From the early days of breaking in to a local radio station under cover of darkness to record his debut album, and the constant touring that followed, Wolfe Sunday was never afraid to just drop everything and do what he loved doing.
A by-product of a bad break up and later being made homeless, in the early days Wolfe Sunday focused his energy on booking shows, finding sofas to sleep on, and being the best he could be. After touring the length and breadth of the UK and some of Eastern Europe, selling homemade CDs as he went, Wolfe Sunday was soon bursting with new material and ready to start work on a brand new album.
How did you guys all meet and when did you know you had something with the band?
So the project started as a solo act, and when touring about and playing shows it tends to just be myself. But in the studio I do work with my incredibly talented friend, Will Cummings. He drums on the new album, as well as recording and producing everything you hear, all in his studio, Horizon Studios. We actually met when we were both working in a supermarket together. He used to show me clips of stuff he’d recorded when we were on our lunch breaks, and I was like ‘man, I need to get this dude involved’. He’s such a brilliant guy, and the new album definitely wouldn’t have happened without him!
I think small shows are some of my favourites to play. I like to get nice and intimate with the audience, so often smaller shows let you have real chemistry with the crowd, chatting to people mid set, and having a laugh. It’s taken me time and a lot of gigs to really develop that though. When I first started performing, I was just a very scared, skinny teenager with an acoustic guitar, playing to empty rooms. In some respects, I still am a lot of those things, but I think developing a stage persona and a real show has helped me grow as a musician, and in turn let me play to bigger audiences.
Who are some of your influences then and now?
Frank Turner has always been a major influence on my songwriting and style. He has a knack for being able to describe things so poetically, whilst also bringing such an energetic force live. That is something I am trying to achieve. Right now I’m also super into Gogol Bordello. They’re all I’ve been listening to when driving between gigs for ;literally the last year or so. Some of the tracks on the new album are direct responses to some of their own tracks, so I definitely have to say that they’re an influence. It’s strange, but I’ve never been a fan of straight up acoustic singer/songwriters. I just find it boring. That is why I love Frank Turner and Gogol Bordello, because they bring such an energy to acoustic music, sometimes more than any electric punk band. That is exactly how I want people to remember my own act, and that’s what inspires my own, full-on live set, standing on tables, jumping in crowds, being that one man punk band.
What’s the song writing process like?
I tend to write about what’s going on around me, and because I’ve been on the road almost constantly for the last couple of years, that seems to be what I write about most. I might have an idea when I’m at a gig, then as soon as the gig’s over, I’ll be sat in my car, writing a new song. Loads of the tracks on my new album were written at 1am on the backseat of my little car, between gigs.
A few weeks back, I was gigging with some amazingly talented people in Brighton, and after the show ended, we were all still wanting more! The venue had an 11pm curfew, so we all decided to go on down to the beach, and just party on there for a while, taking it in turns to play songs. It was such a nice atmosphere, and really made me appreciate how lucky I am to be able to do this kind of stuff. That’s not the most rock and roll story, but it’s definitely a moment that happened recently that I’ll remember for a long time.
Talk to me about your new music and plans for the back half of 2017?
I’m so stoked on the new music, I can’t wait for everyone to hear it! I’ve been sat on some of these tunes for over a year now! The whole process for the album was a really extended period, and we were recording the songs for a good three months, to really get everything perfect. The songs themselves are so varied, with a reggae infused love song, a rager of a punk song that comes in at under a minute long, and even an accapella piece, but all of them are true to my roots, and are all led by the acoustic guitar and vocals. Now, the plan is to launch the album at a big party on the 14th of July, in Dover, Kent, then just keep on touring as far as I can! There are loads of places I haven’t been to yet that I’d love to perform at so that’s the main goal to try and achieve.
The album is set to be launched on the 14 th of July, with a show at The Dover Smart Project’s My Gallery, on the closing night of a music orientated art exhibition in the space. The space is on the beautiful seafront, and Wolfe Sunday will play the album in full, followed by a crowd’s choice of songs from his back catalogue.
Who is your favorite comic book character
Oh man, I love Aquaman. I love that everyone thinks he’s kind of pathetic, and that he has this stupid, bright orange suit, as though he’s a deep sea life guard. He’s such an underrated and kind of stupid character, that he’s awesome.
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