Interview: ALPHA WOLF on the writing and creative process behind A QUIET PLACE TO DIE, single AKUDAMA, current pandemic scenario and future plans.
Aussie metalcore rippers ALPHA WOLF (Lochie Keogh, John Arnold, Scottie Simpson, Mitch Fogart, Sabian Lynch) released their sophomore album a quiet place to die on September 25th, 2020 via SharpTone Records and Greyscale Records.
Our editor-in-chief Alessandra had an amazing opportunity to have a chat with vocalist LOCHIE KEOGH of ALPHA WOLF. In this interview we talked about how the band is adjusting in the current pandemic scenario and how the COVID-19 crisis had an impact on the release itself. We discussed the writing and creative process approached for a quiet place to die alongside the lyrical themes and meaningful messages that were important for the band to get across with the record. We got into the details of lead single AKUDAMA and the challenges involved in the writing and recording stages. We also talked about the importance of breakdowns and catchy choruses, any experimental direction, future plans and some more stuff.
Our track by track review (Italian) for a quiet place to die is available at: www.sickandsound.it/alpha-wolf-sparano-a-pieni-cilindri-con-arsenale-incendiario-nel-nuovo-a-quiet-place-to-die.
- Hello ALPHA WOLF. It’s great to catch up with you. Before getting into the details of your latest record A QUIET PLACE TO DIE, I would like to discuss with you the COVID-19 crisis we are globally coping with on a daily basis. How have you adjusted in the current pandemic scenario as a band and how has this impacted your release and all related promotional activities?
We really had to orchestrate the whole release at home in our bedrooms pretty much. We got the brunt of any content we needed filmed before restrictions really came down, so that allowed us to really stretch out what we had planned over the few months. Obviously there were some bigger ideas we had to put on the back burner for now, maybe we’ll be able to once everything is closer to normal.
- A QUIET PLACE TO DIE is your latest ripper out on September 25th, 2020 via SharpTone/Greyscale Records. Can you share the details surrounding the lyrical themes and meaningful messages that were important for you to get across with the record?
The album ended up capturing a larger array of emotions than we expected. We play heavy music so the lyrics will usually lend themselves towards the angry/grieving end of the spectrum but I think we’ve captured a nuance in particular songs and feelings that we haven’t really had the to chance before.
- I would love to know more about your lead single AKUDAMA. It’s a bombshell track that gave the world a taste of your highly-anticipated effort via a video combining fantasy visuals, anime and urban footage. Let’s share some details on the Japanese flair of the single and its subject matter.
The Japanese aesthetics have always been there for us. We love Japan, we’ve loved and watched anime since we were kids. We wanted to make a video on the less serious side so what better way to do that than to load it full of insane graphics and anime references. Third Eye Visuals was the muscle behind it all, I think we just had a list of things we wanted to include in the edit and he had an absolute field day with it.
- What was the writing and creative process approached for this record as compared to previous FAULT EP dating back to 2019 in terms of progression and growth?
Mitch and Lochie joined when a lot of Fault had already been written instrumentally. So the new songs definitely came about with that new shift in mind, it’s probably more a subconscious thing than an active effort to write differently. That and a whole slew of touring under our belts for sure gives us a new perspective on how to put the songs together.
- How long have you been working on the record and what challenges have you faced during the writing or recording stages?
We had songs for AQPTD happening before Fault was even out I believe. It’s random how our songs come together. Same for most bands. Some songs are finished in a week, some take the whole year. We were touring relentlessly through a lot of the writing for the album and I remember it being tricky to even focus on one thing or even get in the mood to work on the songs, a lot of the lyrics were done closer to end. Mitch also wrote all the drums while we were on tour in Europe so he gave up what little time we already had there to be doing that. And then Scottie left the laptop in Paris.
- Let’s talk about breakdowns and catchy choruses. How important or not important is to have those two key elements in a track for Alpha Wolf?
Every song needs a hook or a catch point, I think we’ve moved away from that always being a breakdown or a chorus, it can just be a particular riff that hits in the right spot. We definitely focus more on the song as a whole, but you can really tell when that hook isn’t there.
- Is there any soundscape, new experimental direction or influence you may want to undertake at some point in the future?
We’re all influenced in very different ways throughout a whole bunch of genres so of course, we just don’t know what it is yet but it’ll probably be heavy.
- If you had the opportunity to feature 3 metalcore artists for new materials who would you pick?
We have a small list of vocalists we’d love to feature on songs (outside of friends) and I don’t think any of them are metalcore vocalists haha.
- What else can we expect from Alpha Wolf in 2021?
A Quiet Place to Die live in as many places as they’ll allow us to play. We’re doing a patreon now for a bunch of cool exclusive inside content. More and more merch. Possibly pop up stores. Whatever we can do to just be out there.
Thank you so much for your time ALPHA WOLF and all the best for your new amazing record. We’ll keep on supporting you into Europe and US!
Alpha Wolf – A Quite Place To Die tracklisting:
1. a quiet place to die
3. Golden Fate; Isolate
5. Acid Romance
6. Rot In Pieces
7. bleed 4 u
8. Ultra-Violet Violence
9. The Mind Bends To A Will Of Its Own
10. Restricted (R18+)
11. don’t ask…
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