Theo Ellis, (seen here on the left), bass player with Wolf Alice, chats with Kevin Cooper about his inspirational mum, playing Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage, the release of their new album Visions Of A Life and their forthcoming tour of the UK.

Theo Ellis is the bass player with Wolf Alice, a four piece alternative rock band from north London. Formed in 2010, the band’s line up has since changed and now comprises vocalist Ellie Rowsell, Joff Oddie on guitar and vocals and drummer Joel Amey.

When their original bass player, Sadie Cleary left to pursue her studies, Ellis joined the band in late 2012. They released their debut single, Fluffy, in February 2013 and their follow up single, Bros later that year. In October of the same year Wolf Alice released their first official EP called Blush.

In December 2013, they were chosen as the single most blogged artist in the UK in that year by BBC Radio 6 Music. In 2014 they signed to Dirty Hit Records, and released their second EP Creature Songs in May. In December 2014 the band were named Best Breakthrough Artist at the UK Festival Awards.

In June 2017, Wolf Alice released the lead single Yuk Foo off their upcoming sophomore studio album Visions Of A Life, scheduled for release on 29th September 2017.

Whilst busy getting ready for a series of intimate dates, he took some time out to have a chat with Kevin Cooper and this is what he had to say.

Hi Theo how are you?

I’m doing very well thank you Kevin. How are you today?

I’m very well thank you and let me just thank you for taking the time to speak to me today.

No worries man, thank you for taking the time to speak to me.

And just how is life treating you?

Life at the moment is really good. You catch me in my mum’s kitchen trying to make some eggs for lunch (laughter).

I have to say that I have been playing the new album Visions Of A Life for the past few days and I personally think that it is a great piece of work.

Oh thank you, that’s brilliant.

So tell me, whose vision is it of whose life?

(Laughter) to be honest despite the title I don’t think that it is anyone’s vision of any specific life. It is more about lots of different interconnected stories that come together to make a life. For example, the artwork for the new album reminds me of when I used to play make-believe as a kid; your visions of a life are more like the things that are going to come. It is not just one person’s vision, one person’s thing, it is more like lots of different stories.

Are you all happy with the album?

Yes, that is pretty much the first point by which you gauge whether or not you have made something that is good. If you are all happy with it then everything else should follow suit really. Whenever you are truly impressed by the work that you have done that is the time that you realise that you have created something good. With this album we really did want to surpass the works that we had done before not necessarily by making something that was better, but simply by progressing.

I have to say that at the moment I think that Beautifully Unconventional is my favourite track on the album. Do you have a favourite track?

That’s brilliant of you to say that, thank you very much. I have to be honest with you and say that my favourite track changes quite a lot (laughter). I haven’t actually listened to the album in ages now, it must be nearly two months or so. After being in the studio working on the mixes and just how the album was going to sound, I personally feel that you need to take a step back from it in order to get a bit of a perspective of the work. However, having said all of that if you pushed me then I would have to say that I really do love Visions Of A Life which is the last track on the record.

It’s funny that you should mention that particular track as I was going to say that at almost eight minutes long there is little chance of putting it out as a seven inch single is there?

(Laughter) I don’t know, we might just surprise you at some stage (laughter).

You will just have to do what American folk rock singer and songwriter Don McLean did with American Pie back in 1971. He split the song into two parts with one on each side of the single.

(Laughter) that’s a good idea. We will stretch it out so that it skips over both sides of the vinyl. I can imagine that would be a good listening experience.

Will you wait to see just how the fans react to the new album before you start to think about a third album?

I honestly don’t think that anyone will be thinking about the third album right now. Don’t get me wrong, somewhere everyone will be thinking about it and everyone is always writing down the ideas that they have but at best there have only been a couple of drunken chats about what we want to do with the third album (laughter) having said that, I don’t really think that a third album is on the horizon yet. Let’s wait and see what happens in a couple of months when Visions Of A Life is released. At the moment we are just enjoying getting the live set together more than anything else.

From your own point of view, once the album is finished can you walk away or are you a fiddler who is always looking for things to change?

(Laughter) now that I know that it is in the place that it is in, and we have all listened to it so much, and we are all happy with it, I personally wouldn’t want to fiddle with it anymore. On this album we were quite rigorous and meticulous when we were going over things as we don’t like to let any stone go unturned. We loved to go into finite detail with this album, and we actually found ourselves labouring over the finer aspects. Also I can’t fucking fiddle with it because it is done now (laughter). It is being made as we speak so it’s too late (laughter). This album was the first time that we had gone into things with a fine tooth comb. This is probably the most meticulous piece of work that we have ever made. We were afforded more time and so we used that time to make sure that the album was as detailed as it could be.

You are about to go out on an intimate venue tour. Whose idea was that?

That was the idea of the entire band. It is not that often that we get to play these sorts of intimate shows and so for us to have the opportunity to do it now is really exciting for us. It is where we cut our teeth and where we spent years and years playing and travelling up and down the UK in a van (laughter). So for us to get back doing that feels really exciting.

I am hoping to get over to The Venue in Derby to see you next week.

That would be so cool, make sure that you email Ian and tell him to get you on the bands guest list. Tell Ian that Theo says that it is a matter of life or death that he gets you on the guest list. I’m not quite sure just how I am going to do that but it should frighten him enough to get you on the list (laughter).

Then you are coming back to the UK for a full-blown tour and I see that you will be playing Rock City on the Wednesday 15th November. Is Rock City a must play venue for you?

Yes it is, Rock City is one of my favourite venues up there in Nottingham and is one of my all-time favourite venues to play within the UK. The place is totally amazing. You have got all of the old style Hells Angels loading the gear in and out. That venue really is incredible. We have played there a bunch of times now.

I have photographed you twice now at Rock City. Once was on your last tour and the first time was a couple of years ago at the Dot To Dot Festival when you played just before Macaulay Culkin’s Pizza Underground.

(Laughter) I remember it now that was the day (laughter). Yes you are right, Macaulay Culkin’s Pizza Underground was what was happening that day.

Talk about falling flat on your face (laughter).

Yes indeed but it was never a brilliant idea. At one stage during his set we actually began feeling sorry for him but what can you say, a truly bad idea that went horrendously wrong.

What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far?

I don’t really have one highlight simply because it has been such a rapid succession of amazing things. However, I think getting to this point now and being a little older has given me the opportunity to see the wood for the trees. Having the album almost ready for release really does seem like a career highlight to me. I really do feel very excited about that and I am really proud of the album. So right now at this very moment today, sitting in my mum’s kitchen drinking coffee the new album feels like the highlight of my career.

Who has inspired you along the way?

That’s easy it would have to be Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age and my mum.

How was it playing Glastonbury?

We have played at Glastonbury three times now which is mad. I remember my heart palpitating as we were getting ready to go out onto the Pyramid stage. The whole experience was just so nerve-wracking. There were just so many people there. I can’t even remember if we were any good or what was going on, the whole event was just so insane. For us to be able to play that stage in front of all of those people after just our first album was just nuts (laughter). I still can’t quite believe that happened at that stage in our career.

What was the first record that you bought?

That would have been Born To Do It by Craig David.

Who did you first see performing live in concert?

That was the Red Hot Chilli Peppers at Hyde Park here in London being supported by James Brown.

What was the last song or piece of music that made you cry?

That is a really hard question for me to answer simply because I can’t remember the last time that a song or piece of music made me cry (laughter). Hang on, this didn’t make me cry but I listened to this album that I really love, it’s by Willy Mason and it is called If The Ocean Gets Rough. I fucking love that album, it’s amazing.

On that note Theo let me once again thank you for taking the time to speak to me today, it’s been great. Take care and good luck with the album launch and both tours. I hope to catch you in Derby and Nottingham. Bye for now.

Thanks very much Kevin and I will hopefully see you very soon. Nice one and bye for now.