The Howling Of the Wolf - Interview With  Johannes “The Axe”  Losback

Wolf were formed back in 1995 in Sweden by vocalist and guitarist Niklas Stĺlvind, and for many years Niklas has been the driving force of the band for many years. Playing tradtional Heavy Metal in the vein of such bands as Accept, Saxon, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden with a modern Power Metal sound which reminds me of Exciter, Dream Evil and many more. Paul Brady chats with guitarist Johannes 'The Axe' Losback on Wolfs UK tour last month. Here is what he had to say th the following questions. In the mean time check out their current album out on Century Media entitled 'Ravenous'.

First and Foremost how are you  and how’s the tour coming along?

I’m great really glad to be back in the UK after the bloodstock festival…Well we are only onto the second date so far, we played the Underworld in Camden last night.

How was that show?

It was incredible, there was a few technical difficulties but after that I would say was one of the greatest Wolf shows I have played, the crowd was very rocking and enthusiastic. We had a mixture of UK fans and some people even came over from Sweden and Germany too for the show so it was definitely a highlight for us.

As Regards to Bloodstock, how was the festival  for you and do you plan on any festivals over here for next year?

Bloodstock was great for me, both times we have played that festival its been a blast, we played to a fantastic audience, Its always great doing festivals no matter where we are, its a great atmosphere to hang out with other bands  especially those from your own country, we was backstage  and drank lots with the Guys from Kreator who was telling us allsorts of stories, all of which I can not repeat here haha!

That bad eh?

Oh Yeah!!, I think its too early to say if were back doing festivals here next year but I certainly hope so, we are trying to  book a few in Europe already for next summer so lets see what happens. If were not back at festivals we’ll definitely be back to do another tour  for the UK.

You Got a great response from the crowd at Bloodstock ,why Do You Think Your Style of Traditional Metal is Making a Comeback?

I Think Mainly because its  The Most Honest Type  of metal out there you know, We just do the same as every person here, go to gigs, Drink beer and party and I think people can relate to that, Where we come from we don’t really have the sub genres we just see all Metal as Metal and people may say that “oh your style of metal is making a comeback etc” but at the end of the day its all the same to us. We have people saying to us, your guitars are just too much like Maiden or whatever and yeah maybe our sound is influenced by Maiden or Whoever, but so what….we have in the past written riffs and said, yeah that’s a maiden riff, lets put it in. I think no matter what band your in your always going to be influenced by other sounds, that’s just how it is.

Why do you think Europe more than anywhere is more favourable to the traditional style of metal?

Well you know, They’ve always been more into the music rather than the Fashion, Americans are more concerned about what the “In” thing at the moment and I think Europe is more focused on what they actually listen to rather than what’s popular at that current time. Its always been the case with anything. I think Europeans are more switched on about what they want.

What Bands at the moment are you listening to / Recommend at the moment?

Well we’ve been doing a lot of the festivals and been on the road with some great bands such as Candlemass and Grand Magus, and I have been  listening to the latest releases from them, also the band we brought on the road with us Cauldron have a killer record out at the moment which is why we decided to bring them out with us…Oh and of course I encourage everyone to listen to Testament!

So you would say Testament was a big influence on you personally?

Yeah Definitely…They were always the band that could do no wrong for me, and all through the Thrash period I always preferred to listen to them Rather than Megadeth and Metallica and such alike…and even to this Day they’re still doing amazing records and great live shows, They’re amongst my many Influences I have, I listen to anyone from Testament to Kiss, its all great Rock and Metal music.

In regards to your own Work, Do you have a personal favourite of yours?

Well for me Because I joined the band later on The Black Flame and the Latest Ravenous are my favourites because I was on them, I wrote songs for them and they’re a part of me, not saying they’re any better than any other thing Wolfs released but they’re personal to me. I like to play songs live that make your adrenaline rush so even older songs like Genocide I love to play because they’re fast and heavy.

So you would say Ravenous is the bands best work to date?

I would say on a personal level yes, otherwise we wouldn’t have released it, but for others maybe its not I don’t know, we write music we want to hear, we don’t care if we sell 200 copies of it or 20,000 we write the music we want to play and so far the fans have stuck by us for it, so we’re not going to complain.

In response to you joining the band later, Wolf Bassist Anders left Tad morose and joined wolf, any idea why he left them?

I think at the Time Tad Morose were kind of at a standstill and wasn’t really up to much, it wasn’t anything personal against the band and we all think they’re a great band and support them in all they do, I just think at the time Anders wanted to be involved in a band that was on the move and Wolf seemed the obvious choice!

Your Back at the End of the Year With WASP right? Are you looking forward to that?

Hell yeah I am!

You a WASP fan then?

Who doesn’t like Wasp! They were a band listened to lots back in the day and another who are still making great music and doing live shows, will be great to share a stage with them!

So what’s your plans after the UK Tour?

Well we have a few more shows to do in Europe, Finland I believe, before we come back for the Tour with Wasp in December, but other than that will be Travelling listening to Anvil and Watching Porn haha

I noticed at Bloodstock you was all sporting Anvil Shirts, what’s the deal with that?

We’ve been wearing these shirts all tour haha, Well Anvil have always been the band that nearly made it but didn’t  quite get there and in the past months they’re suddenly more popular tan ever because of the movie they made, were just glad to see they never gave up and its finally paid off, reminds me a lot of Wolf

I can see you’ve already started with the Porn

Yeah it’s a favourite of Jason’s from Cauldrons’ haha!

Well I think on that note that about wraps things up, thanks for doing the interview and I wish you a great show and rest of the tour.

It’s a pleasure as always, hope to see you and all the readers on tour if not now in the near future