On the 19th of February, I ventured out in my home town of Bolton to the recently opened bar; The Rabbit Saloon. You’re probably wondering why I practically risked my life exploring primitive lands such as these, and the answer would of course be the up and coming sensation that are Wolf Company. A Manchester-based band of 4 young men, they’re beginning to cause quite a stir in the world of music. I caught up with band members Matthew Harrison and Jack Hogg before the gig, to ask about their two singles (“Mr Voodoo Dog Man” and “Your Stain”) and about the general life and future of the band.
What has the reception been like for your newest single?
Matt- Good *laughs*
Jack- Yeah, we got a lot more views and a lot more likes from the general Facebook audience, and everyone that I’ve spoken to about it has given much more positive feedback on it.
Matt- Yeah, cos the first one was sh*t.
Jack- The first one was rubbish *laughs*
So, what does the future hold for Wolf Company?
Matt- We’ll probably headline Glastonbury, and then do a few nights at Wembley (it became clear at this point that Matt is slightly sarcastic). No, but seriously, I think the plan is to write more music and do more gigs.
What do you all do to prepare for a gig? Do you have any rituals or good luck charms?
Matt- I don’t really do anything, I just get stressed.
Jack- Mike, the lead singer, he does quite a lot in terms of getting his voice ready. He does a lot of vocal warm-ups, he uses lots and lots of honey.
Who or what are your biggest musical inspirations?
Jack- We all kind of like take different inspirations from different artists.
Matt- Prog (Progressive Rock for those who don’t know) is the most mutual thing. So Mike likes bands like Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree.
Jack- Well we all like Porcupine Tree, A LOT. Dream Theatre got me into Prog in quite a big way.
Matt- In terms of technical wankery (to use the actual terminology), ability, playing skills and techniques, Dream Theatre is one of the big ones.
Jack- They’ve flourished as artists themselves, they don’t seem to be restricted by barriers where they think “No, we can’t do this.” They just seem to do what they want, and hopefully, we’ll be able to find a balance between the two.
Have you got anything you can tell me about that you’re currently working on?
Jack- Yeah, I’ve been very busy working on some new music for us. There’s a progression you can see from “Your Stain” to “Mr Voodoo Dog Man,” that you can see the level of technicality in it, and the new music is carrying on from this progression. The music I enjoy writing is heavy, but also with melodic vocals, and for me it’s really just about having good music, but also with interesting ideas behind the lyrics.
Matt- We definitely do have those interesting ideas that we’re working on now.
Jack- Yeah, and I’ll also say that although some of the new stuff is heavy, there’s also quite a bit of jazz influences.
Matt- And acoustic influences as well.
Jack- So we’re excited, cos we’ve never really done that together as a band before.
In the band, who is the biggest perfectionist?
Matt- I would say me.
Jack- I would also say me. But Matt’s very much more a perfectionist on everything.
Matt- I tend to do a lot of the admin, social media and stuff like that, but also in terms of musicality, me and Hogg drive for what sounds best. So we like paying really close attention to dynamic awareness.
Jack- I mean we don’t necessarily have to pay that much attention anymore, because of the skill level of all 4 of the band members, everyone knows what they’re doing.
Matt- Yeah, before it’s always been the case where me and Hogg have had really strong ideas about what we want, but previous members haven’t felt the same. Whereas now we’ve kind of gotten to a point where everyone is very like-minded, so we often count ourselves very lucky.
Who gets the most female attention?
Matt- Nick. All the mums love Nick, he is the Mums Man.
Jack- I get the most male attention…
Matt- Yeah, Nick seems to play the game a lot better than any of us do. He’s fit.
Do you have any tips for aspiring musicians like yourselves?
Matt- Pay a lot of attention to your own music. Don’t do loads of covers of things like “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” or “Mr Brightside.”
Jack- I’d say make sure you surround yourself with like-minded people because you need to be with people that are going to like the music you create.
Matt- Also a big thing is when you’re in a band, don’t sell your music off as if it’s worth nothing. Actually make a product that you’re proud of. Also, be wary of getting ripped off, don’t let people rip you off.
Jack- Be proud of everything you do. We want to take this seriously, and do it as a career, because it’s something we enjoy more than anything else. So we’re all incredibly proud of our music, and how it sounds.
Matt- One massive thing is listen to as much music, as many bands and new artists as you can. Mainly us. No, but do listen to new bands and experience new music.
Jack – Otherwise it’s the easiest way to fall into a rut of not being creative. It’s always after listening to new artists that I write a lot of new stuff for Wolf Company, because it’s new and different stuff that inspires me in new ways.
And that was it. An hour later they packed out the venue and treated us all to a spectacular performance, including “Mr Voodoo Dog Man”, their latest single which is now available on iTunes and Spotify. It’s clear to me – and everyone else in the local area – that soon enough we won’t be able to pay £5 a ticket in the local bars to see our beloved Wolf Company, because instead they’ll be touring the country. If I were you, I would keep a close eye on these four as they definitely have big things coming in the very near future.