Wolf Alice - "Trust Your Gut!"

Masterclass

Joff Oddie, Joel Amey and Theo Ellis were special guests at BIMM Manchester for a Masterclass hosted by Matt Parker, Course Leader for Music Journalism. The young men in question are of course three-quarters of Mercury-nominated Wolf Alice, and they treated students to a terrific session featuring great advice and an exciting look at the life of a successful band.

Joff, Joel and Theo traced the history of Wolf Alice, from a folk duo in 2010 to their current four-piece incarnation. They discussed the early days of rehearsing, writing together for the first time, and reaching their own sound by melding diverse musical influences – everything from Miles Davis to Green Day.

As usual, the BIMM crowd had smart questions at the ready, including how to get gigs, how to deal with negative attention, the process of recording videos, the importance of image and more. The band were happy to answer and also discussed topics like tricky aspects of the recording process and some of the difficulties when working with producers.

Discussing their attitude to live performance, they said:

We take the old-school approach. It’s about the energy and the buzz, not about recreating something note for note.”

Joff also spoke honestly about the transition when coming off stage; he said:

“It can be hard to come down from the buzz, it’s a strange change when the adrenaline is running with all eyes on you, to going back to standing in a queue for something”.

When asked about being part of a female-fronted band, they offered:

I guess a lot of focus is on Ellie; people often think she is ‘Alice’! Music journalists can be lazy; they want to glamourise a girl being in a band when that should just be a regular part of music, enjoyable for any gender.”

The guys gave motivational advice to the students about getting out there and getting your music heard and spoke of the importance of looking after yourself while touring, and the importance of taking a rest “Don’t let yourself burn out”.

When asked about their biggest sacrifices in aid of their music, they answered;

“Real life, you don’t spend much time with your friends and your family, the only thing that is permanent and constant is that seat in the splitter van!”

There were plenty of other great soundbites of advice:

Trust your gut! The identity of a band comes from within, not from PR.”

“You make your own luck if you don’t play a gig nothing will happen.”

Student, Miriam Rahimov reported back:

This was a fascinating Masterclass. I’m in a similar situation myself, as frontwoman for an otherwise all-male band. It was great to hear their views on lazy journalism; it was very open and honest.”

Joseph Glencross told us:

They offered real, relatable advice. I definitely took a lot on board from this session, about working in the studio and trusting your instincts.”

Michael Craig agreed:

“The session was really cool. They spoke openly and honestly about the whole industry, from a point of view that was applicable to all of us here at BIMM.”

 


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