Christian Darby caught up with Wolf Alice drummer Joel Amey ahead of the final night of their US tour to speak about their latest album ‘Blue Weekend’, ambitions for the future and their upcoming UK tour.
You’re currently in the US. How has the US tour gone so far as you gear up for the final night tonight in Atlanta?
Bang on! I was really excited to come but obviously we’re living in a different world now, and it looked a bit touch and go in the run up. I was thinking ‘is it the right and responsible thing to be doing’? But we’ve done it, and we’ve negated it well, and the shows I think have been the best we’ve ever played in America. It’s been an incredible time and I’m sad it’s over. It’s felt really special.
It must be a joy to be back playing live and engaging with your fans again?
The band that Wolf Alice has always been is one that is on a stage as much as it is in a studio. We negated the most important years of our career based upon the reaction we were getting at gigs. It keeps you going and to see the reaction and the volume of people singing back lyrics of a record that we gave everything on has been phenomenal. I think I just need to take a step back and realise what we have just done.
What has the reaction been like to the new songs from ‘Blue Weekend’ live?
I think it’s been the biggest reaction in the set. You hear shouts for ‘Delicious Things’, ‘Lipstick on the Glass’ and ‘Play the Greatest Hits’ which is always really fun to play live. We’ve been playing pretty much the whole record. The reaction to the new stuff has blown us away. We’re also starting to see a new audience too who are starting to appreciate Wolf Alice because of the new record. The whole tour feels like a eureka breakthrough moment.
Can you explain the feeling when you got your first UK number one album with ‘Blue Weekend’?
I felt really validated for our team, label and our friends and family. It wasn’t necessarily a milestone I had to tick off in my lifetime, but it is an incredible thing to think that so many people at that moment in time were passionate enough to support us the way they did in buying the record – it does blow you away. There’s no point been cool about it, it’s an amazing thing and we’re incredibly grateful.
How excited are you for the UK tour? And what can fans expect from your gig in Newcastle on Sunday 9th January?
The UK crowds are ridiculous – I forget how wonderfully feral and loud they can be – and Newcastle is no exception there at all. I’m very stoked to get back there. We’re just going to give the best shows ever. I’m really excited and I think it’s going to be really fun. I absolutely love playing up in Newcastle – it’s always been great.
What are the ambitions for Wolf Alice in the future, with many tipping the band to be future headliners at major festivals…?
I just want to keep playing, and even if we aren’t headlining them, we’re still only on our third record and you want to do things when the time is right. Latitude felt right and once you headline a festival, the parameters change, and you can start thinking of a show and that’s really exciting. I just can’t wait for the UK tour, festivals and all the stuff we took for granted.
Wolf Alice play Newcastle’s O2 City Hall on Sunday 9th January. You can stream the new album now on Spotify.