by Silke Hartung

Q&A: Albi & The Wolves

by Silke Hartung

Q&A: Albi & The Wolves

Headlining this year’s Auckland Folk Festival and tirelessly gigging all year round, power-folk act Albi & The Wolves have kept punters on their feet and turned into a live favourite of many. This May they will be performing at Auckland’s  Own which is presented by NZ Musician as part of our Boosted crowdfunding campaign for a new website. We had a quick chat with the man with the big voice, front man Chris Dent.

You are one of those powerhouse bands that play live a lot, and manage to greatly engage the audience even if they don’t know any of your songs yet. What tip would you give to a performer who asks you for advice on how to ace stage demeanour and banter?

There are a few basic things which I think people overlook often during a live performance, like being positive on stage, that can lift crowd interest a lot.

Firstly, find banter that is silly rather then nasty. People will laugh along with you if two or three band members can have a battle of their wits, but when things get personal it’s not really funny for anyone.

Secondly you need to try and get dynamic sets so you can give crowds what they want. If you have a sit down crowd have some chilled material, if you have a rowdy lot then practice some songs that will make them dance. Once you have a large diverse set you will have a greater chance to get people invested in your original songs.

Your EP ‘I Will Not Be Broken’ came out independently without much notice last year. Looking back, and knowing what you know now, would you change anything about releasing it the way you did? What would you do differently?

Oh man.. So so much.

Last year we learned about the importance of good PR or Publicity and the benefit of good preparation.

When our album release is ready the singles will come first this time. Also we will have a good marketing person in the know months ahead.

Our radio distribution will be better and generally we will do our utmost to see that as many media outlets as possible will know our music is coming.

The key is in the groundwork before release so even if nobody runs with your music at least they know about you for the future.

What’s up next for you? Can you tell us a little about what you’re working on right now?

We are in the Wolves workshop working towards finishing our first album.

It has been a long process that started in December last year but we finally have the bones now. Micheal Young, our bassist and engineer, has been working tirelessly in at Studio 27A. His studio that happens to live in his Devonport home. He is amazing and some of the tracks are sounding awesome already.

It’s Music Month, got any special plans? What’s your all time favourite Kiwi tune?

Yes! We do! We came together to do something special and one hectic Saturday in April we recorded audio and video for four Kiwi songs to release each week of May.

The idea was that each band member brought one to the table for us to cover with a guest artist to come and perform it with us.

Three of the tracks we will keep a secret but the tune that i liked the most and volunteered for the band was Knitted Into My Bones by Hopetoun Brown.

Here is a link to my favourite performance:

You’ll be playing Auckland’s Own on May 21 – who are you looking forward to most on the night and why?

This is a hard question as every band is pretty damn awesome!
I would have to say I am really looking forward to Skinny Hobos, their stage presence and raw power is unstoppable and with that big sound system that will be amazing!

I have also seen Bailey Wiley in pretty chilled venues like Portland Public House so I can only imagine she is going to be incredible too.
To be honest the gig is gonna be great and I want to talk about everybody but you would run out of page so I will just stick with those two!