much all over Norway. The west coast and the north especially has some crazy nature you would not want to miss. Lofoten is amazing. You have to fly there though, it is 2000 kilometers from Oslo. Norway is a fucking long country. Trondheim is a cool town, small but cool. Bergen on the west coast is bigger, and the scenery is really nice. If you drive there from Oslo over the mountains you´ll see some pretty amazing views. Both Bergen and Trondheim is about 8 hours away from Oslo by car. If you really are planning to come here, I would drive to Bergen from Oslo, then go up the coast to Trondheim where you would see some nice stuff on the way. Then maybe fly up to Lofoten, because it will take you two or three days to drive there.

Yeah, man. I’ve already traveled it all by car! [smiles] Amazing stuff.

Ok, thanks so much. It was really cool to have you here. Add anything you want… as long as it is not inappropriate.

Sure! Thanks a lot for paying attention to our band, thanks a lot dude. I always say: don’t do what the grown ups tell you. Its more fun along the path less taken. You get what you give, so give a lot.

WOLVES LIKE US live at Hydrozagadka, Warsaw, Poland, April 15th:

Go here to see the full gallery.
Photos by Janek Fronczak Photography – ShadesOfGrey.pl.

Photos by Eline Røverdatter and Mads Maurstad.ISIS

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Currently supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels. Contact via www.idioteq.com@gmail.com
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