Wolf Gang: “Dropping out of uni was the easiest decision of my life.”

01.09.09, Words by: Ruth Saxelby

WOLF GANG (Max McElligott) is a tricky bugger to get hold of but after much to-ing and fro-ing, I finally catch up with him over email. He’s in the studio constantly, you see, on a mission to make pop music cool again. Debut single ‘Pieces Of You’ out now on Neon Gold (download it on the right) is his first stake in the ground – part bubblegum synth-pop, part PHIL SPECTOR influenced production (pre-incarceration, natch) with a nod towards TALKING HEADS. One listen is definitely not enough and there’s plenty more where that came from. Tracks like ‘Lions In Cages’ and ‘Dance Into The Fire’ (both of which you can hear on WOLF GANG’s myspace) sound like sepia-tinted summers and make you long for days spent laying around in fields doing the buttercup test to see if you like butter.

Not that Max is much of a lay-about. He’s got far too much to say and the current state of the music industry is what he needs to get off his chest right now. “The real pioneers of music,” he says over email, “are the young people who are finding new ways of spreading free music over the internet. They’ve come pretty close to making the music industry somewhat irrelevant. Once the older generation who run the music industry today and the young people go for a pint, share some information and understand where each is coming from, the industry will become a little more stable and the world will be saved.”

Having previously had a potentially lucrative career in the Foreign Office in his sights (wonder what they would have made of his have-a-pint diplomatic skills), Max gave in to the lure of music just two months before his finals. “Dropping out of uni was possibly the easiest decision of my life,” he admits. After a period spent enjoying the high life swigging cocktails at the now defunct Rakehell’s Revels soirée at London’s Café Royal and throwing notorious masked ball parties for London’s elite, he settled down to work on Wolf Gang full time. With a proclaimed song writing ability on tap and Morrissey/Madness producer Clive Langer’s old piano to hand (he left it in the house Max now lives in) – not to mention boundless ambition – surely he’s all set?

Which leads us back to the task in hand. His music. Think a ménage à trios with JOY DIVISION, TALKING HEADS and DAVID BOWIE and you arrive at Wolf Gang’s dreamy pop sounds. Although, Max, can you put it any better? “It’s just really fucking cool. Just joking. I’ll go for classic, melodic and upbeat.” Done.

Keep an ear out for the next single coming out in October.

Wolf Gang’s myspace

For more pop with legs, check out our interview with Primary 1.

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