Belfast lads Go Wolf all set to sink their fangs into Big Apple
With a US record deal under their belt, the ambitious trio of rockers tell Chris Jones why they’re always on the lookout for new opportunities
Go Wolf are a young band with ambition and talent to burn. Already established as one of the brightest lights in the local indie-pop firmament, the Belfast three-piece have spent the last two years gigging hard around the city and beyond, supporting the likes of The 1975, CSS and Wild Beasts and, slowly but surely, getting their music out into the world.
Their debut single Voices – a slice of sighing indie-pop with the intimacy of The xx and the sun-kissed poise of Phoenix – was picked up by Parisian label Kitsuné, who also gave Two Door Cinema Club their big break, for the latest edition of their compilation series.
And not content with following in the footsteps of the Bangor rockers, now the band have set their sights even further afield.
Last month, the band signed a two-single deal with New York indie label Ooh La La Records, and the first of those singles, live favourite One More Night, followed immediately.
According to frontman Scott Jamison, the connection took place at South By Southwest, the annual music industry jamboree in Austin, Texas, in March this year, with a little help from Radio 1 DJ and Omagh man Phil Taggart.
"Phily introduced our manager Paul to Theo, who runs the label," he says. "Paul played him our stuff and he was into it – once they heard a few more tracks, they were keen to put stuff out."
The second single, Talk To You, is slated for release on August 12, but the band aren't ready to dive in feet first with the American label just yet.
"We'll see," says Scott. "I think they would be happy to keep releasing stuff but we just want to keep our options open and see where the next couple of tracks take us."
All the same, it's not every day that a young band from Northern Ireland signs with a label based in New York. Scott admits that it would be "absurd" to see this as the beginning of an assault on America, but it's a start, and with a trip planned to play some gigs in and around New York at the end of October, things are getting exciting.
Now that Go Wolf have concrete connections in Paris and New York, it's starting to look like there is a definite strategy in place. Scott and his bandmates are poised, confident individuals with an experienced team around them, and so far it's reaping rewards.
"If we were four years younger and total scenesters looking to start a band, it would have just been a Belfast thing and we would have taken small steps," he says. "But we started with ambition in mind.Myself and Chris (Sloan, bassist), especially, are quite ambitious. It was always our strategy to look for those opportunities, but they still happened quite naturally."
Before the band make it across the Atlantic, they have dates at the T In The Park festival in Scotland, as well as Stendhal this weekend and Culture Night Belfast closer to home. Then there's the small matter of Scott's studies – he is due to finish a PhD in poetry in January – and beyond that, the vital debut album.
"I have a busy six months to go and that will be me done," he says. "To be honest, I'm really looking forward to being able to focus on music full-time. We're almost done with the first album's-worth of material so we're working towards it. I feel like we've got a really concise body of work now. We're pleased with the direction it's going in."
Go Wolf play the Stendhal Festival, Limavady, tomorrow. For details, visit www.stendhalfestival.com