We’re very into the hidden world, so there’s definitely that in the album… even if it’s not obvious or apparent.
Turbowolf have played a heavy role in Bristol’s music scene over the last few years. They’ve been responsible for many prolific shows, as well as an arsenal of psych-rock belters. More recently, we’ve been biting their hands for a new record — but the wait is finally up as album number two lands this month.
“What we tried to do was make it bigger in every way, so the new record is more expansive. If anyone out there is familiar with our first, this one pushes that further in all directions”, frontman Chris Georgiadis tells me this with a burning sense of excitement. Its simple title ‘Two Hands’ is ironic considering the complex and confrontational nature of the tracks within. What’s kept Turbowolf two steps ahead of their contemporaries so far is their attitude toward convention, namely throwing it out the window. This is a record packed with hidden quirks just waiting to be discovered.
Playing a clear part is their unusual fascination for all things esoteric. “We’re very into the hidden world, so there’s definitely that in the album… even if it’s not obvious or apparent, we like to have secrets for people to discover and muse upon”. Chris lets out a laugh as I suggest they’re into weird stuff, before continuing to explain how writer and unconventional theorist Graham Hancock has done some spoken word on the new album. Perhaps it’s this kind of thing that allows the band to so inexplicably strike a chord with an increasingly diverse set of people.
Such a vivid approach boils down to the fact that the band don’t let things like trends or fashion get in the way of their music, nor the predictability of the music industry. This also afforded them the ability to take their time with this record. “We didn’t want to conform to the idea of the industry’s cycle of how things should work. I think we push against that. For us it’s always about creating art, we make music because we feel something we want to express, rather than it being a commercial product”.
With the band being in a different position this time around, the onus was taken away from holding down day-jobs, which in turn added a new focus. “Certainly making this album was a completely different experience. Just working with producer Tom Dalgety [Band Of Skulls, The Maccabees] was the first big thing to change, and then just in the way we could really do it in one solid block of time”. A far cry from the early days at Factory Studios, where we’re told an early incarnation practiced under the moniker Darts Players’ Wives.
It’s hard to believe that the new record could be bigger-sounding than their debut, but early singles ‘Solid Gold’ and ‘Rabbits Foot’ back that statement up with remarkable conviction. It is of course their live show, though, where the tracks really come to life. From the early days of their own ‘Wolf Parties’ to more recent big festival appearances and music royalty tour supports, it’s safe to say this band now have the art down to a tee. One more emotional night was the The Croft’s final farewell, of which Chris has fond memories. “That one really sticks in my mind, just because of the raw emotion that was involved in it. There was a different energy in that room, sadness mixed with joy… to do the last one there was just really special”.
The band are set to play The Marble Factory this month, the UK finale before heading out to Europe, and it’s clear they’re looking forward to ticking off yet another Bristol venue. “I haven’t even been there yet so that’s exciting, Bristol is always good to us, people have a bit of a party really, it’s not a gig but more of a celebration”. This will be the first string of dates since that infamous tour with heroes Death From Above 1979, onto which being asked left them genuinely humbled — “DFA were one of our big influences when we first started. So to go on tour with them was a bit of a highlight of our lives, really. The nice thing about it was that it was through a personal link. It wasn’t through an agent or management, it was for no other reason other than that they liked our band, and that’s just amazing. To have that mutual admiration, it’s mind-blowing”.
With the record in the bag, even more touring is where Turbowolf’s priorities currently lie. “We’ve got loads to do. Now it’s just all about making the live shows happen, getting out there, travelling, meeting people”. Who knows where 2015 leads for these four, one of Bristol’s most charismatic live acts. If one thing is certain, however, it’s the mess set to ensue as they round off their UK tour with a huge home show.
Turbowolf play The Marble Factory on 22nd April, with ‘Two Hands’ out on the 6th via Search And Destroy.
Check out the new video for ‘Nine Lives’ right here: