Wolf in a Spacesuit is a three-piece band from Chicago. The project first gained attention through the support of psych-pop darlings MGMT, who placed Wolf in a Spacesuit in their coveted top friends list on MySpace. Originally, Wolf in a Spacesuit consisted of only one person who posted short, mostly instrumental, songs onto his MySpace page. Since then, Wolf in a Spacesuit has added two members to the line-up and released a 5 song EP entitled Pomegranate Stationary (available for free through their websites). Two of Wolf in a Spacesuit's members, who identified themselves only as "Algebra" and "Commander Mark", took the time to call The Music Pirate's Eszter Zimanyi to talk about how the project started, where they hope to take it, and why they insist on keeping their names a secret. Check it out after the jump!
Side note: This is the first Wolf in a Spacesuit interview ever!!!
Side note: This is the first Wolf in a Spacesuit interview ever!!!
Eszter: Hey you guys, how’s Chicago?
Commander Mark: It’s good. I live on one side of the city and Algebra lives on the other. Right now we’re in my apartment, which, how would you describe this apartment Algebra?
Algebra: It’s got walls and a TV, some paintings. Um…there are some coat racks with scarves on them. The coat racks are shaped like antlers. I’d say most of our songs are based on antler appreciation.
Eszter: Nice. When did you first start working on this project?
Algebra: A few years ago. I had a roommate, and we had a cat that we named a whole bunch of shit, and part of its name was Wolf in a Spacesuit. I started making music but the guy that I was playing with didn’t know how to play any instruments so it kind of turned into my own project for a few years.
Eszter: How has it evolved since then?
Algebra: It’s evolved into…sort of a real band. I was just working with an MPC and a drum machine and then I decided I needed to start making money to buy jewelry and things, so I started recruiting other people to play and now we’re completely rich!
Eszter: What prompted you to want to stay anonymous within the band?
Algebra: A lot of my favorite bands are comprised of people that, you’re not really sure what kind of people they are, but you know they must be really bad people. Like, you know, Tool isn’t my favorite band but they’re a good example of people who didn’t really care to have their faces on album covers or whatever. They just wanted to make some crazy shit and scare people.
Eszter: Do you think your music is scary?
Algebra: Um…not really I guess. It’s not scary. That would be a good way to describe it. Not scary.
Eszter: In what ways has the internet made it easier to succeed as a musician and in what ways has it made things harder?
Algebra: It’s definitely made it easier in terms of networking. You can network with a lot of people. MySpace, as much as everyone pretends that they hate it, helps everybody out. It definitely helped us out. A lot of the stuff that we’ve done in the past, we’ve done by collaborating with other people online. That's actually how I recruited Commander Mark and our other secret member, whose name will not be revealed. I saw their other projects on MySpace and we all liked each others' work, so I asked them to join Wolf in a Spacesuit. The internet has pretty much helped in every way.
Eszter: And you don’t think it has made things harder at all?
Algebra: Since we’re not making any money at this yet it hasn’t really affected us in terms of album downloads or anything. We’re just giving away the EP for free so we can get it out there. As far as playing shows and things like that, we’ll see what happens.
Eszter: Well back to your other member, she started contributing to the project fairly recently, and I was wondering if you had always wanted to have a female voice or presence in the band, or if this was something that happened organically?
Algebra: It just kind of happened. I never really thought anybody would want to join my band to begin with.
Eszter: How far ahead do you look into the future in terms of the success of the band? Do you set goals for yourself or do you take it day by day?
Algebra: Um…I definitely see us making millions of dollars in the future. We really want to play with Sting. We want to open up for Hall and Oates or something like that, or the last surviving Beach Boy, maybe we could get in touch with him. Yeah, just making money and playing with Sting.
Eszter: I think you can do it. I have faith in you.
Eszter: Do you have plans to tour right now or is it still too early to start thinking about that?
Algebra: Eventually. The three of us want to. We’re working on the live show but it’s hard because we don’t live that close to each other. I think we’re just trying to see where we’re at, get some stuff recorded, get a live show together and hopefully tour this winter at some point.
Eszter: What artists do you think would benefit from collaborating with you, and vice versa?
Commander Mark: U2
Algebra: Yeah, U2. Kermit the Frog.
Commander Mark: Avenged Sevenfold.
Algebra: A guy carving a canoe out of a log. No, a kayak, I’m sorry. A guy carving a kayak out of a log. We would like to collaborate with…
Commander Mark: Cake on Cake
Algebra: Who are the cool bands right now?
Algebra: We’d like to collaborate with ourselves.
Eszter: Sounds like a plan.
Commander Mark: We could probably collaborate with like, David Byrne, or Brian Eno.
Algebra: I want to do an album with Stereolab. Or maybe Elton John, we could do the soundtrack for Lion King 4.
Eszter: That could happen.
Algebra: I hope so. Oh, and I’d like to add Fever Ray to the list of artists it would be fucking incredible to work with.
Eszter: What’s your favorite instrument, not necessarily to play but just in general?
Algebra: Tambourine. Playing the tambourine and hand claps, those are my two favorite instruments.
Commander Mark: I don’t know. A jar of nails.
Algebra: A glass filled with water that you rub your finger around…a deck of cards as percussion.
Commander Mark: Anything natural, anything that occurs outside of actual instrumentation. Anything organic in nature can be manipulated into an instrument. That’s where you pick up a lot of interesting sounds.
Algebra: Babies crying.
Commander Mark: Yeah babies crying. If we just had like, a room full of babies crying--
Eszter: Yeah, and then you could auto-tune it or something. [all laugh] That should be your next track. Auto-tuned babies crying.
Algebra: I think that will be a double-disk album actually.
Eszter: Cool. Well then I want to be thanked in the thank you section for contributing to that idea.
Algebra: I thought you were going to do it for us!
Eszter: Oh. I could try…I mean, I don’t really know where I could find babies…
Commander Mark: Yeah, how soon can you get us babies?
Eszter: Nine months from now.
Commander Mark: Alright, fair enough.
Eszter: What would Wolf in a Spacesuit wear if you didn’t have spacesuits?
Algebra: Glitter capes.
Commander Mark: Glitter capes! Yeah.
Algebra: A jar of nails. Maybe a mustache? Glitter capes and a mustache and some chaps would be pretty good. We would be naked. That’s the answer.
Eszter: Okay, this is my last question. Are you ever going to put the MySpace version of “Bark of a Cedar” on your EP download? I swear I have downloaded that EP 10 times in the hopes that it would be fixed, and it never is.
Algebra: Ummm yeah….eventually. I don’t even have it on my computer anymore. I just kind of did it on accident. There’s a guy who used to work for Paper Bag Records who wants to put “Bark of a Cedar” out on vinyl and have the B-side be a remix. We were going to re-record “Bark of a Cedar” so yeah, the next time anything is changed, it will be a different version altogether. You’re just going to have to live with the crappy version on the EP.
Commander Mark: It’s online somewhere isn’t it?
Algebra: Yeah the original is online somewhere on a website but we don’t know the address.