Interview: Wolf Culture

Words by Maddy Howell

Born from the ashes of former projects, Bournemouth four-piece Wolf Culture have been making small waves in their seaside hometown since their formation in 2015. Now three years on from their inception, the quartet are piling onto the scene with an abundance of energy and a heartfelt sense of honesty, with debut EP 'The Devil's Plan For Idle Hands' offering a refreshing new take on modern pop-punk. 

Fresh from their release tour, we caught up with drummer Jake Daniels to talk about the new EP and what comes next.

Burn After Writing: You recently released your debut EP, 'The Devil’s Plan for Idle Hands', what’s the general response been from fans and critics alike?

Jake Daniels: The response has been overwhelming. We couldn't be more happy with the feedback from our fans and from the reviews we have had. To make it onto the pages of magazines like Kerrang! is a dream come true for us, as we've all followed that since we were little.

BAW: In parts, the EP seems to lean pretty heavily on some more pop-based influences. What artists are you inspired by outside of the pop-punk confines?

JD: All of us have really different tastes in music, this probably shows in our sound. The songwriting is primarily done by Max (Vocal/Guitar) and he has a slightly more alternative music taste. The term 'pop-punk' covers so much, so it's hard to say, but we have caught Max listening to some Boy Meets Girl and other 80's bangers before.

Usually, when I input my ideas for drums to the songs they are a little more on the poppy side, as my music taste is in that bracket. I grew up on bands like All Time Low, now moving onto Waterparks and State Champs. We have just uploaded our own personal playlists onto Spotify where you can get a taste of the music we listen to individually. You can find them on our artist profile and we update them pretty regularly so you know what tunes we are listening to day to day.

BAW: Modern pop-punk often comes under fire for being a little too cliché or predictable, how are you making sure you stand out from the crowd?

JD: I think that the main thing we do that helps us stand out is not trying to 'be anything' specifically. I think a lot of new bands get the idea that if they make songs that sound like their favourite bands, they will be as successful and because of that it just becomes too saturated with bands doing the same thing. When we write songs, we write with what we would want to hear in mind and work with what comes naturally. As soon as it feels forced, we take a step back and start over.

BAW: You’ve just finished up your EP release tour. How was the experience of playing those tracks live to fans? Was there a particular stand-out moment?

JD: It was great. We've been working up to releasing this EP for a long time and have played the songs on the EP live before, but the change in response after the EP had been released was really noticeable. The most stand out moment for me was at the Bournemouth show. When Max came in with the vocals on the intro to our new single, Continents, and the guys in the crowd sang it back to us. It's the first time that's happened to us and I think all of us were just kind of in shock for that whole song. It was an incredibly humbling moment.

BAW: Having played shows alongside the likes of Like Pacific and Trophy Eyes before your debut studio release, what other artists are you setting your hopes towards a collaboration with?

JD: There are so many awesome bands on the scene at the moment, to work with any of them would be great. We actually recently had a writing session with Alex Adam from Roam, which was good fun. So we would definitely like to do something with them at some point. Bands like Boston Manor, Movements, Knuckle Puck, As It Is etc. would be really cool too. If you were asking me personally, I want to work with Waterparks a lot, I'm loving that vibe right now.

BAW: A few months back you made the decision to sign to California-based label Common Ground Records. What made you believe they were the right label for you and how has working alongside them benefited you so far?

JD: The guys at Common Ground are so easy to work with and we literally wouldn't be where we are now without their hard work. They've been in contact ever since we could pull some rough demos together. It feels like they're always pushing toward the same goal, the other bands on the label are awesome and they are the nicest guys going. Plus, they've introduced us to phrases like "Fosh" (For Sure) and we've helped them find Wetherspoons.

BAW: As a band based on the South Coast, the music scene isn’t exactly thriving right now. Have you found yourself having to travel to different cities more and how has your location impacted on your musical journey so far?

JD: We're still finding our feet on the UK scene and traveling is naturally a huge part of that. Although we've had some amazing experiences in places like Brighton and our hometown of Bournemouth, I think the scene can be hard on new bands anywhere in the UK, especially on the South Coast. It certainly was for us. The internet is a great thing for exposure, but it's had a huge effect on how people find new bands now. There's no lack of great bands, promoters and shows down South, but we've found it more and more important to explore new towns and cities up and down the UK.