Meld fat Iommi tones with Fairport Convention-esque chord progressions, and you get Wolf People’s miniature prog epics.
It’s almost like someone rolled the 70s up into a gigantic doobie- spliff thing and lit the end with
a valve amp. “A lot of people pick all the cool bands as their influences,” says guitarist Joe Hollick. “Whereas we’ve picked all the really uncool trad-folk and the first wave of British hard rock that no-one really likes...”
Having met in London and formed around the nucleus of frontman Jack Sharp’s songwriting, the band signed to US indie label Jagjaguwar before releasing first album, Steeple. Now they live all over the UK, which meant that follow-up, Fain, required a “recording boot camp” – in Joe’s house.
“It’s an old gatehouse, by a river in the Yorkshire Dales,” he reveals. “It was really good for everyone else because it was an escape to the country, whereas I was just getting progressively madder because the floor was getting dirty.”
Still, at least he got a bed. The rest of the band camped outside to store the gear inside – a move we heartily endorse, given that said gear includes Joe’s ’67 Gibson Firebird, Jack’s ’64 Hagstrom Viking, plus 1961 Fender Concert and 70s ‘silverface’ amps.
Still, guitars and amps aside, the secret to Wolf People’s unique sound is style. The blend of Jack’s Peter Green-isms and Joe’s “muddy” pick-less playing is passed through a musical kaleidoscope forged from years of record collecting.
“There’ll always be CDs being passed about, and on every track you’ll be like, ‘Holy s**t. This is amazing. I want to nick that!’” explains Joe. “You have all these grand ideas, but as soon as you start playing, you’re not good enough to rip it off, so it ends up coming across like us, anyway!”