At this rate, 2015 will be remembered as the year of Wolf Alice. It's a feat that will be achieved from hard work, exhilarating performances, and truthfully not caring if anyone gave a fuck. To have a band surpass the hype bestowed upon them is truly a special thing, and Wolf Alice have proven with their debut album, My Love Is Cool, that they're a force to be reckoned with.

While touring in the states we sent Ken Grand-Pierre to sit with frontwoman Ellie Rowsell about how life in Wolf Alice has been and what went into making My Love Is Cool (out now via Dirty Hit/RCA US).

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What made me gravitate towards your band, apart from the music was the attitude in which it was presented. Over the last couple of months people have asked me to describe Wolf Alice and I've said that 'they're a band that doesn't give any fucks yet they give all the fucks at the same time.' Do you feel that being in a band was what you were meant to do?

I think I have been interested in music, both playing, writing and listening for a long time and I was meant to do something involved with it but I wasn't always sure being in a band was the right route, although it was a dream of mine. Now that I'm doing it I can't imagine anything else! And yes I think you're right to an extent but I think we give all the fucks but don't give a fuck to let people know that, that's probably a better way to put that.





How has playing music live differed from the expectations you used to have about playing music? I'm sure you used to see live shows and have an idea of what it'd be like on stage. Is the reality of that different from the myth?

It was only recently I was like to myself 'oh my god how am I still so nervous?!' I think it was before we played Shepherd's Bush and I was having a mild panic attack and was just thinking 'when does this get easier?!?' And maybe it never does, or maybe I have stage fright, or maybe I've just eaten something funny? I don't know. I thought after five years of playing in front of people I'd be over it but it hits you when you least expect sometimes and I guess if you're doing well than you're constantly playing bigger shows, or under pressure etc. So there's always an element of nerves, which there should be as it keeps it exciting. It can be a bit of a balancing act.





Watching you guys live is really something else. Everyone seems like they're connected by some sort of invisible rope, yet they're doing their own thing as well. Do you feel comfortable on stage with the band apart from the internal nerves? And is there a sense of support for one another as you play more shows together?

Yeah totally. A few years a go we played a show at the Lexington to about 100 labels and everything broke and we were onstage faffing for about twenty minutes and I wanted the ground to swallow me up but because we were all suffering it together it wasn't so bad, and it was almost funny actually. And ever since then we know how to support each other if one of us is having a mare (which isn't uncommon for us) and it's not really much of a daunting idea anymore.


The US is a shitty beast to undertake and I've told many bands over the years that the only way to do it is by playing shows. Playing on telly here means nothing unless you have a show to follow it up with. I know that New York has taken to you guys strongly, how has the rest of the US treated you?

Really well actually! It's a dream come true to be able to go to America, let alone play there and on top of that play to a healthy crowd, so we are trying to spend as much time as financially and physically possible to tick off the places. Your country is so bloody huge! But it's important for us to pay attention to other parts of America and not just play New York and LA.





I definitely want to say a massive thanks for bringing my mate Matty on stage at Le Poisson Rouge. What a great moment for such a dedicated fan.

Totally, I'd seen her at every New York show we played and a few other places and she's always at the front so it made sense to have a boogie with her.


Something that really struck me is that the album was being made while you were touring and playing these big shows. That might seem like the norm for some but I'm very curious as to how the live shows influenced the sound of the album and how you wanted to make it?

I don't think it did influence the songs individually that much but maybe the track listing. We put on all the songs we had a good live response to and also helped choose what song should come after the other, basically when we were having a million alternative set lists made, so the album and it's tracklisting is really born from just touring and re-arranging the songs. It wasn't a conscious thing but it did end up being important for us.


One of my favourite moments last year actually involved your band. One of my mates is Phil Taggart and he had just done a Maida Vale session with you lot. I was in the room with him the next day and he played a song that you guys did, an untitled one and the energy and power of that song... I mean to go onto such a platform like that and to play a song that's not even a single (initially) is massive and told me everything I needed to know about Wolf Alice.

Yeah I think that's the tune that ended up being 'Giant Peach'? We played it at Radio 1 Rocks and the response was pretty great that we actually did release it as a single in the UK despite it not being in a very traditional single form.

But that's the thing isn't it? Some could say that the way Wolf Alice goes about things isn't traditional ever, and that's what makes the band interesting to many. Do you feel that playing festivals have made you a better live band or do you feel it's been the other way around, where club shows have made you better at playing festivals?

Club shows have helped our festival shows because you can try and take some of the energy and fun from a small intimate performance to a huge open field or whatever.





Lastly, and this might seem selfish but I'm sure you have an answer: is there anyone you'd specifically love to have listened to the record? Whether it be someone famous, a peer, or even a mate from ages ago?

I don't think so to be honest. As long as it's being heard by people, that's what matters.


My Love Is Cool is out now.