After an intimate penthouse performance hosted by Magnises at their new townhouse location, the Hotel on Rivington, located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Wolf Colony sat down with us for a brief interview and gave us some insight into the process of entering the music industry and his new album, Unmasked.
AW: Can you tell us a bit more about the wolf behind the mask? Who are you when you’re not performing?
WC: I tend to identify still as a singer songwriter. It’s important for me to separate the art from the artists, so that’s the reason behind the mask. I think, in general, I’m very chill and like most people. I love music and food. I like enjoying NYC and hanging out with my friends, but music is my passion and my focus.
AW: Do you have a plan for the mask to come off at any point in the future, or is it a permanent part of you as Wolf Colony?
WC: I think for now it is definitely a permanent piece, but who knows what will happen. It is definitely something that I identify with. It gives me comfort and enables me to say and do whatever I want [artistically] without having it be about me specifically.
AW: You went to business school before breaking into music. Was there something else you saw yourself pursuing before you went down this track?
WC: I actually didn’t know what I wanted to do, I just went to business school because it was recommended to me by family and friends, and just culture in general. Until I found music, I honestly didn’t have a purpose in life. Now music is a priority and everything else is secondary.
AW: You just recently released your album, Unmasked, was this your first recorded work?
WC: Yeah, this is my first official work that I’ve ever done. Before that, I started in college writing music, songs specifically, with no musical background whatsoever. It just sort of came out of nowhere. It wasn’t until I moved to New York a couple of years ago that I actually started to record and take it more seriously.
AW: How was the process creating the album?
WC: To be honest, it happened very easily and naturally. I used to write songs and sing. Neil Sarin, who is my producer and manager, we were friends from college, he used to tell me “you’re good, you’re good,” but I always thought “no, I’m never going to do this.”
Once I was up here in NY he sent me some tracks, and I came up with lyrics and melodies over them instantly. I didn’t sit down to write, they just came to me. I recorded some demos and sent them back to him. He said they were amazing, so every few months we recorded more and more, and a year and a half later we had the full album ready.
So, I’d say there wasn’t a lot of pressure because I wasn’t signed. It was important to not be signed because I wanted to take my time and to enjoy it. And now I’m a lot more open when it comes to that.
AW: Does the Album title “Unmasked” suggest that it’s something introspective or something a bit less personal?
WC: I think the inspiration is that I don’t have to reveal my face for you to know who I am. You can listen to my songs, my lyrics, or ask me questions and I will answer them truthfully. You don’t have to look at me to know who I am. I think that’s a mistake that a lot of people make. When they look at someone, they think “this is this sort of person” or “that sort of person,” but I dont want that holding me back. I want complete freedom creatively.
AW: What was your reasoning behind leaving the tracks sounding a bit more raw and not delving into the endless layers of post production?
WC: Very simply, it just felt right at the time. My song writing process was very natural, so I wanted to evoke that same emotion vocally. So whatever I recorded and however that sounded, I wanted to stick with it.
AW: How is that transitioning to live performance?
WC: It hasn’t been very easy to be honest. I think that’s the toughest part as far as creating music – how to translate recorded songs into a live show, especially because I’m a solo artist. I’ve hired bands and it didn’t work, hired other bands and it didn’t work. Now, finally, I’m getting a band together that I feel very comfortable with. I know what to play electronically and what to play live, so its a lot of experimentation seeing what works and what doesn’t.
AW: What else do you have in store? Can you give us some insight into what comes next?
WC: I’m very excited, I just finished mixing my new EP, which is titled “Ocean,” today, and I’m premiering it at Le Poisson Rouge on July 9th. I’m also shooting a short video for it, so it’s more of an art project. After that, I’m playing a festival in Barcelona with Hard Rock Rising. It will be incredible. I’ve never played a festival before so I’m very excited to be performing there.
You can check out music and videos by Wolf Colony at wolfcolony.com as well as on Soundcloud, Spotify, and YouTube.
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