An MK-based band with Northampton heritage, S.G. Wolfgang have been planting twisted blues seeds since 2014. The four malcontents are led by the eponymous Sean Grant, who New Boots spoke to about new single ‘Souls Out’.
How did the band get together?
Myself and Fiske [guitarist] are both born and bred Northamptonians, born in our very own Northampton General Hospital. I grew up in the little village of Sywell, and Fiske the not so little village of Parklands. We both got jobs in the bright lights of Milton Keynes so we relocated together, renting our first place. Romantic really. Myself and Fiske have played in various guises over the years. S.G. Wolfgang begun after many of these years of experimentation when I just sat down with a guitar and decided to write some simple songs to go out and play myself in local pubs. It grew from there. Fiske was the first addition: he’s the left hand, I’m the right. Phil, our multi-instrumentally talented organ grinder, was added, and Matty is the third drummer but was always the guy we wanted. If you haven’t seen him drum live I’d highly reccomend it, he’s incredible.
How would you describe your sound?
Queens of the Nick Cave Turners
Who are your main influences in music?
It’s so vast. Fiske has a huge vinyl collection, I DJ everything and anything, Phil likes real intricate instrumental stuff and Matty is the Spotify find king. Deeply routed in the band is Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Queens of the Stone Age with a song smithery edge. My favourite album of last was Idles Brutalism. It really is a gem; the tenacity of the delivery and political slant at a time last year with a disillusioned country.
How did you hook up with Fierce Panda? How do you look back on the 7 Deadly 7 EP now?
Fondly. This EP was a real turning point for us, it felt like we’d reached our sound and feel, recording it at Konk Studios [London studio owned by Ray Davies] too, with Guy Massey producing was an incredible experience. We ended up supporting one of the Fierce Pandas bands at the 100 Club. Mr Simon “Panda” Williams was there and we began a dialogue which later turned into a relationship, which again was a dream after buying Fierce Panda releases as a music fan to being signed to the label ourselves.
Tell us everything about ‘Souls Out’.
It’s a punchy little number, and that’s we wanted for a first single back. Songwriting for me is my form of release / therapy so the songs are very much true to how I feel inside when writing. Before, during and after the writing and recording of this album I went through a tough time dealing with depression and made a lot of changes in my life and learnt a lot about myself. ‘Souls Out’ is the end of the rope: nowhere else to go, exposed to the world, what you are and who you are. I think the instrumentation represents this too with the eerie jerky riff churning its way through the majority of the song.
What are your live shows like?
Miserably fun. I wish I wrote more happy upbeat music that people could get down to! The live setup is a huge sound, Matty is an incredible hard hitting drummer, Fiske is the “octavepus” and Phil has so many cables and pedals and keyboards, which he runs all into a bass amp and a Micro Korg into the PA – which changes up a regular sound somewhat. I think we come across heavier live than we do on record, we certainly class ourselves as a live band.
Are you part of a scene in MK, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands to play with?
We certainly are. Our local venue is The Craufurd Arms which is an incredible venue run by some great guys. I DJ there too. There’s some great bands about. Not a lot doing what we’re doing but there’s Dan Stock recently signed to Heavenly, personal faves Our Man In The Bronze Age, although they’re heavier, but the Craufurd is the hub for it all. It’s great to have a place like that in the area; like-minded people and friends alike.
What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
The first single finally coming out! It had been such a long process, and it popped into the iTunes Alt chart again which was nice to see people still downloading it / streaming it, however that dark magic works these days.
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Ah so much. I’m a sponge for new music, all kinds of genres too. I’ve been playing Childish Gambino ‘This Is America’ on repeat. So good: the message behind it, breaking musical boundaries, the video too. Super super cool.
What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I’m looking forward to having our debut album out end of this year, and I’m looking forward to playing some shows in support of this. I’d love for it to be successful enough for us to make another one, that’s all I want: not much, just to be able to keep creating and pushing out some music that we really love.
Souls Out is available via The Shipping Forecast. Album The Shadows are Lengthening will be released in October. They play the Grey Dog Festival at Roadmender August 18th