Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Aby Wolf. I grew up in a tiny village in northwestern Illinois, and moved up to the “big city” of Minneapolis, Minnesota, after graduating from high school. I’ve been performing now for 12 years, and professionally (full-time) for 2 years. The best part about being a musician is the constant education and inspiration that comes from collaborating with others.
Who are your favourite artists from home?
We’ve got a bustling arts community here in Minnesota, and there’s always something new popping up. I’m most recently excited about Crescent Moon and Andrew Broder’s project, Kitten Forever, Def Kith, Eric Mayson and Gramma’s Boyfriend.
What’s it really like touring?
Touring is an intensely well-rounded experience: it’s inspiring, physically exhausting, eye-opening, adventurous, difficult at times, energizing at times, and above all- a privilege.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
New York, Prague, Olomouc (CZ), Seattle, Chicago, London was a great show but hard to get around with gear…
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
As many different kinds of music as possible. Electronic, experimental, pop, hip hop, rock, punk, classical.
Tell us a tour story…
The most intense tour experience I’ve had easily comes to mind first. The Dessa van was broken into and robbed after a show in Buffalo, NY a couple years ago. We were at a restaurant having a midnight snack when one of our crew discovered that all of our personal bags were taken from the van. Computers, cameras, cards— a loss of about $30,000 worth of gear. Back in our hotel room at about 4am, the seven of us concluded that we weren’t going to cancel the rest of the tour, but that we’d modify our set as best we could and finish the second half of the scheduled shows. Dejected, we motored on to Pittsburg. Dessa set up a crowdfunding page to help raise money to replace the stolen goods. Our AMAZING community of fans, friends, and family helped us hit our goal in about 30 hours, and we were all completely reimbursed for the stolen items. A real drag of an experience, but an incredible display of support.
What has been your biggest achievement of the year so far?
Finally making it over to Europe to play music (a dream come true)— not once, but three times! U.K, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, France.
What do you do to relax?
Exercise and yoga help me burn off gross vibes and calm down. Finding quiet space in nature is also key.
What are you reading?
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Also started the Welcome to Night Vale novel.
Do you have a favourite YouTube video?
This is nuts.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
I loved Breaking Bad so much, I watched the whole series twice.
What is your favourite…
Record of the moment?
Just heard Miles Davis’ ‘Filles De Kilimanjaro’ for the first tie!
Song of the moment?
‘I Wanna Be Adored’ by Stone Roses, ‘Sarabande’ by Caroline Shaw.
Lost classic song?
‘The Four Horsemen’ by Aphrodite’s Child.
Hyperdub, Anticon, Warp.
A new artist that you are most excited about?
Young Fathers, Roomful of Teeth, My Brightest Diamond.
What was your last great gig?
I played a solo set to about 50 young people in a woodland sculpture park in Slavičín, Czech Republic.
Worst show ever?
No need to dwell on the negatives. 🙂
What should we expect from your Irish show?
Soaring vocals over spacious electronic beats with a dash of extra drums. I sing hard!
Aby Wolf plays The Mercantile in Dublin on Friday 13th, supporting and alongside Dessa.