Wolf Alice take a stand for pop

The guitar band admit their career high has been... getting a tweet from Niall Horan.

Wolf Alice found 1D an unlikely inspiration
Sitting pretty Theo Ellis, Ellie Rowsell, Joel Amey and Joff Oddie got a lift after they covered One Direction’s Steal My Girl. Image Shoot Roger Kisby/Getty Images

Wolf Alice have been working hard carving a career as one of Britain’s grittiest guitar bands.

They’ve now shown their softer side by admitting getting a tweet from One Direction singer Niall Horan was a career high.

The Mercury-nominated breakthrough rockers tackled 1D’s 2014 chart-pap single Steal My Girl for Radio 1’s Live Lounge in September, which led Horan to direct message the band on Twitter to say they’d done “a great job”.

Turns out it was considered high praise.

“It’s more interesting to do a One Direction song instead of something similar to us”

Bassist Theo Ellis told Loaded, “Big up Niall for tweeting us. That was lovely of him. Getting praise from Niall was amazing, yet another highlight in a year full of them for us. If One Direction want to cover one of our songs in return, we’d be really positive and say, ‘Thank you so much!’ back at 1D.”

Frontwoman Ellie Rowsell, 23, said it was easier for Wolf Alice to cover a tune by a pop band such as One Direction for Live Lounge than try to take on a track by another rock group.

She added, “It’s more interesting to do a One Direction song instead of something that’s similar to us. We really went for it with Steal My Girl, but that was actually fairly easy, because One Direction are good at making big songs that are easy to get your teeth into. We’re not music snobs at all, we’re actually big pop fans.”

Wolf Alice unashamedly love pop
Taking a stand Rowsell has helped pop Wolf Alice’s rock image.

Rowsell was relieved 1D’s hysterical fanbase of Twitter-trolling Directioners were positive about their cover. She said, “The reaction from One Direction’s fans has been great. If anything, the reaction from our own fans was worse. They wanted to know why we’d cover a pop act.”

Wolf Alice reached No 2 with their debut album My Love Is Cool in June, and won Independent Breakthrough Of The Year at the AIM Awards in September. Along with punk duo Slaves they were the only guitar band among the 12 nominees for the 2015 Mercury Prize, with the winner to be announced on November 20.

Wolf Alice hail Niall Horan as a muse
Best cover ever? Wolf Alice’s frontwoman Rowsell knows a whiny Directioner backlash can bring people to their knees.

Londoners Rowsell, Ellis, Joel Amey and Joff Oddie recently released the single You’re A Germ, featuring a zombie-themed video. Ellis said, “Our guitarist Joff would fare best in a zombie apocalypse – he’d just kill everyone in sight. He’s the strongest one in the band, physically at least.”

The four-piece have begun planning their second album, although Rowsell said they were having to adjust to writing on tour.

She added, “No themes are developing among the new songs as yet, but we’re enjoying figuring out how to write on the road. We’re going downhill, and it’s only going to get worse. I wouldn’t even bother looking out for album two, as everything we’ve written so far sounds like B-sides.”

Stealing One Direction Wolf Alice injected 1D’s Steal My Girl with their lo-fi grunge when they covered it for Radio 1’s Live Lounge. Image Video Via BBC Radio 1

Wolf Alice’s new single Freazy is out on November 27 and they go on a 15-date tour from March. See wolfalice.co.uk for more information.

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