Wolf Gang is a syth-rock based band created by Max McElligott.
While in college, Max McElligott posted music on Myspace under the name of Wolf Gang, a product of his love of wolves and classical music. Shortly after, a manager got in touch and he dropped out of college to start his career.
He has experimented with different sounds.
“I love classical music, and jazz too. Growing up I also listened to quite a lot of world music, had a collection of weird percussion from all over the world. But I suppose my music has always veered towards large soundscapes, it’s always had an ambitious sound, and always focused on melodies,” McElligott said.
His biggest success has been signing a deal with Atlantic Records, touring in Australia, getting a single played on national radio and playing a support slot at the Royal Albert Hall.
Wolf Gang’s debut album comes out on July 11th.
Click "Read More" for the interview.
Where are you from and how did your band form?
I grew up for the most part in Scotland, but was born in England. I met the band one by one in London, but they are all from various parts of England, except Lasse who's Danish.
How did you come up with the name Wolf Gang?
I was brainstorming with my sister and she suggested it. I wanted a name that was memorable and sort of epic. I've always wanted a wolf, and I also love Mozart too, so there are a few good reasons why it fitted.
Who are the members of your band? Are they all original? Where are they from?
I'm a solo artist, so I wrote and recorded the album by myself.
I found the guys I play with in London, they've all had experience playing in different bands before, we've been playing together now for about a year.
How did you get your start?
I've always been playing and recording music for my own enjoyment, but I put a few songs up on Myspace while I was studying and a manager got in touch, who I've been working with ever since. I decided to drop out of uni to concentrate more fully on the music, and six months later I signed a deal with Atlantic Records.
How did you get your record label?
When my manager and I decided I had written enough songs to get the attention of labels, we got in touch with a couple and I played for them with my guitar. For a week or two I was showcasing every day to most of the major labels in London, and at the end of that period we decided the guys at Atlantic were the best people to work with.
Who are your influences? Have you been able to contact or play with these artists?
Well my influences are people from my parents’ generation, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, Roxy Music etc. I don't really have any of their numbers on speed dial, but I did meet Bryan Ferry once at a party...
What artists are you listening to currently?
I really enjoyed listening to the Foster the People single on the radio when we were driving down to Texas for SXSW, it's such a summery tune! Grouplove are another American band who I've been listening to a lot recently.
How did you know what type of music you wanted to play? Have you played other music genres?
I've always experimented with loads of different sounds, I love classical music, and jazz too. Growing up I also listened to quite a lot of world music, I had a collection of weird percussion from all over the world. But I suppose my music has always veered towards large soundscapes, it's always had an ambitious sound, and always focused on melodies.
Where do you get your ideas for the songs you write?
It could be anything - dreams, experiences, things I imagine, observations, films, book...anything!
What is your favorite instrument, and why?
I love the piano. There is so much you can do with it, and to write on it's the perfect instrument, every possible chord progression is there laid out, just waiting to be played...
If you could play in any arena in the world, what would it be?
I'm not too fussy at the moment, an arena anywhere would be a pretty amazing experience!
What has been your biggest success?
At different stages there have been different sorts of successes I suppose, signing the deal in the first place, doing a tour in Australia, getting a single played on national radio, playing a support slot at the Royal Albert Hall, each has been a special moment and set a new bench mark...
What was the most interesting experience you’ve had on the road? Has that affected your music at all?
Touring is loads of fun, we've had lots of different sorts of experiences...It's just a great way to see the world, being down in Australia and visiting New Zealand was awesome, the festivals this summer should be a laugh too...but I don't see it as having much relation to my writing though, they are two separate worlds.
Have you toured in the US? If so, have you encountered any cultural differences? What are they and how have you dealt with them?
We've been to America twice to play, the first time we played the Viper Room in LA, and also a couple of shows in NY, the second time we played SXSW down in Texas, both were incredible experiences, so far we've only had good encounters with the US! I suppose because I recorded the album out there, I sort of feel like America is a natural environment for the sound of the album. I'm looking forward to coming out for longer and properly touring there.
How many albums do you have out?
Erm, none. My debut is out on the 11th July.
What was the response to your first album?
Ask me again in a few months.
How has your music evolved since you first started making music?
As with most things it's matured a little I guess, chord progressions and melodies are probably stronger than they were before, things have been refined...
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had? Have you been able to overcome it?
Touch wood we haven't had any major crises as a band yet, it's still early days...
What does the band do outside of music?
We all have separate interests I suppose, but generally speaking we'll go back after touring and catch up with our friends.
What are your future plans?
Tour the album, write a new one, tour that, write another one, tour it, etc etc etc.