Lupine Howl Biography

That they were one of the greatest live bands of their generation is beyond doubt. But by the time Spiritualized arrived at the Royal Albert Hall in the autumn of 1997, their powerfully resonant psychedelia had reached such overwhelming proportions that no one noticed the faultlines lying just below the surface. Because for the three men - Sean Cook (bass), Mike Mooney (guitar) and Damon Reece (drums) - who constituted the heartbeat of that group, the pleasure of performing had long since been eroded by their pitiful treatment (financial and otherwise) offstage.

Sean, Mike, and Damon had been talking about forming a group as far back as 1997, and had been actively working on songs since January 1999. Sean, in particular, had grown tired of Spiritualized's relentless touring schedule, as well as the limitations of their sound. The inception of Lupine Howl finally gave him, and the others, the chance to put some of their own ideas into practice. "I see Lupine Howl as capable of doing whatever we feel like doing" explains Sean now. "There's no strict philosophy behind what kind of music we're going to make. In Spiritualized, the aesthetic was a lot stricter. We had all these layers of minimal sound with this opiated blueprint over the top. I was getting bored of it, it was always love songs. I just wanted to do something that was a bit more out there". For the rest of '99 (bar a long spell helping Massive Attack out in the studio) , Lupine Howl worked on new material. The first fruits of this appeared at the start of 2000 in the form of a debut single on their own Vinyl Hiss label. A sharply paranoid song about "being on tour, being on drugs and dealing with customs", Vaporiser slid a tight Spencer Davis Group groove around a recycled Parliament riff to devastating effect. When it subsequently went on to shift three and half thousand copies in two days, the band were shocked. It was the perfect launch pad.

They followed up in late February with a well received show in London (where they were augmented by Portishead associates, Adrian Utley and John Baggott), and then with another single on Vinyl Hiss (the more expansive Bronze Age. This was to be the catalyst for them signing a deal with Beggars Banquet in April, and since then - having set up their own studio in Bristol - they've been concentrating on recording their debut LP.

In keeping with Sean's desire to have an eclectic sound, he's been listening to everything from Krautrock to late 60's Atlantic Soul and country'. Lyrically, he's also been trying to broaden his base, frequently burying himself in the studio and working through the night. "The lyrics are mostly connected with what I've been getting up to recently" he confides. "Certain elements are fairly depressing. Since we got sacked, my life has been in turmoil. I've had relationship problems and all that sort of shit, but in the last six months I've been out caning it and getting into some ridiculous situations". Such as ? "Well that might have to wait for a while. It's in the lyrics..."

Although not quite finished yet (the release date is scheduled for next spring), Sean already knows that he wants the record to be 'fairly snappy'. "There's a trend for putting fourteen or fifteen tracks on an album these days, and loads of it seems to be filler. It's going back to that whole Pink Floyd / Genesis vibe. I can't listen to anyone for more than an hour so I don't see why anyone else should." The first indication of just how good that album is going to be arrives shortly in the form of their single 125 . Fast, looped and punky, it picks up where the circular rhythms of Vaporizer left off. Backed by two other excellent tracks (the strung out soul of Tired and the sparser atmospherics of Swell ) it showcases the diversity Lupine Howl are striving for, and offers a hint of what they ultimately might achieve.

They have been part of one of the greatest live bands of recent memory, but they're rapidly developing an identity and sound all their own.

Beggars Banquet Records


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