Hungry Like The Wolfe
Fully formed and fired up, Dire Wolfe have emerged from LIPA's cauldron with a manifesto that's exactly what we want to be hearing right now.
We’re not going to bother with end of year lists. We’ve got a terrible memory, and we’d hate to upset anyone in this difficult incubation stage. We’ve done enough of that already. But if we did, and we had to include a subsection of ‘our favourite bands with wolf(e) in their name’ we admit it, it would be a close run thing. Still, it’s good to know that at least one of them would be from Liverpool.
Not to damn with faint praise, let us be clear – Dire Wolfe would be gathering up plaudits in our ‘favourite band of the year’ category too. And our ‘LIPA band most likely to’ for that matter.
Poly-rhythmic, tight as an Osborne budget, and achingly, frustratingly talented chaps all, these LIPA lads are as fitful, fun and fresh as math rock gets. Actually, scratch that – we’re not sure maths was ever as fun as this. Inventive, incendiary and unpredictable. Dire Wolfe – chemistry rock for the ADHD student.
They’re playing some secret gigs in December. We strongly suggest you keep your eyes peeled.
Dan: Our origin stems from LIPA. I was playing an Interpol cover as part of an open mic night there. But little did I know my future band and best friends would be watching (aww).
Tarek liked what I did and strolled on over with his fancy business card and offered to record me pretty much the next day. I turned up to the studio and he had brought Joe with him, and from there I laid down the song ‘Come Home’. Tarek offered to put some drums down to it, and Joe likewise with some guitar.
After a few attempts at asking the guys to form a band they finally gave in and somewhere a long the way found John (most likely in a bar).
SS: You’re students. Can you use words to describe your sound?
D: We sound like a few things, just due to the four of us bringing different influences to the table. A few of them are Mars Volta, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cursive, Lightning Bolt, Youthmovies, Toe, Fela Kuti, Cougar, and many more. I think you’ll find our sound mixed in with those somewhere.
ABBA – Dancing Queen
Mothers Of Invention – Who Needs The Peace Corp
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – T.R.O.Y.
Toe – Tremolo & Delay
Mars Volta – Roulette Dares
The Zombies – She’s Not There
Fela Kuti – Zombie
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Sugar Coated Sour
Dirty Projectors – Remade Horizon
Beirut – Siki Siki Baba
Go on…can we have one more?
Augustus Pablo – King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown
SS: How do you work? Tell us about the creative process behind the songs. Any inter-group tensions?
D: So far it’s been me writing most of the songs, and then brought them forward to the band to tweak and add some parts. But Since writing ‘Regret’ we’ve been producing some of our best stuff, writing together, and we’re really happy with its direction.
SS: You’re rapidly becoming the go-to support act in town. Happy with that? Any gigs- headliners – stand out?
D: Maps and Atlases were by far the best band we’ve supported. It’s always very flattering when we get offered these big gigs, with bands we love. I think over the last two years we’ve really got to know the best promoters in and around Liverpool. Guys like Evol, Meshuggy, Samizdat and Mike Dean of LMW are always being good to us, so we owe a lot to them really. Liverpool has a really great community of bands and promoters who spend a lot of time scratching each other’s backs. We all love the place.
SS: You’ve come to the city to study. Do you think your outsider status results in a sound that stands out?
D: Haha. Didn’t know we had that status. Sounds mysterious though. I guess if you mean we aren’t trying to sound like The Coral or Zutons, then maybe that’s right. Whether it stands out in other cities or countries is another thing. Hopefully? Between us we listen to a lot of strange and different music so it’s probably the fact we’re an unlikely combination that actually makes it work.
SS: What’s the inside story on LIPA? Tell us something that would surprise us.
D: I honestly can’t think of anything to say that people don’t already know. It’s a great place, and has really developed us as a band. We’ve had all this equipment, studios, and rooms available to us. I’m definitely going to miss all that when we graduate.
SS: What excites you right now? People, places, music, anything…
D: Ahhh…we’re excitable guys. Do you need a list? Local bands and artists like Vasco Da Gama, Chrik, Mikhael Paskalev, Stealing Sheep, Billie Van, Jonas Alaska, Anna Lena & The Orchids, Greenwich Tea Party, WCOLT and Bicycle Thieves. They’re all great friends of ours.
I do think bands in Liverpool seem to be thriving off each other at the moment. The DIY community is pretty strong and magazines like Bido Lito and Versus are doing a lot of good.
There’s plenty of great galleries/venues like The Kazimier, Wolstenholme Creative Space and Binary Cell. And we all love our food, so Sam & Joes Café deserves a mention. I recommend the Club Sandwich or the Halloumi & Humous salad.
SS: What frustrates you right now?
D: Lack of time and lack of a tour van (with a cassette player). Always a problem. In terms of the music industry, I think we’re getting slightly bored of big labels giving us loads of praise, coming to see us and then not following anything up. Doesn’t seem like they take a lot of chances these days, but I guess it’s better for smaller independents that way.
Lack of pay and free drinks from gigs always seems to be the case these days as well…but you know, we’re just enjoying ourselves and from that, hopefully good things will come.
When can we see you – what’s next for you?
We might be playing a few last minute gigs in December, you can keep an eye on our Myspace (www.myspace.com/direwolfeband) for more info on those.
But the main thing we have planned is to finish our debut EP and release that. Along with a load of gigs playing fresh new material and get the New Year off to a great start!