Melbourne heavy hitters Alpha Wolf have been enjoying huge success as of late, coming off an east coast Australian run alongside Aversions Crown and Boris The Blade and scoring a support slot with Aussie titans Thy Art Is Murder. The band are about to drop their debut album “Mono” so we catch up with vocalist Aidan Ellaz to discuss the new songs and the upcoming tour.
Steve: How’s things in the Alpha Wolf camp? Obviously excited to be dropping the new album “Mono”?
Aidan: Hey yeah I’m excited to be putting the new album out, it’s been a long while. We’ve been sitting on the album for about 7 or 8 months so we are definitely excited to have the new album out.
Steve: I’ve had the pleasure of listening to the album in it’s entirety, I can’t get past the “Golden Fate” tracks. They are the stand out tracks for me, were they meant to come together and play off each other?
Aidan: Yes and no, they are of the same topic and the same thing but the album is more of a journey. You are meant to listen to it from the start to the end and I guess by the time you get to the second Golden Fate track it’s more of a flashback, it’s more of coming back to that and just remembering it as well because the first Golden Fate track is very desperate and straight to the point. The lyrics are very desperate and then when it gets to the second time it’s like I’ve been sitting on the track for a little bit longer, it’s more thought out and it’s under a theme that Sabian Lynch (Guitarist) and I wrote about.
Steve: Sure and what you said is exactly what I take from it, that the first track “Golden Fate; Water Break” is really in your face like a spiked baseball bat and the second is more thought out and dare I say ballad driven (laughs).
Aidan: Yep the way I look at without getting weird on you, when someone dies you get desperate emotionally and then after you sit on it for a few months you’re more able to talk about it and that’s pretty much how I describe it. One it’s just happened and the other, you’re able to sit on it for a bit.
Steve: In terms of the album title and I’m not one to dissect thing too much because music should speak for itself but when you look up the meaning of “Mono” it means singular so was there a theme or meaning behind that for yourself as the lead singer of the band?
Aidan: Definitely I would say that the reoccurring theme of the album is feeling or being alone and when your alone you’re desperate like a wild animal. Your frantic and that’s pretty much the whole album, it’s desperation and it’s almost exaggerated because when you’re in a desperate situation you begin to freak out. You know when you’re low on money you begin to freak out so you’re right, “Mono” was written in a very lonely time for each member and it just fit for the album title and Monochrome, it’s black and white. The album is very black and white, like we said earlier the first Golden Fate track is very black and the second is white. It means a lot, it means many different things for us as individuals.
Steve: Sure so you don’t want to speak for the rest of the band but for yourself were you in a low place while writing this record?
Aidan: Yeah for sure I’d say some of the songs were written in a dark time or myself and Sabian Sabian and I worked on the riffs together. He’s got certain tracks, I’ve got certain tracks but I would say that this has been written in our own moments of desperation especially with one of the tracks “Failure” was written in a pretty full on time in my life and when I listen to it now I think, ‘Ah should I have said that? Should I have done that?’ But here we are.
Steve: So I guess I go back to my point that the music speaks for itself, if that’s what you needed to put on paper at the time then so be it and people will take what they want from it.
Aidan: Yeah that’s it.
Steve: So what do you think makes Alpha Wolf stand out as the Australian scene seems to be get getting heavier and heavier?
Aidan: I would say that we are friends with a lot of heavy bands so let’s put them out there. Justice For The Damned we love, Cursed Earth, Belle Haven so I could name a list but it’s not like we are trying to be better then anyone else or trying to beat anyone, it’s not a competition. For this album we just wrote what we liked and what we thought was cool, we weren’t heavy for the sake of heavy. We’ve been there, we’ve done that but this time it’s to put out record that the instrumentals suit the lyrics. It’s all written in unison if you know what I mean and I feel like a lot of bands should do that more but that could just be me. I feel like you’ve got to write in unison, you can’t just write a heavy as hell track and chuck some lyrics over the top. You’ve got to work as a team and that’s what we do and I’d like to say we succeeded in that aspect.
Steve: So do you guys go in and throw down all your ideas into the centre and see what comes up or do you like to dissect yourself?How does that work for you guys?
Aidan: We normally do it separately because if we are all in the same room at the same time there is way too many idea’s flying around so we’ll go away and then come back together and we’ll say yay or nay to things. That’s pretty much how we do it, it’s pretty much like grocery shopping. You’ve got to get all the ingredients together to cook the meal, we all bring our own ingredients to the table.
Steve: Sure so as an artist do you draw inspiration from anywhere? Was there anything that stood out for you in terms of music or are you the kind of person that will lock yourself away in order to concentrate on what you want to create?
Aidan: To be honest I don’t listen to a lot of heavy music, I listen to a lot of my friends bands but I don’t listen to as much heavy music as I used to but when it comes to drawing influence in our own music I would even say what I listen to doesn’t even fit with what we do at all. I listen to a lot of emo music and stuff, I listen to a lot of weird music but when it came to writing this record I usually chuck on an instrumental or something noisy or something with a soundscape just to get my brain into the rhythm and write about how I’m feeling or an experience that I’ve just been through. That’s how I do it, I often find that if you listen to a lot of local heavy music you accidentally mimick it and then you’re not really original.
Steve: Yeah I get it, you never want to be accused of ripping anyone off.
Aidan: Yep exactly, never ever!
Steve: It’s a crime worse then death (laughs). So on the live front have you managed to play any of the new tracks or are you leaving it until the entire album is released?
Aidan: We’ve literally only been plying new songs and singles for the Aversions Crown and Boris The Blade tour we just came off. We literally only played album songs and that was very scary because nobody knew them apart from the singles so we have had the chance and with Thy Art Is Murder to run the majority of it, we’ll be playing album songs and we are really excited for that.
Steve: I see you’re heading out on the road with Thy Art Is Murder.
Aidan: Yeah we are definitely excited for that one, that’s definitely nerve racking. We did not expect that, I didn’t think we were ready at all but we are really excited to embark on that journey with them.
Steve: How has the crowd reaction been so far?
Aidan: It’s been a lot of fun, some places surprise us. Newcastle and Canberra we thought nobody was going to rock up and heaps of people popped up and it was a lot of fun and definitely unexpected so I don’t really think about it anymore, I just expect the unexpected.
Steve: Yeah and I guess that’s what makes it a bit more exciting? It’s always going to be a mixed bag, not every night you’re going to have people going crazy and vice versa.
Aidan: Yeah I couldn’t agree more.
Steve: So for you what is the best and worst part about touring aside from being away from your loved ones and friends?
Aidan: Well I love seeing new places, going to different states with your best friends, it’s sick! You can’t go wrong but yeah some things you do hate is when you can’t shower for 3 or 4 days and you think, ah that’s gross! But sometimes you’ve got to really scum it out, sometimes you’ll be sitting for 18 hours in the van charging and that stuff sucks a little bit but if you’ve got a good play list going, you’ve got Spotify shuffle going you’re pretty good to go! But yeah seeing new places and making new friends is an absolute favourite thing, I had no friends until I started touring (laughs).
Steve: Scot no mates (Laughs).
Aidan: Yep that’s me!
Steve: Speaking of Spotify shuffle, what is standing out for you at the moment?
Aidan: There is a band called Whirr, it’s just noisy drone music. I listen to a lot of emo music but if I wanted to name drop mates, Justice For The Damned just dropped a new single, Cursed Earth just put out some new stuff which is killer! Also when we are in the van we listen to a lot of a Japanese instrumental called Toe, they are crazy weird but very cool if you’re driving. Oh and Counterparts, that’s like the only heavy band I listen to anymore! Yep I’ll ramble about music all night, sorry about that!
Steve: So do you have any favourite tracks from the new album that you love to put on the live set?
Aidan: Yeah “Failure” and “Number 2” stand out as I want to give the “Golden Fate” stuff a rest and come back to it.
Steve: Awesome well we can’t wait to hear them either! Well thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it.
Aidan: Cheers mate. We’ll see you all very soon, can’t wait!
Graphic Nature Management, Human Warfare & new world artists present…
THY ART IS MURDER
THE ‘DEATH SENTENCE’ TOUR
w/ Alpha Wolf, Cursed Earth and Deadlights
Thu 27 Jul – Badlands, Perth*
Fri 28 Jul – Enigma, Adelaide
Sat 29 Jul – Max Watts, Melbourne
Wed 2 Aug – The Basement, Canberra
Thu 3 Aug – Uni Bar, Wollongong
Fri 4 Aug – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Thu 10 Aug – Crowbar, Brisbane
Fri 11 Aug – Wharf Tavern, Sunshine Coast
Sat 12 Aug – Miami Tavern, Gold Coast
*Deadlights not appearing