The Wolfmen are formed around the main song-writing partnership of Marco Pirroni and Chris Constantinou who met in 80s pop sensations Adam and the Ants. Since then both have worked with various luminaries until being fully renuited again in The Wolfmen.
The first thing that struck me about meeting The Wolfmen was how totally relaxed they appear. In fact on first walking into their South London studio of choice I find Marco Pirroni asleep on the sofa, not five minutes later Marco is in chat mode, Chris pulls out the beers and Music News starts to delve into what they are up to.
'We are recording Daler Mehndi’s album at the moment' says a black spiky haired Chris. 'Our debut album is ready we are just waiting for the artwork to be finalised.'
Drawing on his Marlboro Light Marco further explains the recent collaboration, 'Two Eyes came about because Daler [Indian Bhangra pop superstar] has the same publisher as me, Universal, and he asked them if they knew any rock bands that could do a rock version of a Bhangra track he had written. When we were first sent the vocals, we thought - what the hell are we going to do now - and then set to work on it.'
The resultant Bhangra / rock single topped the BBC Asian Network charts and caused more than afew ripples in the global Asian scene garnering such praise as sounding like 'Camel riding insurgents, outrunning fighterjet missles’ The Guardian music guide. When pushed on how the song writing process works both are modestly unforthcoming.
'We just jam it and see what comes out, the results have been pretty pleasing. We have little studios at home and chuck stuff down and bring it into the studio here and see what we can come up with, there’s no logic really. Marco just comes in and says 'wanna hear these two hooks their probably shit but,’ and then he plays them and I’m like - that’s fucking great!'
'Yeah, we’re both insomniac’s,' Marco adds, 'so we’re always up in the middle of the night thinking of something or the other, although I’m thinking of getting one of those fans [points to a large loud wall mounted fan in the corner of the studio] in my bedroom, here is the best sleep I’ve had in ages!' laughs.
'The whole of my playing career I’ve never recorded as a live band,' says Marco, 'even in Adam and the Ants it was all separate, I like it like that.'
'Well it’s just what we do, it really shouldn’t work but somehow it does' explains Chris. 'It’s going really well the Daler album should be out in August over here and India.'
Are there any plans to tour with Daler?
'Yeah, we’re looking at probably doing a tour of India at some point,' says Chris, 'in India right now there is a big interest in rock music, so I guess this is a great opportunity for us. We didn’t realise this but there had to be some logic in him asking us. But Marco hates touring.'
'I don’t, I just hate standing on a stage playing guitar, I love everything else about touring. I like standing backstage, getting there, all of it, if only I didn’t have to get on the bloody stage!'
'What we’re looking at in India is a simultaneous tour of Daler Mehndi and The Wolfmen and The Wolfmen tour, and then come back here for a few then over to America, but we’ll see how it goes.'
It’s clear that there is chemistry between these two artists who were brought together in 1982 when Chris joined Adam and the Ants.
How did you end up joining Adam and the Ants Chris?
'Well, I just turned up for an audition answered a few questions and got the job, I remember being asked for my bank details so they could put some money in my account and I went off to buy a TV, I remember carrying it home thinking, this is good!'
'We had auditioned loads of bassists before Chris and it was becoming a nightmare,' cuts in Marco, 'it just worked with Chris' and clearly still does.
'After Adam I formed a band with Annabella Lwin from Bow Wow Wow and then wrote some tracks with Guy Chambers. He’s from the Beatles school, knows every single chord and change, which is interesting because I’m not', continues Chris.
Beatles or the Stones?
'Neither,' states Marco matter-of-factly, 'if I had to choose a sixties band it would be The Who'.
'We’ve all started listening to The Who a lot and if you listen to The Wolfmen new tracks you can certainly hear the influence.'
'There was a period in music that I absolutely fucking hated 67-71, apart from Motown, all that psychedelic shit. Maybe it was because I never done acid, still time to explore I guess,' says Marco laughing. 'I always thought they looked shit as well these bands. I remember seeing something about Janis Joplin and her designer, I never realised anyone actually designed those clothes, it looked like she was wearing a sack!'
The new album is on the label Damaged Goods, are they good?
'Brilliant! We were fooled into doing our own label with our first single Cecilie but that was a mistake. Damaged Goods know what they are doing and we need to stick to what we know, we’re much happier that way.'
You’re 4th single 'A Needle In The Camels Eye’ where did the inspiration for the video come from?
'It’s called no money' – laughs all round. Chris continues, 'well Caroline Richards did the video and the clips of me are done in bed when I was, well we both were struck down by a nightmare bug for four weeks. I discovered the video camera and lip-synched to the song with a weird effect on it and sent it to Caroline and she edited it in.'
Wasn’t Stand and Deliver one of the most expensive videos ever made at the time?
'Yeah, well Prince Charming too,' says Marco. 'Adam just asked the record company for a load of money and they gave it to us.'
You still see Adam?
'No he keeps himself to himself these days,'
What was your favourite Adam and the Ants single?
'I always liked Dog Eat Dog and Stand and Deliver, was never much of a fan of Antmusic though.'
'Yeah, you hated Antmusic', joins Chris ' Dog Eat Dog is great!'
'Well since we’ve been together we never really had much of a plan it just worked. Like the name The Wolfmen we used it because I’d just learnt photoshop, going back to my old art school days,' says Marco 'and the first thing I designed was a Wolf really and I always liked horror films. There’s some sort of bikers club in Germany called The Wolfmen too apparently.'
'I don’t think their gay Chris, let me reiterate Hells Angels are not gay, we’re in enough trouble as it is, we better remember not to play Dortmund or wherever they’re from again! Anyway let’s hope they don’t ask us to change our name ... which we will,' laughs Marco.
Getting back to The Wolfmen album where are you taking it?
'We had a meeting last night actually,' Marco continues 'and everyone was quite happy it’s developing as it goes along. The new single’s out soon, we’ll play about a gig a month and see how it goes. There’s not going to be a huge release as such, I don’t think that would be right anyway. We seem to be getting constantly good press. America seem to like The Wolfmen thing, which is better than we expected.'
So for the Wolfmen now, 'it’s just one foot in front of the other and see where it takes us' says Chris.
I get the feeling that both their lives have followed a very similar path, and with the music quality this high, it must surely be the only strategy worth sticking to.
Check out The Wolfmen – A Needle In The Camel's Eye here
They play the 333 Club Shoreditch on 30th May and GuilFest 2008 on 4 -6th July.
The debut album 'Modernity Killed Every Night’ is out this summer with new single 'A Needle In The Camel's Eye’ out 12th May.
For more info visit www.myspace.com/thewolfmen