Wolf Gang Interview.

Wolf Gang is a London-based band. They are playing the Riot Room September 22nd. Max McElligott recently discussed his earliest musical memory, creative process and lyrical inspiration. For more info on Wolf Gang, check out http://www.wolf-gang.co.uk/

Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
I was lucky enough to grow up in a musical family. My mother and sister both play violin and we always had a piano in the house to tinkle on.

What was your earliest musical memory?
Probably hearing my mum practicing violin downstairs…

What was the first instrument you learned how to play?
I learned the piano first, I would just improvise and mess around from about the age of three.

What was the first album you bought?
I think the first album I bought was probably Blood Sugar Sex Magic by the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Are You Experienced? by Jimi Hendrix

How did Wolf Gang first get started?
It started out as my solo project after I’d written a few songs in my bedroom that luckily allowed me to sign a record deal. I quit uni and pursued the music. The guys that toured the music with me live; James Gav and Lasse, have now all become full time band members so this second album involved contributions from all of us. It just felt right after playing together for a few years to also work together on new material.

How does your creative process work when writing songs?
Personally I enjoy playing around on the piano and coming up with chords and melodies, the lyrics usually come after. Sometimes though lyrics will pop into my head and I’ll write them down on my phone or hum them into a voice note if I’m out and about…

What inspires you lyrically?
Inspiration can come from anywhere; personal experiences, things I’ve read or seen, dreams even. James who has been the other primary writer on the album usually writes about personal experiences or those of his friends.

How did “Ghost in My Life” come together as a song?
I wrote that one about an ex-girlfriend I was trying to win back at the time…

What was the first song written for the Black River EP?
The EP consists of songs that will all be on the album, I guess the first one to be written for that was the title track which James penned.

How do you approach remixes to make them your own?
I think we all really relish the remix process, it’s fun breaking down a song completely and building it up again as a totally different thing. The main thing is to just enjoy doing it! It’s sort of light relief compared with writing ones own material.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Probably so far the biggest challenge was parting ways with Atlantic Records, who initially signed me. They wanted me to pursue a solo career while we had very much become a band at that point so it didn’t work out, and at that point the future of the band was not exactly clear. Luckily we were able to sign a deal in the US with Cherrytree Interscope not long afterwards!

What advice would you give to artists just starting out?
I think the only advice I can really give is that ultimately it comes down to the songs; you just have to write and write and practice as much as possible (which shouldn’t feel like hard work if you love it) and through improvement you’ll get somewhere.

Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?
Not personally, generally having a positive mentality helps though!

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