Interview with Jack Wolven
Interview by Demitri Levantis
Photos by Jo Blackened – Altercarnated Photography
Following his band’s appearance tonight at The Black Heart supporting Necronautical on their UK tour, Jack Wolven of Wolvencrown joined us backstage to chat about what the band has been up to. But first, we had to ask about a rather bad accident that had bestowed the band during their set that forced them to cut the show a little short.
Great show tonight, but can you tell us exactly what went wrong in the midst of your set?
So, the bass drum skin broke or tore, there was…the pedal went through the skin and that was an issue as we were running behind already; the first band had a lot of equipment and it was like, we had to cut it short as they had loads of equipment and packed down slowly. Nothing we could do, but we didn’t want to take any time to run over as it’s Sunday and the curfew is 10:30 pm and we liked to be a good band.
Have you ever had anything like that happen to you before at gigs?
Not really, we have technical issues through the whole gig so I guess so.
How do you think tonight went despite that happening?
Difficult as I’m sick as well so I was feeling a bit tired and run down but it went well considering it was tough.
Where did you travel from tonight?
We travelled from Bristol.
So you guys are all close to each other in the midlands?
We’re from Nottingham.
When was the last time you played in Nottingham and was it with Necronatical?
The last time we played Nottingham was in December.
How has this tour been so far?
It’s been great actually, as every show has sold really well, every band has been great, the band who opened for us on Friday, Blood Countess were incredible -friends of ours. Yesterday was great as well, it was sold out but was at The Gryphon, so a really small venue and not much to write home about.
Is this the first time you’ve played the Black Heart?
No, we’ve played here two times before and it’s all been good.
How do you feel about the most recent album/release you made, was that anything the band has never done before?
Yeh, it was an ‘EP’. We released it last year when we had nothing else to do, so we all got together over the internet, shared our ideas and wrote an ‘EP’
Do you all have input when it came to the writing?
Yes, it’s mainly me and Nick; he’ll come to me with ideas and then we get them moulded into form, we’ll take them to a room, work them over, do the demo thing and things change every time. We’ll write something then we’ll go into the studio and because you listen to it over and over again, things change as you feel it should sound a certain way.
Did you do anything new on this EP, anything you’ve never done before?
It’s slower, it’s bleaker, more melancholic overall.
How does it feel getting back on the road after the Covid lockdowns?
Great! It’s fun and I’m surprised this actually went ahead because in December the government were bringing in the Plan B restrictions so I thought it would be cancelled, I thought they were going to do another blow to the music industry.
How do you feel about the vaccines, are you vaccinated?
Yes, I am vaccinated. My thoughts on it are; I got it to help, but how much is enough, like boosters? I’ve had three now and I had them so I could play music and I could travel and I don’t believe we’re being told everything about them. I think it feels very controlling.
So have you got anything coming up besides the rest of this tour?
Back to work tomorrow, haha! So after this, we’re in Nottingham next and then in Manchester. We’re playing with ‘The Infernal Sea’ for a few dates in April: Sheffield, York I think…
Are you coming to London?
Maybe, I’m not sure but we’ll be back. Then we have a few shows with Havukruunu the next time they’re in the UK…
The Finnish band?
Yeah, great band. And then we are headlining ‘HRH Vikings’ one of the days – I don’t know which day yet.
Do you think festivals will be back for this summer?
Yes, I think everything will go ahead as it was. I think now too much money has been lost so to cancel anything again would be too much of a dent in the pocket of people who like making money.
It hit the music industry really hard, didn’t it?
Are there any bands you would really like to share the stage with if you ever had the chance?
That’s a tough one haha! Mayhem would be a great band to share the stage with, basically, they’re the OGs of black metal….(We all laugh).
Any festivals you want to play?
Hellfest, Wacken, Brutal Assault, all of them, anything in mainland Europe. Inferno Festival in Norway would be great too.
How do you think Wolvencrown has changed over its history?
We got tighter for sure, we’ve matured in our songwriting and we’re more of a collective effort now than when it was one man driving the band at the start of it. When we released our first album and began writing the second, I had more input over what we were writing so it’s more of a collective effort.
What advice would you give to any fans who want to start their own band?
Erm, don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go your way. Be prepared to play to very few people.
It can be a lot of pressure when you start…
It can be very disheartening when you start out and you don’t get the crowd but you just have to keep doing it, just keep at it. Never underestimate the power of time and what that can do because the longevity of something can add value to it.
What is the best gig you’ve played so far?
With Wolvencrown; the highlight is when we played Scotland in a place called St Luke’s in 2019 with ‘Saor’ and ‘Sylvane’ and that was a turning point for me as there were about 300 people there and I looked out and thought, “Oh my god!” It was a bit intense for sure.
I’ll finish this up by asking, what do you enjoy most about being a musician?
Erm, meeting people…
Like us? (All laugh)
Yeah, it sounds cliché but getting to meet people and all kinds of bands, it’s great as everybody has got something to say or something to share that can make your life a little bit cooler. Obviously playing shows to fucking hundreds of people is great too.
Well, thanks again for joining us and thanks again for playing a great gig tonight. Best of luck with the rest of the tour.