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Turbowolf have been active since 2008 but the chances are you have only heard of this band in the past 12 months or so. For those not in the know, Turbowolf are hard to pin down, mixing a blend of psychedelia, riffs, punk metal (and flamboyant shirts.) They are currently one of the most interesting and best up and coming bands in the UK. It has been a year since their début album was released on Hassle Records but the band have been relentlessly touring the UK and Europe to promote its release, and recently released a covers EP that saw the band put their twisted take on songs from the likes of The Hives and MGMT.
Already Heard caught up with Chris Georgiadis (Vocals/Synths) and Blake Davies (drums) to chat about the success of their début album, their run of UK headline dates, why Black Moth were a bad choice for touring buddies, the hardships of getting Pantera to support them and the prospect of a bigger Pharaohs head and an octopus being added to their live show in 2013. Ladies and gentleman I welcome you to the warped mind of Turbowolf…
Already Heard: This is your first headline tour, how does it feel for you to be doing something like this and how has it gone so far?
Blake: So far it’s been amazing, it’s quite scary, obviously it’s the first time we’ve done it so we are worried about people turning up and you know, paying attention to it but the response has been great, done some amazing shows and met some lovely people.
Chris: Yeah it’s been really good so far, so far so good! We’ve had a lot more people at the shows then we thought, I think our last couple of years of touring, festivals and supporting other bands has definitely paid off. So when we came around this time it brought together a lot of different crowds from different places. We have done a lot of different stuff, so it is quite weird you get people coming to see you and you get ones going oh why are they here, and the others go why are they here, I think we attract an eclectic mix of people because that is what our sound is a mix.
AH: You have a lot of local support acts opening for you, did you have a hand in picking these bands if so, what did you look for in them?
Chris: Yeah absolutely, basically we just said in each place these are our choices for these places, if you could get them that’s great, in a few of them they could, we got Wet Nuns for London and Throne doing Bristol.
Blake: We tried getting Pantera for Bristol but it is really difficult…
Chris: Harder than you think. Yeah we pretty much had a choice of who we wanted which was cool, a few we didn’t but they turned out pretty good anyway.
AH: You’ve got Leeds band Black Moth on tour with you, what is it like taking those guys out on tour with you?
Blake: It’s horrible! They are just awful people…
Chris: Yeah, I don’t know why anyone would want to tour with them literally…
Blake: People are going to get fired for that decision…
Chris: Probably us because we chose them.
Blake: Well I am thinking of quitting the band just because of how horrendous it has been
Chris: The worst thing about them is they’re too good, playing all the right riffs. We wanted to take a band out who were a bit shit, so we could look really good but it hasn’t worked out that way.
AH: Your covers EP has just been released slap bang in the middle of this 13 date run. Why did you choose to do a covers EP?
Chris: Basically, our record label wanted to re-release the album in conjunction with this tour and kind of as of the end of the album cycle as they see it. That’s how they see things, neat little time periods, it’s all bullshit obviously. They wanted to do but it didn’t happen in the end. They wanted to put out an extra disc with the reissue, because obviously that is what you do because your fans aren’t going to buy it again or whatever. So they wanted us to put out some new stuff because we kind of want to make it really really good, and we don’t want to waste it on an EP we just want to chuck out there so we are going to save all our new stuff for the next album. So for this we just thought we are doing somebody to love live. We have been doing for a while, so we thought lets put that down and we might as well do some other bands stuff to keep it in a theme.
AH: It is an eclectic selection of songs to covers. Are they bands who influence you as a group or bands you just wanted to cover? Blake: Every song that has ever been written we wrote down and we put into a bucket, which wasn’t actually that big…
Chris: I know its amazing you think the bucket would be bigger…
Blake: I went in about 8 or 9 times for a Michael Jackson song but it didn’t happen so just ended up doing…
Chris: …Captain Caveman by Lightening Bolt. I think we just picked basically a varied mix of stuff we are into. Like we’ve got the old stuff like Somebody to Love which is an old classic track then we wanted to do something modern like The Hives. MGMT which is a completely different sort of band, and its a band we love. We wanted to make it kind of doomier and do our own thing with it. The Captain Caveman one by Lightening Bolt, we wanted to do that one because there is some really great riffs in that but in the original you can’t hear it at all. The album sounds like it has been recorded on a tape player in a rehearsal studio and that’s it done. It is really hard work for people to listen to it and hear the actual song underneath and the riffs are really fucking awesome. We wanted to bring that out and be like if you dig this then check them out.
AH: It’s been nearly a year since you released your début album, the reception has been phenomenal. How did it feel to get such positive feedback?
Chris: It has been really nice that it has been so well received. We were never expecting that, when we put it out we were just like this is an album we are really happy with, we have spent a lot of time and worked hard in the time that we had. So we were happy with it and we thought some people are going to like it out there but many more thought it was good then we expected. It is really great as it has opened up a few more doors for us, we can come and do stuff like a headline tour which is working out so well and it also means we can go away and write another album. I guess doing stuff like this makes it worth writing another album.
AH: What can we expect from Turbowolf in 2013?
Chris: More weird shit. I think we are going to do more weird videos. We are just going to get weirder. I think if we get more funding to do the next album, then I think everything is going to become bigger and brighter and bolder and we are going to slowly evolve into the epic beast that we were meant to be. I mean we have been doing that in tiny basements for year but I think we are aiming for the big time. Like we have a big Egyptian head on stage there, I think when we get a bigger van we will have a bigger head…
Blake: Or an octopus…
Chris: An octopus with flashing eyes. We just want to be fun and entertaining and just try and do something new and different and not do anything people expect, we want to try and fuck with people… So expect that.
‘Covers EP Vol.1’ by Turbowolf is available now on Hassle Records.
Words by Robert Maddison (@BertMaddison)