Opening acts are meant to get the crowd warmed up and excited before the headliner takes the stage; Sheffield, UK-based Drenge, with the help of NY-based Made Violent, did just that for Wolf Alice on October 13th at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. I arrived a few minutes before doors opened, but fans had been waiting for hours in front of the venue. A group of girls were at the very front of the line, clad in Wolf Alice t-shirts and glitter all over their eyes and hair; once inside, I discovered they were just as excited to see Drenge’s set as I was. The band, made up of brothers Eoin (guitar/vocals) and Rory (drums) Loveless, had quite a few fans in the crowd, including Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys (who also hails from Sheffield). Their setlist included fan favorites like “We Can Do What We Want” and “Bloodsports,” as well as the more melancholy “Fuckabout.” The audience was dancing, clapping, and singing along - a few even tried to start a mosh pit. Rogue caught up with Eoin Loveless to chat about touring with Made Violent and Wolf Alice and their journey across the United States.
I’ve been reading your U.S. tour diary on your tumblr, and it’s really interesting. I love all of the commentary about the people you meet and what you do between shows. Who’s the most interesting person you met while on your U.S. tour?
I met a guy called Kevin in Denver who'd just been laid off his sandwich courier job because of his bike or his health or something. He'd just got a job in Denver's most popular Haunted House as a werewolf. He tried his impression on me. He was cooking steak for his wife that night. He didn't like the phonies that had moved into town because of Denver's marijuana legalisation. He thought it had made the city expensive and boring.
I know you’ve played Glastonbury multiple times. Would you ever want to come back to Southern California and play Coachella? I imagine they’re quite different festivals in regards to the scale, audience, and general vibe.
Undoubtedly. It feels like a natural ambition to play Coachella. How that festival captures the attention of the world, especially through the use of Facebook and Twitter. I feel like Glastonbury still offers the opportunity for complete escape. You just need to know how and when.
Speaking of audiences, which city had the best audience in the U.S.? I was at the Los Angeles show, and the crowd seemed to really be into your set.
Different shows bring different audiences. In Minneapolis, we played to a largely white male 40+ audience unlike Toronto where their crowd was mixed in age, gender and race. LA and NY are important places to play. At Warsaw, in Greenpoint, we incited a mosh pit and people came up to me after and said, "That never happens in NY; especially for support bands."
What was the most typically-American thing you did (or even ate) on your tour?
We had the luxury of a few days to cross the states so we hit up Monument Valley and the less crowded parts of the Grand Canyon. Food wise... Taco John's in North Platte? A baseless burger at Colonial Cafe, Algonquin? McDonald's breakfast somewhere in Nebraska on the I80?
Being in a band with your brother, is it sometimes difficult to write songs? Do you disagree a lot, or do you have to be alone to write something?
It is always difficult to write songs. But we are passionate about what we do and what we deserve to release to the world.
Do you think, touring with bands like Wolf Alice and Made Violent, you guys learn from and influence each other in any way?
Made Violent party. Do they stop? Maybe? I've no idea. They party. End of. Wolf Alice were much more responsible, early bedtimes and focus and dedication. I learnt to let loose with Made Violent but also buckle down when it comes to show time with Wolf Alice.
story and live photos by Alyssa Gengos