Ahead of their appearance at this year’s Indiependience I grabbed a few minutes with Rob and Stevie from Kilkenny band Neon Wolf. Once we had covered the who knows who’s relatives, Ireland is just that small after all and Kilkenny is not that from Tipperary, we talked about the meaning of home and work on their new EP and stayed away from hurling.
Neon Wolf are a band we are hearing lot about of late. Much was expected after the release of their debut EP ‘Love Lost in Design’ in 2012 and while things didn’t come exactly together the band have continued working hard. Two of the bands members work in Dublin but travel back to Kilkenny for rehearsals. “There is an average age of 26 in the band and ya it can be tough getting everyone together but we work at it. We have system. Wednesday is ‘date night’, we also have practise at weekends. We’re working 5/6 nights a week with whoever is around working on different aspects”, explains Rob. “It takes over your life abit. Girlfriends are definitely affected. You know, you rehearse so many nights and then you ring each other afterwards to talk about rehearsal. They are very patient”, adds Stevie.
With the release of the new single ‘A Place To Call Home’ what’s new in the Neon Wolf Camp? “We have four new songs ready for the new EP and ‘Home’ unintentionally became a concept for those songs”, says Rob. “’Home’ can be anywhere or a person. Just somewhere where you are comfortable”, he adds. What do they think of comparisons to Two Door Cinema Club and The 1975? “Ya we’ve gotten that from the start in an earlier incarnation and especially with the new material but we are doing our own thing”, says Steve. “We’ve played gigs and you can see people are expecting you to be a certain thing and then you come on and you’re loud and energetic and pop and they weren’t expecting that. That’s what we’re about”, he adds. “We’ve never shied away from pop music, we have a broad spectrum of influences from current Indie and alternative rock to 90’s American Rock. Lee is into Pink Floyd and Def Leopard while Rob is into Queen”, explains Stevie. “But ya, Lady Gaga, and the like we look to as well. We are open to everything and everything is an influence for us”, adds Rob.
The comparisons can only be getting stronger when the band have been working with Rocky O’Reilly and Robin Schmidt who have worked with both bands. “Well ya”, the lads admit, “we worked with them in Belfast.” In fact the most 1975 sounding song “A Place To Call Home” was recorded in Manchester with Joe Cross, of Little Boots fame. “That was great! Getting out of our comfort zone. We loved every minute of it”, says Steve. “Manchester has a great vibe, love the city”, says Rob. And it seems they do as they are due to return after dates in Ireland including the upcoming Indiependence this August Bank Holiday weekend and two dates in London.
What are the band’s goals at this point? “To pay the bills and make music and the band our 9-5 job really. In February we signed with KoKo in London. and things just seemed to fall into place. It feels after four years that we are starting to climb that ladder. Other than that, we want to enjoy the shit out of it and have people come and enjoy our gigs”. And the new EP what can we expect? “There is definitively a correlation between songs on the new EP. But I think we have progressed from our first EP. Our new songs are more synth based. We have been experimenting with sound and having fun in the studio” says Stevie. “We used to be a guitar band, that’s our background but we are open to new sounds and bands and ideas and that’s what is coming through now” explains Rob.
Highlight to date for the band? “Supporting Hudson Taylor at the Olympia! We had been to so many gigs there before. And then we were there and backstage and it was quite emotional. We couldn’t explain it. But moments like that make it and it’s why you are in it” says Rob.
What are the boys listening to today? Steve: “I have been listening to Everything Everything. Really love what they are doing.” Rob:” Tame Impala’s new album. Love the track ‘The Less I know The Better’, the bass really gets you up and going in the morning.”
You can catch Neon Wolf at Indiependence and Coco, London 14th and 24th
Follow Neon Wolf on Facebook, Twitter and on their own website neonwolfmusic.com