Scottie Simpson & Sabian Lynch – Alpha Wolf ‘All Tied Up In A Knot(fest) of Secrecy’

alpha wolf band 2022

I hate it! Do you know how many people I have wanted to tell about this?” – Guitarist Scottie Simpson, Alpha Wolf, October 20th 2022.

Understandably, reading the aforementioned statement from one of the prominent members of Melbourne’s (via Tasmania) Alpha Wolf has the potential to raise many concerns: What is the context of this disclosure? Is there trouble afoot? Are the quintet drastically altering their style to be similar to latter day Bring Me The Horizon and changing their name to Amo Wolf?

Thankfully, it is none of the above. As the eruptive announcement that Knotfest would make its debut in Australia in March 2023 (announcement here) ultimately created a tidal wave of ecstatic disbelief and ‘Surfacing’ ‘All Out Life’ for the legion of maggots down under. It may have slipped under the radar that it is not just Slipknot that are returning to Australia for the first time in over half a decade – they are bringing THEIR festival with them.

Megadeth, Spiritbox, Parkway Drive, Trivium and more will each bring their delightfully devastating ‘Disasterpiece’ to the stages and for the Victorians known as Alpha Wolf (still), they are an honoured part of the ‘Unsainted’. As Scottie Simpson elaborates on his prior opening statement, the five-piece were aware that they had been included on this monumental metal event, but for an unbearable amount of time, had to keep their masks zipped at the mouth in secrecy.

We talked about this the other day, it kind of feels like Soundwave, but the 2023 edition; we’ve always wanted to play stuff like this! To know who is playing and to know, I mean it is Slipknot, it’s crazy that we’re even on the same lineup as them. It is so sick and it was very hard to keep to ourselves.

Fellow AW guitarist Sabian Lynch then chimes in: “On one hand, I’m super, super excited and can’t wait to tell everyone and flex it and be like: ‘Oh, my, God!’ myself.” He admits with sheepish grin – “And when I see the flyer, like on our social media, it is going to blow my mind. Because it is never real until it’s either posted like that first and then you’re actually there. Through COVID times it was hard to be excited for anything, because it would be cancelled before you got to play it. It’s hard to be properly 100% invested until you are actually there playing.

Although Sabie’s response may seem slightly bereft, it is within good reason – the band’s most recent full-length A Quiet Place To Die was released in 2020 during some of the most crippling peaks of the pandemic. The restrictions disallowed the Wolves to do what they love best, play music and travel the world. As the majority of music enthusiasts know, with every event booking that seemed to be on track to deliver live music to those who hungered for it most, a cancellation more often than not eliminated it.

With the uncountable number of concerts and performances being eradicated to a debilitating effect to an infinite number of diverse industry workers and artists, Alpha Wolf were trapped (alongside many others) with what would become an ARIA-nominated album and no way to properly celebrate it. It then became necessary for this writer to ask, since the outfit were now able to travel and unleash these songs in a live platform, had they undertaken a new energy or meaning for the quintet?

Some definitely do. I feel like we listened to the album so much – I mean, we’ve always said that we love our album, it was our favourite album when it came out because it was ours.Scottie Simpson discloses with justifiable pride and taking a moment to reflect on AW’s impressive successes before continuing – “So we listened to it so much, but now we’ve played the songs live many times, I think we’ve played like 100, probably more like 120 shows this year. So now that we’ve played them live, we slowly kind of morphed the songs live into how we think they should be.

So now going back and listening to the album, it feels weird. We play them differently and there are things that we just do differently as a band now. So like going back and listening to it, we’ve definitely morphed the songs into how they should have been on a record if we had like the time to play them live.

Sab expands further: “I think there’s three songs on the album that we play live that I think are my favourite songs now. Especially to play live and I don’t ever want to take them out and they’re not singles.

Which would be?

“I love playing ‘Ultra-Violet Violence’. That song absolutely smacks live and wasn’t a single; I love playing ‘Acid Romance’; that song can’t get taken out of the setlist because it is incredible. Then finally, ‘Rot In Pieces’. Those three songs are so heavy live and so sick.”

With the freedom of touring now available on a near-global scale, Alpha Wolf have taken these songs and more to the roads and skies with bloodthirsty hunger. Delivering their nu-metalcore meets metallic moshcore recipe to their fans around planet Earth, recent stops included extensive time in Europe, the UK and the USA with truly astonishing results.

It really couldn’t have gone any better. The US loves us, which we’re thankful for, it is like a second home to us. So we did nearly 80 shows there this year I think; there were no bad shows; they just love it there. We’re thankful to have a label like Sharptone records over there that push us a lot. I guess the sound we do is very American in a sense. So they kind of just get it and I think the fact we are Australian makes it even better for them.” Mr Simpson discloses with sincere gratitude – “Honestly, it just feels like playing at home, probably slightly smaller shows. But they grow and they’re growing. It has become quite clear we’re going to be spending a lot of time there in the future. Because you can do so much and play in so many places, where in Australia, you can play the six to eight shows and that’s the tour done. There, you play 30 shows in a row and still have places to hit.

The schedule also included Blue Ridge Rock Festival in Virginia including the likes of A Day To Remember, Ghost and of course Slipknot – “It was a four-day festival, we played the first day, they played the third day, but it counts!Scottie clarifies amusingly; incredibly though this is still just a portion of what the ‘Wolf have been up to. A recently released split EP (The Lost & The Longing) with the UK’s Holding Absence brought about a mystification to simply marvel at; a merging of emotional punk rock and post-hardcore flirtations with nu-metalcore that would seem to clash more than coalesce; one would think. However, remarkably the project triumphed and flourished beyond both bands’ wildest expectations.

“They actually hit us up about it.” Mr Simpson confesses contently, “We honestly had the same idea. We had another band in mind, which didn’t end up working out. So we had to put the idea to bed we had the song sitting there and then it was like a few weeks later, maybe a month later, Lucas (Woodland, vocalist) just sent me a DM on Instagram, he was like: ‘Hey, we have this idea, it makes sense to be you guys because we are on the same label, in the same spot as a band, two albums in with no touring of the albums because of COVID, let’s do a split.’ They were in the exact same position, it just made total sense. We also met the guys once before at a festival in Europe.”

Sabian Lynch interjects: We had like this weird connection almost instantly, we got stuck in the same green room together. So we’re forced to like meet each other and hang out and what-not. So our vocalist Lochie (Keogh) and their vocalist Lucas at the time had the same haircut, same hair colour, so it was like Lochie, Lucas & Lucas, Lochie – kind of like brothers. Then both guitarist masterminds in the band are ‘Scott’. So like Scott (Carey, Holding Absence guitarist) and Scott (Simpson, Alpha Wolf guitarist). It was instant friendship and even though we are of different sounds and lifestyles, the merging was extraordinary.

So it wasn’t just that Mr Woodland looks like a young Johnny Depp?

“No, but yes.” Scottie and Sabian both profess in laughter.

This coming weekend Alpha Wolf are headlining their own curated festival, entitled CVLTFest in Melbourne Pavilion. A full day of music featuring Silent Planet (USA), Deez Nuts, The Beautiful Monument, Bloom and numerous other great acts as well as food stalls, clothing and music stores whilst also celebrating Halloween in a brutal (?) fashion.

We want to make sure it’s like not just about the music, it is, but we want to have like cool sh*t going on as well. There is numerous stalls and food trucks, a photo booth, there will be a tattooist there. We want to make it ‘a day’ not just coming to a show where you see bands, there is things to do there and you can hang out and have a good time. That’s what we want it to be.Scottie describes passionately.

Sabian then discloses: “I’m pretty sure we’re friends with basically every band on the bill. That’s how we picked it (laughs). Who do we want to see? And which friends haven’t we seen in a while?

Perhaps ‘The Lost And The Longing’ are now found and welcomed into the pack, watch it grow and roam.

Interview by Will Oakeshott @TeenWolfWill

CVLTFest 

October 30 @ Melbourne Pavilion, Kensington VIC

Tickets Here

Knotfest Australia 2023

March 24 | Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne

March 25 | Centennial Park, Sydney

March 26 | Showgrounds, Brisbane

Announcement News Piece Here

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About Will Oakeshott (46 Articles)
Funny bloke, writer, Journalist, Vocalist, bit of acting, music, comedy and dad joke lover. Love: music, beer, bodyboarding, movies, books.