This September, Wolf Alice are set to return to Australia with Visions of a Life, their acclaimed record that Aussie fans first got a taste of with the band’s visit to our shores earlier this year on the Laneway Festival tour. Since that last trip, the British foursome have been going from strength to strength, touring heavily in the US and on home turf back in the UK – from our first meeting in Austin for SXSW in 2014, Wolf Alice has become a beast of a touring unit.
Talking with them though, they’re still the same chill group, relatively unaffected by the pressures and chaos their success has brought them. Guitarist Joff Oddie reflects on the band’s recent shows with Queens of the Stone Age, a pinch-yourself moment he was still reeling from during our latest catch up.
“It was absolutely insane,” he says. “[They’re] such good people and such nice guys, it was crazy to watch, because they are kind of the hard rock band of my lifetime. Somehow, history has taught you that because of that, they deserve to be assholes, but they are absolutely wonderful. Such good people. To watch them every night and do their thing, it was absolutely amazing. Playing your gig before the start and seeing them there, they were there every night. It’s like, ‘What the fuck is going on?!'”
Maintaining the group’s core dynamic through the success of Visions of a Life and ensure they’ve remained grounded through it all, Oddie comments on how Wolf Alice has grown as a collective over the last few years.
“It’s always felt great to perform with each other to be quite honest,” he admits. “I think there’s definitely a new confidence because through these six years we’ve been playing together we know what we do. We can kind of second guess each other and we’ve gotten to a place where we’re pretty comfortable.”
“Everyone writes all the time, the reason you are a band is that people like writing music and that goes on all the time.” he adds. “There are no formal plans if you will, there’s no, ‘Oh you’ll go into the studio with this guy and you’ll do this and this, and this thing will come out then’. Those aren’t conversations we’ve had; we’ve just been enjoying writing music.”
“We love coming down to Australia, we really love it,” he says, looking ahead to the band’s return, months down the line. Wolf Alice have maintained a strong connection with Australian crowds since their debut out this way on the Falls Festival tour back in 2014/2015.
“We haven’t played headline shows [there] for years. Every time we come down its for festivals, so it’s been a long time. We’re hoping that there’s going to be some people at the shows, people that came from Splendour or people that came down from Laneway; ready to have a bit of a party with us.”
“The level of privilege is absolutely ridiculous.” he laughs. For the better half of a decade, he’s been able to travel for work and reconnect with thousands of people through music – it’s a pretty sweet gig.
“You get to go around and play your guitar every day. Someone pays you to do it; it’s the kind of job that your parents tell you isn’t a real job when you’re a kid, there’s no chance of that happening. Anytime you have a good gig you go, ‘That was amazing but how did this happen and how am I here?’, it’s such a privilege.”
WOLF ALICE TOUR DATES
Photo: Laura Allard Fleischl.