The band's sophomore record is out now.
Alpha Wolf have just released their vicious new album 'a quiet place to die' through SharpTone Records.
A bruising combination of hardcore sensibility, nu-metal atmosphere and forward thinking vision, it's a record designed to get under the skin, inhabit you and continue to exist within you long after it has ended.
There are also a lot of layers to unpack within this 37-minute boot to the temple, so we asked guitarist Scott Simpson to break it down for us, track-by-track.
Here we go..
a quiet place to die
"We needed the first song off the album to be a passage that covers the overall experience of the next 37 minutes. It channels those deep pockets of negativity that we’ve come face to face with in recent times spanning from loss, to anxiety, to animosity. The album title came before the idea to use it as a song title, so once we matched it to what song we wanted it to take on it all came together pretty quickly."
"This was the first demo to be written for the album, dating back to nearly 2 years ago now. It was always seen by us as one of the most ‘Alpha Wolf’ songs on the album so we knew vocally it had to hit hard, and that’s what we do best. It touches on when Lochie started to realise the music scene he had grown up in isn't as all inclusive and supportive as he’d thought. It's all a huge popularity contest and people will turn a blind eye just to climb a little higher on that social ladder, he was made to feel like an outsider or creep for not conforming to it."
Golden Fate; Isolate
"The third and final chapter in the ‘Golden Fate’ series speaks more affronted than before. People deal with suicide in a variety of ways, the grieving, the guilt and the umbrage. When faced with the death of someone you love, no one knows how they’re meant to feel."
"This was one of the first fully completed songs during the writing process, we knew it was going to be the first single since the minute we finished it. The energy of this song is unmatched by anything we’ve ever written. Its 2 and a half minutes of pure chaos. In saying that, it also somehow became the last song to be completely finished, when we’d finished recording the album, a few weeks later we came back and replaced all the drop lines in the song. This was another case of we had the song title before it was included in the lyrics as well, so that nearly didn’t make it into the song! Lyrically, it’s about flicking the dirt off our shoulders, planting our feet in the ground and flying a bird in the face of anyone who doesn't think we should be here."
"This song touches on the struggle and inability to feel and express feelings of love and affection. Irreparably damaging the person who loves you most through a selfish attempt to feel something. It can sometimes be a struggle matching these type of lyrics to a particular song. Your mind will usually think a more emotionally driven lyric should be attached to a more melodically driven song. Sometimes doing the complete opposite will do more to match the chaotic feelings then you think."
Rot In Pieces
"This was the last song to get written for the album instrumentally. In most cases demos start out at my studio, but for this one Mitch sent me a drum idea that he had, and it was like no other song we had yet. It fit every vibe i felt we were missing on the album, 3 hours later the whole song was written and it was like the dots had finally connected in my mind, the album was done. The songs that come out that quick always hold the best vibe. Lyrically, it touches on a relative Lochie was closely related to who was exiled from his family for deplorable things. This song expresses the hatred and disgust both inward and outward that came along with it. One of my personal favourites on the album."
bleed 4 you
"This is a very different song for Alpha Wolf. It started in a very different light, being predominately a lot heavier (surprise surprise). As writing continued it sat on the back burner until one day i sat down and stripped it right back and started again. Taking the good parts and ditching the bad parts, we ended up with one of the most emotionally driven songs we have ever written. Bringing in Lizi from The Beautiful Monument really opened the song up to another level, and it brings such a nice contrast to the album overall. As much as we love heavier songs, i think songs like this will always be littered through our albums. It’s something we pride ourselves on being able to tackle.
"Lyrically this song is all about the timing in life, sometimes great things happen in life because of the perfect timing and sometimes things can never work out because it never aligns how you want it too. Some people you meet might be right for you at certain times but toxic during another time and we’re stuck constantly wishing for a perfect time for everything."
"When we talked about how the past 18 months of shows changed the way we in which we wrote songs, this is the epitome of that. This was made for live, it’s simple, it’s heavy, it’s catchy, and it embodies everything Alpha Wolf is about. Lyrically it touches on growing up with a family member who suffers with a high functioning case of Epilepsy. It can be a scary thing, seeing someone you love constantly in a case of violent unconsciousness and not knowing whether they’ll pull through will play heavily on someones mental stability. Unfortunately there’s not much awareness on Epilepsy when it is quite common and its potentially damaging that in a public setting there’s very few people who know the right precautions to take when witnessing a person having a seizure."
The Mind Bends To A Will Of Its Own
"Chronic depression doesn't always make you feel sad, but instead you feel nothing at all. You don't care about anything or anyone. The world could end and you wouldn't blink twice. You can't hold conversations with your friends anymore and you know they notice but you're so emotionally blunted that all you can produce is an infantile fit of frustration."
"Inspired by Premeditated by The Plot In You, this song touches on fantasising about exacting your own form of justice on the perpetrator of a loved one's sexual assault. Realising upon execution that some might consider you the same sort of monster and not caring either way of the outcome."
"Another very different song for Alpha Wolf, this song came together possibly the most interesting out of all. Mitch had demo’d out about a minute of an idea he had for a song, this was the only full demo (guitars, drums, bass etc) he had sent and i knew i could make it into something emotionally moving. Again this was another one that once he sparked the idea in my mind, i sat down and in a day fledged out the whole song instrumentally, and by the next day i don’t think it changed again to what the final is now. This was the last song to get structured vocally, and on the last day of drum tracking, Mitch (who had travelled down to where we all live) and i got up at 8am before we started and he talked out his patterns and lyrics for the whole song in 5 minutes. The final version of the song actually uses that recording still in the intro, because it fit the vibe of the song so much."
Lyrically, we combined both Mitch’s and Sabian’s ideas of everyone dealing with their demons in different ways, some need to feel smothered when others want to be left alone, ultimately we all want the same end goal of feeling okay. We’re all dealing with our own shit and we’re all doing what we can to wake up and live another day."