The Order Of The Black Werewolf launch their new release, Cilla Black, at 459 Bar on Friday, January 30, with help from Silver Foxes, Cavalier and DJ Holly Doll. BOB GORDON chats with vocalist/guitarist, Mike Wafer.
The Order Of The Black Werewolf has been going for 5-6 years now; what did you want to capture on your debut album?
We actually recorded and aborted our debut album. I just took too long on it, and it got stale. We binned it and decided to record the newest songs we’d been playing in our set-list. We got in, recorded it in a couple of days with Laurie McCallum, and got it done. As we’ve had a couple of different line-ups in the band, songs were in two fairly distinct batches, so we opted to release them as different things. This EP picks up where our debut single Dreams Of Home left off.
Discuss the significance of Cilla Black – to you and in general!
Cilla Black was the working title for the last song on the record, All The Way Down. The song evolved from a little drum/bass bit I wrote that reminded me of Cilla Black’s You’re My World, and I tend not to write lyrics ’til recording time, so the title stayed Cilla Black for ages. Once the lyrics were in, the title changed but her name still seemed like an interesting title somehow, so we kept it for the record as a whole.
Yourself and Ant go back many years in bands, way back to Love Camp 7. Describe your creative partnership…
It could very well be the most important aspect to all of our bands, because it has outlived all of them. Ant and I have been playing music together since high school in 1994! In a very real sense he’s more my brother than my friend, so our creative partnership is very intuitive and unspoken. He’s the most musically gifted person I’ve ever met, so I can throw things at him that are beyond my own capabilities but still within his. His love of music is just so vast and open-minded. Ditto for Carl Harvey, our drummer. I could happily play in a band forever with that guy. I dunno… I think I realised a few years ago that if you are still in a band with your mates by the time you’re 35, then you may as well just keep doing it for the rest of your life.
Is The Order Of The Black Werewolf what you wanted it to be when you started out, or has it evolved to something beyond that?
This still feels like Love Camp to me. So did the last band I was in. It’s all the same, because I’ve never really done anything differently… I write songs, sing and play guitar the same way I always have because it’s the only way I know. I’ve never thought of each new band as a new thing, or a chance for a radical musical departure. I love what I love, so I stick to it. I think Ant would give you the same answer for himself. Meeting Carl has been the game-changer for this band, though. Everything started sounding right once he joined. I loved the previous line-ups of the band, but it couldn’t be done without Carl now. His influence has been massive.
With the album out, what are your plans and hopes for this year?
Songwriting is one of my favourite things in the world, so this is the most exciting time for me – the blank slate. I get to go through all of the little ideas I’ve recorded on my phone and turn them into songs. Then I get to play them live and record them, and start thinking about the next release. I love the whole process from start-to-finish, so being back at the start feels great.
In other news, should Blink 182 just let it go?
Those two main chaps need to get in a room together and either talk, shout or punch it out. They are clearly suffering from having bottled up too much resentment, so they need to uncork it… Have-at-it in person and say all the things you need the other person to hear, then apologise for your own wrongdoings and move on. Whether they continue to make music is for them to decide, but they definitely need to let the Twitter fight go.