After all of Alpha Wolf’s latest success, I caught up with Sabian Lynch (guitarist) and Lochie Keogh (vocalist) at their Sold Out Melbourne show on the band’s nationwide Fault Tour to discuss their rocky past and how they were able to push through the hard times, what it has taken to get to where they are now and what their plans are for the future…
Alpha Wolf just wrapped up a European tour with Emmure and Fit For A King. How did it go?
Lochie: It was so sick! All up it was nineteen shows, looking back on it it seems like it was all just one big blur but we had the time of our lives.
Sabian: It was a dream come true! It had been a dream of ours for a while to be able to go and play in Europe, especially with a line up like that, which was so suited to Alpha Wolf, we couldn’t have picked better bands to tour with for our first time over there. The shows were huge and we managed to have fans at every show. To have fans on the other side of the world singing along to our music the very first time we visit their country was mind-blowing for us.
You guys also played Impericon Festival while you were over there. Was it surreal to play in front of such big crowds?
Lochie: There was four different Impericon’s throughout Europe, ranging in sizes. The biggest one was in Leipzig, Germany, which was incredible. I would never even go to view concerts that big so it was extremely surreal.
Sabian: Even the chance to play with heaps of other cool bands on that tour was crazy, we played with some incredible acts such as Counterparts and The Black Dahlia Murder. The crowds were insanely big. It was amazing!
With Mono being your breakthrough album, when you went into the studio to record Fault was there any pressure to follow through with another huge release as your fan base has grown significantly in the past two years?
Sabian: I wouldn’t say there was any sort of pressure at all, we always write music just to please ourselves. When we were writing and recording Mono we weren’t that big in the local scene so we just wrote music that we loved and wanted to listen to and I guess luckily people enjoyed the music that we wrote. We 100% wrote Mono for ourselves, we didn’t anticipate any of the success whatsoever, we didn’t expect signing to Greyscale Records or anything like that. We did the exact same thing with ‘Fault’, we wrote a bunch of songs that we all enjoyed and we are going to keep doing that. Our sound will change and evolve from time to time, we don’t want to write the same songs constantly.
Lochie: When you write music that you enjoy you hope that other people will enjoy it but it doesn’t really matter.
Sabian: We aren’t very secretive with our music in the demo stages, we have a lot of great honest friends in some really tight bands who are amazing musicians and songwriters themselves so we send off demos all the time asking for honest criticism and take it on board. We’ll have twenty versions of certain songs before they see the light of day.
How was the recording process for Fault as well as having Greyscale Records involved with its release?
Sabian: Greyscale Records released Mono but we put a lot into Mono before they were on board. We had the video clips recorded, we had the entire album mixed and mastered. The artwork and everything was completed then we sent them a finished product and they were on board instantly. That whole experience was awesome and they were great to work with. Throughout the release of ‘Fault’ we hit a few speed bumps but the label was one hundred percent supportive. They managed to get us teamed up with SharpTone Records for worldwide releases of our music which has been incredible, they have some unreal bands signed to them which makes it a privilege being with them. To have these two record labels push our music is amazing. Its wild seeing other people so passionate about the music we make.
Lochie: When there is entire teams behind distribution of our music it allows us to focus on other things so we weren’t so spread thin which really elevates a lot of stress with it all.
Lochie, its been almost 12 months since you joined Alpha Wolf, you had some pretty big shoes to fill at that time. How do you feel you have gone with finding your place as the new frontman?
Lochie: I always felt confident about doing it, I was never under the illusion that I wouldn’t be able to. I was mates with the guys well before joining the band so trying to fit into the bands dynamic was never an issue. They all backed my old band, Earthender so I already knew they all liked me for my abilities as a vocalist. Everything just happened to click really easily and it seemed to happen naturally and organically. The nerve-racking thing was just trying to win the hearts of the fans, which seemed to happen straight away, every fan I have spoken to seems to really like me.
Sabian: We have noticed that even across Europe there have been so many new fans that only know the new songs which are the “Lochie songs” as you would call them. They have obviously listened to our older music but we are getting such a huge response from the new songs. A lot of people love our old songs but it seems like our new songs are taking it to the next level and are bringing in such a wider audience which is awesome for Lochie as well as the rest of the band.
Lochie, Earthender was a local band while Alpha Wolf is a bigger band, did you find the transition from small local stages to bigger stages at sold out venues easy
Lochie: It is a different vibe at super big stages and it definitely takes some getting used to. However, we do the same thing every time. I know the songs so I just get up there and perform them as best as I can.
Sabian: Even in the touring stages of Mono Lochie was selling merchandise for us. The stages even in that period weren’t that big so this is even our first time collectively as a group playing on big stages in front of big crowds. We had never played at a festival until last month when we were in Europe so its not only Lochie’s first time it is Alpha Wolf’s first time going through this.
You guys just released the ‘Fault’ EP (our review here) and are currently touring that release, what else can fans expect from you guys in the not too distant future?
Lochie: We are always demoing new music and getting new ideas out simply because we just love making music so who knows what could come out of that but for now we just plan in touring the fuck out of Fault! Our aim for the meantime is to try and make sure that release becomes as widespread as possible. We are trying to expand our market and are doing that by touring new places, eg Asia which is where we will be touring in August.
Sabian: We will give touring ‘Fault’ a really good run for the next little while. Basically though we could wake up tomorrow and want to do a single, so we would. We record ourselves so we are lucky enough to be able to do whatever we like in that sense. We are always mastering our craft, the next song we put out we want it to be better than the last song. We will take our time but we could also release new music this year, who knows!
Australian festival-goers are yet to see Alpha Wolf play in that setting, is playing an Australian festival something you want to do in the coming festival seasons?
Sabian: We would absolutely love to but due to our rocky path to getting to where we are everyone has to tread lightly. It really sucks for us as well as our fans. We totally understand why festivals are hesitant about booking us. We really want to be able to play at a festival and hopefully is something we could do in the future.
Interview by Adam Rice @adamrice1994
Revisit our review and photo gallery of Alpha Wolf‘s Sold Out Melbourne Show right here
Alpha Wolf play Tasmania at the end of June
Alpha Wolf – Fault in Tassie
June 28th @ Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
June 29th @ Pub Rock Diner, Devonport