Following a huge breakthrough in 2011 with their debut album ‘Late Love’ picking up some rave reviews across Europe, Wolves Like Us return to 2012 hungrier than ever to spread their Nordic love further into our rock scene. The 4-piece will be back in the UK co-headlining on tour with label mates Junius in April, so look out for them on the road and enjoy what bass player Toy Kjeldaas told Ryan De Freitas and Crossfire when asked about how their impressive sound and stature has come together so goddam well.
Talk us through how this album came to be, from the formation of the band to the finished product?
Lars, Espen and I had recorded a few ideas and sketches that we played for Jonas. When all four of us met up in the rehearsal space for the first time, it all just clicked. It was truly amazing. We had plans for maybe playing a couple of shows last fall, but before we knew it we had been touring Europe, done a bunch of shows in Norway, sealed a record deal with Prosthetic Records, and started recording our debut album. Not sure what happened really.
Would you say that the experience you guys had musically with bands such as JR Ewing and Amulet helped you to find a mutual respect for each other quickly?
It certainly did. We were all fans of each others bands, and we’d all been friends for a long time when we first started thinking about making music together. We grew up listening to the same music, but it wasn’t until we started to play together we realized how similar our background really was.
The artwork on the album is also something that people have picked up on, we know that it’s by Justin Bartlett , who has also worked with Kvelertak and Sun 0))), how did the concept come about and was there a bunch of choices?
Justin put in a lot of work for us on this one. He used both our music and our lyrics for inspiration, and picked elements from them to come up with the concept that ended up on the album sleeve. He’s a very thorough guy, and it certainly shows. We thought it was an incredibly cool concept ever since he showed us the first sketches. He is an amazing artist we have a lot of respect for.
Are there other artists out there that you want to work with on sleeves in the future?
We have a few names on our wish list. We’ve already been in touch with Aaron Turner, he’s better known through his music career having been in the late, great Isis, but he’s doing some incredible artwork as well and we’d love to work with him.
You are currently touring with Kvelertak, how will you fuck with them on the road?
1) The contents of their on-stage water bottles might “accidentally” be replaced by vodka one night. That’s a classic really. I’m pretty sure it has been done before.
2) They are using a wireless system on stage for their guitars, and we plan to hack their frequency and play Justin Bieber’s last album through their amps in the midst of their set.
3) Our finishing blow will be to hide all their guitars right before they go on stage and put fake plastic weapons in their guitar stands instead. You know, axes, swords, medieval stuff really. The drum kit will be a bunch of real anvils. We really are doing them a favour, because it looks even more badass than real instruments.
Which band member is the most roadworthy and can take anything that comes in the way without moaning, and who is the worst?
Espen can take anything that comes in the way without moaning – except bad coffee. That unleashes hell. To all other problems, he only sees solutions. Jonas is the one that has been touring the most in the past, and has certain expectations of how things are supposed to be while on tour. That of course leads to a certain amount of moaning, haha! He’s the youngest of us, so we just treat him like a child, and everything will pass. No really, it’s a good thing, cause all of us others are just a bunch of puppies learning the ropes when it comes to touring compared to him.
What is the most ridiculous tour story to date since the band formed?
Well, we haven’t been around with this band long enough to make that much of fools of ourselves yet, haha! One funny story is about a friend of ours who is a lightning engineer. He was gonna do lights for us at a show in Oslo. We started worrying because he never came around to the venue. After a long while he turned up, and as it turns out he had gone to the wrong venue, spent a couple of hours setting up the entire lightning rig, programmed the light board and been starting digging in on the backstage beers when he realized that someone else was playing there. No one noticed him sneaking out the back, so it was all good.
‘Late Love’ is an album that truly shines, how do you follow such an epic record now it’s out there and will you be playing new material on this tour?
Well, first off; thanks a bunch! Lars has some awesome riffs and ideas going on, but there won’t be any new material on this tour unfortunately. It has been an incredibly busy year for us, and we need some time to get back in the rehearsal room and put things together in a proper way before any new material will see the light of day.
In the past you’ve referenced 90’s skateboard videos as something you took an interest in musically, are you drawn to skate culture and do any of you guys skate or is it purely the music that you found enjoyable?
Skating and music goes hand in hand. We’ve discovered lots of bands by watching skate vids in the past. Espen, Jonas and I used skate back when we were kids. We still bring our boards on tour though, but personally I am feeling a bit too old and fragile to be doing any neck-breaking stunts these days, haha! I mean, I am almost 37 now and haven’t really been skating much for the past twenty years. Plus, I was a vert skater, and still suck immensely at street skating so I’d rather look back at my teenage glory days on the vert ramp than risking my limbs doing kickflips to impress the other guys outside the venue while on tour.
What decks and skaters were influences along the years?
Obviously, the Powell Peralta team were the shit when we were kids. They were the easiest decks to get a hold of. Personally, I was really into the H-Street team. My first deck was the Tony Magnusson pro model. I met him a few times on some skate events he did in Norway, and he was a really inspiring guy. Him being a Scandinavian making his way onto the US skate scene was mind blowing for me at the time. That was everyone’s secret dream to do. Also, I’ve always loved the artwork that Ed Templeton did for his decks when he started his own company, and in the later years I’ve become a huge fan of his photo work as well.
If you have some skateboard history to unleash from back in the day, unleash it here…
As absurd as it might sound, since the 1970s and up until 1989 skateboarding was illegal in Norway, so when we started to skate we had to sneak around and hide our boards or the cops would confiscate them. When the ban was lifted, I’ve heard stories about guys who went to the main police station in Oslo to get their gear back. They were followed by an officer down to a vault in the basement, and there, right by sawn off shotguns, homemade nail bombs and rocket launchers was a bunch of skateboards. A skateboard is really a powerful thing, use it wisely.
Remember kids, skateboarding is not a crime…anymore.
Wolves Like Us + Junius April 2012 UK tour
22nd Nottingham Hit The Deck Fest
23rd Glasgow Ivory Blacks
24th Manchester Star And Garter
25th London Borderline