Watching an AIDS Wolf show is like getting beaten up by your girlfriend in front of a large crowd. It’s full of malice and unhinged aggression. And afterwards you’re left completely brutalized and vulnerable, but also kind of relieved. In addition to running the wildly creative poster house Seripop, Montreal’s AIDS Wolf is set to terrorize the world with their distinct brand of noise rock. Mike Perreault caught up with them via email as they plan for a ‘Freedom Summer’?, as they call it.
Is it easy to find a healthy balance between your time spent working with AIDS Wolf and working on Seripop?
The four of us all seek to find health, peace and creativity in the various aspects of our lives. We find that exercise, lasciviousness, group chants, fasting, drum sessions, and group feasts are all very effective ways of dealing with the psychic fallout of a super-creative lifestyle.
What’s your opinion on the state of “art” in music today? Do you feel that most bands are truly expressing themselves artistically, or is there a certain lack?
There is a duality. What many lack, many more have in surplus. We tend to gravitate towards other bands that put art at the forefront of their endeavors. We respect sound/visual/spiritual/ethereal aesthetics and the energies that they create. Creating on all levels is what Freedom Summer is all about. Creating and sex.
Are you feeling any pressure from being based out of Montreal, what with all the city’s recent hype?
Montreal has always been a wonderful city to live a life of freedom and creativity. Here, it is easy to get by, so energies can be spent on food/sex/art/growing things rather than struggling to survive. It’s about time the world at large takes note, but Montrealers will always be as such regardless of the media’s sometimes invasive and inaccurate eyes.
Are you guys sick of all the comments about the “Wolf” name? Did you expect there to be this huge explosion of fellow “wolf”-named bands when you named the group?
Our name was given to us by our spirit brothers/sisters in arms. We encountered it on a summer day in Columbus, Ohio while surrounded by our best friends. They christened us with this name – it was not our choice – in July ’02 and we held onto it until it was time to recruit in the early springtime of ’03. It was broadcast as a universal message in front of our eyes and was a combination of our spirit peers AN ALBATROSS (animal) and THE SICKLIPSTICK (R.I.P.) (illness). It’s a message that us as humans must take care for our animal siblings as their health is a barometer of our own survival.
When are you going to incorporate actual live wolves into your set? That’d be freakin’ sweet.
Wolves are not bashful or shy but very free. We hope to follow in their example this Freedom Summer and present ourselves as powerful team /individuals.
AIDS Wolf has a very dominating and intimidating presence on stage. How have the crowd reactions been from cities like Montreal and Ottawa to larger centres like Toronto?
We enjoy very much to be on equal footing in the performer/audience divide so nothing makes us as happy as hand clapping, singing, foot stomping, dancing, smiling. If our audience would join us in chanting/percussion at the beginning of our set we would be overjoyed. We are, however, adverse to shoving.f
What are AIDS Wolf’s plans for the next few months? Looks like this summer is shaping up to be an awesome one for the aw troupe…
Right now we have just recorded an EP and several split 7″s with our brother Arlen Thompson (Wolf Parade) at the console. These days we are mixing the tracks for release (domestic and abroad), writing new songs for our full-length record, and spending time together to become closer as a band. We are going on a tour in August and in the interim playing a few festivals and some strings of shows with our friends. Our trip to Toronto for Wavelength sees us on a string of six shows with our friends/muses Athletic Automaton. We are very excited to be playing and collaborating with this band as we feel they are next level in terms of excitement, freshness and THE HEAVY. We are very lucky to have such friends to partake in FREEDOM SUMMER ‘˜05 with.
By Mike Perreault