Wolf Alice caught up with NME on the red carpet at the Mercury Prize last night (September 9) to talk about returning to playing live again and share some insight into their favourite cheese. Watch our interview with the band above.
The 2018 Mercury Prize winners were in attendance having been nominated for their acclaimed third album ‘Blue Weekend’. While Arlo Parks would go on to win the prize last night, the band told NME that they were “just happy to be there, to be honest”.
“It’s such an honour to be nominated,” said bassist Theo Ellis. “The list is always so eclectic and full of amazing musicians. It’s good to know that we’re about to go and watch a gig indoors, which I don’t think I’ve done yet. We’re not even thinking about that stuff. We’re just thinking about having a beer and watching some great bands and artists.”
Responding to legendary rumours that the band spent their previous Mercury Prize winnings on a bar tab in Camden, Ellis replied: “We didn’t spend a penny of it! I spent a lot of my own money at the Hawley Arms that night. If everyone else had a tab that I wasn’t aware of, then…
“We had some ideas of what to do with the money and it hasn’t come into fruition yet, so we’re still saving it for something that we’re working on which we’ll chat to everyone about once we’ve figured it out. We’ve been busy putting an album out and navigating COVID.”
Wolf Alice have had a busy summer so far, headlining Latitude Festival and playing epic sets on the main stage of Reading & Leeds 2021. Now, they’re firing on all cylinders.
“It’s amazing,” said Ellis of being back on the road. “There’s such a huge and different community of people that have been affected by this in the music world. It’s not just us – it’s all of our crew, all the people who work at these festivals, all the people who work at venues. Just slipping back into that rhythm of normality feels amazing.
“The Bournemouth show we played the night before Latitude was unbelievable. It was so emotional. It’s a privilege to be able to play and go to gigs at the moment.”
“There’s an initiative going on at the moment which is a joint venture between the National Lottery and The Music Venue Trust, where they’re trying to get bigger acts into smaller venues to try and get people to get back to their small or medium-sized venue,” said Joff Oddie.
“We’re really excited about the idea and we’re doing four dates in September. We’re really excited, we’re going to some places we haven’t been before.”
Among the gigs will be a date in Frome, which is apparently famed for its dairy products. Asked about their favourite cheeses, the band replied Babybel (Theo), Cheesestrings (singer Ellie Rowsell), Emmental (Oddie) and Dairylea (drummer Joel Amey).
Watch our full interview with Wolf Alice above, where they also discuss the state of UK music and share their thoughts on their fellow nominees.