Interview by Sarah Williams.
Not heard of Wolfrik yet? You will soon. This band have the power to tear through your city like a whirlwind of fun, leaving a trail of riffs, screamed choruses and raised fists.
The second I heard Skeleton City I fell in love. Wolfrik have taken elements of thrash, metal and melodic punk and created a unique blend that’s fiery, dark and infectiously entertaining.
All the way from Edmonton (in Alberta, Canada), Wolfrik have kicked up quite a storm across the pond. They’ve been announced for 2019’s Manchester Punk Festival, with rumours of a full European tour in the works. They’ve also recently joined the crew at independent UK label, Lockjaw Records.
We were keen to speak to guitarist Mark Seifeddine to get a proper introduction to this brilliant new band.
Wolfrik! You’ve been kicking up a storm here in the UK and you’ve recently joined the crew at Lockjaw Records. Has it been odd getting a big reaction from so far away?
Not going to lie it’s been pretty strange! Until recently we had no following in the UK or Europe but things changed pretty quick. Without saying too much, we met the right people and things seemed to catch traction. It’s awesome having the team at Lockjaw backing us and it’s a cool feeling knowing there are people who are excited to see us.
I was completely blown away the first time I heard Skeleton City. Is that the reaction you’re aiming for, or just a happy coincidence?
Thank you! I mean, when the record was all said and done, we knew we had something that could open some eyes. We didn’t think it would necessarily blow people away; the humble approach is always a good way to go about things, but we were positive people would be excited about it.
There’s a melting pot of different influences in your sound – elements of skate-punk, melodic hardcore with a more classic rock ‘n’ roll element to it. How did that sound develop?
I think it starts with all of us being fans of music in general. We listen to all of it: punk, hip hop, metal, blues, rock and everything else in between. Kevin (guitar) and I have known each other since we where kids. We’ve played alot of guitar over the years and we just write what feels good. The Wolfrik sound starts there, we never put expectations on our sound or what we write, we just want to do our own thing and have fun with it.
Tell me a bit about Skeleton City – when did you first record it and release it?
It was released in December of 2017. We recorded it with our good buddy James Banks, he’s great dude to work with. Big props to him for making it flow the way it does.
There’s no particular theme to this album, we wanted people to get lost in it and interpret things for themselves. I think the artwork draws you in right away and when you hear the songs you kind of create your own vision as you get to know the tunes
Can we expect more, similar material in future?
Ya, we’re hoping to have a few new songs ready to go before heading across the pond. I can tell you this the new material is a lot of fun and it’s a big part of our setlist moving forward. Skeleton City is only five songs, we have lots more to show you guys.
Where does the name Wolfrik come from?
Great question! Our old drummer came to us with it at jam one day, apparently it’s a German surname that translates to Wolf Ruler. We thought it was cool and simple, needless to say it stuck.
You’re based in Edmonton, Canada. Do you feel your location’s had an influence on your sound, or style of playing?
Yes and no. Edmonton has a great music scene, the fans are so loyal to what they’re into. In a way it’s taught us more on how to be thankful for whatever comes our way. There are people here who have done great things for the scene and also for themselves in personal music endeavours. You learn alot from these people, but as far as sound goes, ya, it creeps in here and there.
I’m so overwhelmingly excited to see you on the line up for next year’s Manchester Punk Festival (we reckon it’s the best festival in the world), and there’s rumours of a Euro tour in the works. What are you most looking forward to?
We’ve heard so many good things about MPF we are extremely grateful to be a part of it this year. The rumours are true, I can’t say much just yet but keep your eyes peeled for some news in the coming weeks. We’re most stoked to meet the people and create connections through the music. Seeing new places with your best friends is pretty cool too.
How should British crowds prepare themselves for catching you live?
We play a high energy show. Lots of times people get lost in the riffs and just watch the fingers move, which is cool. But if you like to move and get shit started do it. We want you guys to have as much fun as us.
You’ve been going since 2014 – give us a bit of band history. How did you first get together?
This band started as the result of a previous group breaking up. Dylan, Luca and I all played in together in a band but, when that ended, we stuck together and brought Kevin is as our other guitar play. Remember how I said we had been playing together forever? Well we finally decided to link up and put the riffs to work. It was the most natural transition there was, zero chance it could have worked out any other way.
Nathan joined the band after our drummer Jake decided to move on in late 2016. Fun fact: Nathan learnt all our songs in a few weeks and went straight into the studio to record Skeleton City. He is a huge part of our sound we couldn’t be happier with how that came together.
What do you guys most like to do, when you’re not playing music?
Stereotypical Canadian answer: hockey. GO OILERS! We’re all pretty chill guys, spending time with friends and family is a big thing for all of us.
What are you future ambitions for the band?
What we hope to do is see the world as much as possible, playing music while we do it. We realize that there’s alot of sacrifices that comes with that but we are ready. I think we’ve always been ready, but with the opportunity now in front of us it changes things. The work doesn’t stop, we need to keep grinding, but the experiences will be worth more than any 9-5 pay cheque. April can’t come quick enough.