Watching Alpha Wolf play Akudama live for the first time in Adelaide on their tour with Polaris is always something that I am going to be extremely grateful to have witnessed. With the highly anticipated release of ‘a quiet place to die’ just around the corner the guys have released three more singles off the album – Creep, bleed 4 you (ft Lizi Bianco) and Restricted.
I caught up with Lochie and Sabian recently to talk about the album, the vinyl boxset and Metallica!
Firstly congratulations on 1 million streams of Akudama. How good is that?
Sabian: It’s wild. We have a couple of songs sitting on 1 million but that’s like way to quick.
Lochie: Yeah that’s just ridiculous.
I remember the first time you guys played it live in Adelaide. When was it that you guys toured with Polaris? Jan-Feb?
Sabian: Way to long ago
Lochie: It doesn’t even feel like it was this year. Feels like way longer. It’s fucked that its September already. And what have we done?
Fuck all!! Well I have! You guys have been busy…
Lochie: That’s debatable!
I at least got one quick gig in before it went to shit again! So tell me all about this album because Holy Shit it’s good!
Sabian: Glad you think so. What do you want to know?
Everything!! You obviously recorded it pre covid.
Sabian: We recorded it at the end of last year. And the very start of the year we did the drum recordings to finish it up
Lochie: We did the vocals at the very start of the year too.
Sabian: The whole album was self-recorded with our friend Lance Prenc. Scottie’s an audio engineer so he took care of all the vocals, so we didn’t have time restraints on the vocals luckily enough. We smashed out all the guitars and bass with Lance as well as drums They are all done in Scottie’s home studio and the drums in a studio with proper sound treatment because they are an acoustic instrument. The guitars you get these days are very digital so its just straight into a computer. We love the whole self-recording process. It’s very personal and its cool to get to work so closely together with that sort of stuff
Lochie: We are only using up our own time not so much a producers.
Yeah you’re not forking out extra money for that
Lochie: Exactly. We just can’t afford that
It’s amazing the number of bands that are doing that now. Today’s technology helps immensely.
Lochie: You can get decent sounding stuff with very little equipment these days.
On to the album, I see there is a part three of Golden Fate. What’s the story behind that?
Sabian: Golden Fate is a series of songs I came up with in relation to my experiences dealing with people’s suicide. I watched this documentary years back called ‘The Bridge’ and it was all about the Golden Gate suicide jumpers and I resonated highly with it. I guess I came up with the term Golden Fate in relation to Golden Gate Bridge. A lot of people are drawn to suicide I guess once they have hit that part in their life, you can kind of tell its coming sadly enough. I wrote a couple of songs to do with that, Golden Fate: Water Break being the act of suicide, like someone jumping off the bridge. Golden Fate: Gut Ache being the immediate feelings in friends and families. And now I have Isolate which is years on and how it’s still affecting me.
So it’s pretty personal?
Sabian: Yes. It resonates with a lot of people. I guess a lot of people are anticipating this song because of the previous one’s on Mono.
I can fully relate to that. Life can get pretty stressful and being in that depressive state can really affect you. You just need a time out.
Sabian: You need mental days. The best of us need mental days.
What would be your favourite song off the album?
Sabian: My personal favourites, I’m always tossing between tracks 5, 6 and 7. Those three are on my high rotation of favourite song. Rotting Pieces being the heaviest, Acid Romance being the bounciest and probably closest to nu-metal we have ever been and bleed 4 you being the melodic one. I’m a sucker for melody.
Yeah I am too! Lizi’s vocals on bleed 4 you are hauntingly beautiful and add so much to the song
Sabian: Once it was tracked we just fell in love with it.
Lochie: As soon as we heard it and Lizi threw out the first line we were just like ‘Yep fuck yeah we’re on now’
What about you Lochie?
Lochie: Mine bounces obviously, it was Creep for a while, but it’s probably Restricted. Actually it bounces between Restricted and Don’t Ask. Don’t Ask was sick because I really had the least to do with that song. Obviously, I am singing on it but writing wise that was just handled by the other guys. At first I fully was not vibing it. I had a really difficult time recording it and then once it was together I was just like ‘Fuck yeah I fully trust you guys’
Your vinyl sales have gone well
Sabian: Yeah. Where are the vinyl sales Greyscale records??? Lol. The sales have been incredible for this record. I think we ended up with seven different variants which is just crazy
I think I have 2 variants coming plus the box set!!!
Sabian: God damn thank you! The limited ones are selling out really quick. We wanted to do something really special with the deluxe edition and the box set. I’m a sucker for a really cool boxset when I find one in JB-HiFi, so I was like let’s do our own. There’s some real cool stuff in it. Just to be able to do the deluxe gatefold edition, they are definitely a lot pricier to make but we are lucky that we have a real solid fanbase that are going to buy our products when we take a risk on them.
Lochie: I think we wanted to splash and do a bunch of really cool stuff for the Fault release, but it was an EP, it’s not a huge record, we sort of just gave it the appropriate amount of stuff to put with it. We went all out for this album
Sabian: We were really hoping we weren’t over our heads within our ideas, especially I guess with the boxset. But they have sold. We had 150 to start with and then Sharptone said they wanted 150 as well so now there’s 300 in total. Unfortunately because we couldn’t get together as a band we couldn’t take more polaroids, so they are an Australian exclusive. It’s only something small, a polaroid, but everyone gets their own personal one off polaroid which I think is kind of cool
That is special, that’s such a cool thing to have as a fan.
Sabian: If my favourite band was doing it I’d love it
The vinyl from the boxset looks sick. It turned out so good!
Sabian: We are very happy with it. I wish the others weren’t delayed but unfortunately we were told that freighting everything by plane was an astronomical price. So they’re on a slow ass boat!
I think the everyone understands that the way things are at the moment.
Lochie: Yes, there’s a lot more leniency with it which is good. Luckily, we still have something on release day.
Sabian: We’re not delaying the album release day, that still happens on Saturday 25th September which is sick.
I guess now it’s the big wait for release day.
Sabian: We have another music video dropping soon. It’s looking incredible, we got the second draft yesterday. It’s going to get some people talking I think!!
Lochie: Yes, should be a good one! I’ve been most excited for that this whole time.
Sabian: I think it drops a week before the album does as a final push. I’ll find whatever other quirky methods I can to release whatever else I can!
There has been some ingenious methods used to release stuff lately!
Sabian: This album is our baby and we want to do literally everything we can to promote it. We are doing really well with stats and social media but we’re still not as big as Metallica so there’s still room to move!!
I’d rather come and watch you guys over Metallica any day. I’ve never really gotten in to them to be honest.
Sabian: They are still the biggest metal band in the world!!
Lochie: Oh man!!! Sabian loves Metallica.
Oopss sorry Sabian!!!
Sabian: They are that big though
I’m more a Black Sabbath girl. I just pre-ordered their anniversary box set. They’re a band I unfortunately never got to see.
Sabian: I just brought the big Hybrid Theory box set that dropped the other day. I had to do it! I’m spewing that when I watched Linkin Park at Soundwave I had to leave their set early to get into the mosh pit area for Metallica and I regret that one
I regret not going to Soundwave the year Soundgarden played.
Lochie: I was at Soundwave the year Metallica played. I was sitting down eating a $14 hotdog listening to Metallica from 500 metres away!
Sabian: I was 3 rows from the front squashed by 1000 of screaming females and loving every minute of it.
Lochie: I think it was about 3 years later I was like fuck that was Metallica, I probably should have watched them!
This is why I go to so many gigs now. I’d hate to miss a band and then they break up or never tour again.
Sabian: Well you never know, is it going to be the last gig or what
If we never have gigs again it will kill me
Lochie: We’re all going to move if that’s the fucking case!
We can just go start our own community out in the middle of Australia!!
Sabian: Perth’s popping off, they’ve got gigs happening
Lochie: Perth are finally going to get some tours.
Perth have some damn good bands coming out of there at the moment
Sabian: Yeah they do.
Lochie: It’s weird, it’s the same country but it feels different over there. It so far away.
Sabian: I feel for them. We started off in Tasmania and it was easy enough for us to catch a $60 flight to Melbourne to play gigs. But for them to come over and do one show it’s $400-$500 one way.
It’s a big risk to take when you are starting out.
Okay back to the album! I love Scottie’s quote “Taking what works and putting it on steroids”
Sabian: That’s what we did! We toured Fault so much and we figured out exactly the parts that we love playing live and what the fans react to the most and we wrote to that. We enjoy that the most. I feel like these songs are going to be wild live, eventually….
That first night you played Akudama in Adelaide and I was like what the actual fuck was that.
Sabian: That song is kind of different now that people know it, it was fun when people didn’t know it but now its going to be crazy.
That first night of that Polaris tour in Adelaide was probably the best I had ever seen you guys play.
Lochie: That was such a fun show. It was one of my favourite shows of that tour.
Sabian: It was fun
Oh and you guys were waiting on your visas to get sorted that weekend.
Sabian: Yeah 6 months of stress to play 5 shows in America.
You at least got to play 5 shows I guess..
Sabian: We got a story to tell out of it.
Lochie: It was literally the last thing we did.
Sabian: The last time we saw Mitch was in Detroit. He’s banned from Victoria. He’s up in Brisbane. He’s signed all the polaroids and then sent them down to us to sign and then we sent then on to each other. The same with this music video that is coming out he was filmed in Brisbane and we were filmed in Melbourne. We wish that he had been with us there, but he couldn’t be
Oh so you guys aren’t even going to be together on release day to celebrate
Sabian: We’ll be on zoom, in our moccasins, celebrating!!
After listening to ‘a quiet place to die’ Alpha Wolf have earned the right to party in their moccasins!! Mark the 25th September on every calendar you have because you definitely do not want to miss the drop of this album!! Better yet see if you can snavel one of the few vinyls that are still floating around. I’ve always said these guys were going to be big but ‘a quiet place to die’ will see them firmly stamp their mark not only in Australia but around the world.
The video for their latest single Restricted (18+) is below and comes with a trigger warning from the band.
Trigger Warning: The clip contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing, Including scenes of assault, violence and suicide. Viewer discretion is advised. If you wish not to view the clip it is available on streaming services. Wherever you are in Australia, you can call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) for confidential information, counselling and support on sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.