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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Wolf Gang Is Epic

Julie Tong |
October 12, 2010 | 1:33 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Wolf Gang (courtesy of rcrdlbl.com)
Wolf Gang (courtesy of rcrdlbl.com)
Wolf Gang, an up-and-coming musician from the UK is making strides in the U.S. having recently played at L.A.'s Viper Room on Friday night, October 8. 23-year-old Max McElligot is behind the burgeoning success of Wolf Gang, having toured Europe and the UK with such prominent artists in the indie/alternative sector as Florence and the Machine, Miike Snow, and Temper Trap. 

McElligot's forthcoming single, "Lions in Cages" (due out November 22, 2010 via Atlantic Records UK) has garnered the attention of Pitchfork, making their "Pitchfork Forkcast." His other singles, "Pieces of You" and "The King And All His Men" has been so well-received among music enthusiasts, they snagged NME's Number 1 spot in their weekly "10 Tracks To Download" list. 

McElligot's thriving musical success isn't too shocking considering he worked with Dave Fridmann, the same producer who recorded with MGMT, Mercury Rev, and the Flaming Lips.

McElligot recorded his album with Fridmann in his studio in upstate New York. Sounds glamorous right? Not exactly.

Fridmann's studio was located in a small barn in the middle of the forest in upstate New York. Despite the studio's seclusion, McElligot found it to be "... very relaxing [as] you can't find many distractions there and I guess that's the point. Since there's nothing else to do you just focus on your music...it was really intense though, he doesn't have anyone else in the studio, it was just the two of us recording the whole album."

Nonetheless, McElligot feels grateful for having worked with Fridmann saying, "Dave has captured all the emotion, charm, and energy that I could ever have hoped my songs to contain. He's an incredible man. He's a bit of a genius you know."  

It is no surprise that Fridmann saw talent in McElligot though, considering he grew up under a mother who was a violinist and a father who emphasized exploring the world, in part due to his dad's job.

McElligot is heavily influenced by classic artists like David Bowie, Kate Bush, Talking Heads, and Peter Gabriel. His mother is in part responsible for McElligot's infatuation with the classics, having dragged young Max to classical concerts during his childhood.

According to McElligot, "It gave me a real appreciation for classical music which has a very substantial volume to their sound and incorporates many instruments. So I guess the fact that some of my songs sound quite expansive comes from that heritage."  

After a show in L.A., Wolf Gang is headed to New York to play a Neon Gold and Bridgeclub Party. He will then embark on the rest of his tour in the UK. 

Nevertheless, Wolf Gang will continue to stay on our radar, and he should be on yours too. He'll most likely return to the states and tour the rest of the world, but this time, as a full-blown rock star. As for the significance of the name "Wolf Gang," McElligot's words: "It sounds epic." Enough said.

Reach staff reporter Julie Tong here.

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