Interview with intuitive indie-pop musician Wolf Saga

Indie pop never sounded so woke, with Ontario-born soloist Wolf Saga’s self-titled EP. Inspired by the politics and injustices of the world around him, the singer and producer uses this as fuel for his music, which results in epic indie-pop tracks that are easy to be fooled with their euphoric atmosphere. Lyrically Wolf Saga has a lot to get off his chest, his single ‘Get Back’ talks about sexual harassment that he witnessed in a nightclub. Wolf Saga, inspired by his Ojibwe culture adopted the moniker, which signifies one as the protector of loved ones.

We asked Wolf Saga to elaborate on his fun indie-pop sound that is fueled by dark subject matter below. 

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Please describe your sound for us.

Electro Pop.

How did it all start for you?

I’d like to say it began back when I was like 4 years old, jumping off the couch listening to ‘More Than A Feeling’ by Boston, as my dad smiled watching from the couch. I definitely owe a lot to what he would be blasting during my adolescence. However, I began this project around the end of 2012, remixing and producing instrumental electro music. Within a few months, I found myself on the official remix EP for The Bloody Beetroots – Chronicles of a Fallen Love (Ultra Music). I figured that was an amazing start and the momentum hasn’t subsided since.

Which three artists would you say made you want to create your own music?

David Bowie, M83, The Strokes.

What is your go-to gear/equipment when creating?

DAW: Logic Pro X

Synths: Arturia Microbrute, Korg R3, Roland Jupiter-XM

Guitar: Fender Telecaster Thinline

Pedals: Gamechanger Audio Plasma, Mooer Echolizer, Keeley Electronics Monterey

Sampling Pad: Roland SPD-SX, Akai MPX16

Vocal FX: Roland VT-4

Microphone: AKG C214

What are some of your key influences in your music? Whether it be the sound created by others, imagery, films or any kind of art form.

I’m a big movie fan. Especially the scores! I studied film in college and I always loved how music and visuals went together so profoundly. One of my favourites is John Carpenter, who created the music for his films. So I really focus on the composer aspect of films a lot, some other favs have been M83’s ‘Oblivion’ and of course Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy.

 ‘Get Back’ focuses on dark subject matter, but sounds like a fun indie-pop anthem. Was this always the intention?

 It wasn’t the intention from the outset; I recall having the music down and was experiencing a bit of writer’s block with the lyrical content. I remember the next day I started sort of humming the chorus melody with the lyrics “tell ’em boys to get back” and the rest sort of emerged organically.

What is one sub-genre you think doesn’t get the attention it deserves?

Shoegaze.

Any new or upcoming artists on your radar?

Millionyoung, Von Sell, Vox Rea, Tasha Angela.

 Does the socio-politically subject matter of this EP set the tone for your forthcoming projects?

 I’ll likely explore some new themes and ideas for the next album, but I don’t know what I’ll be feeling or seeing when those lyrics and songs are in those stages. I think current events and issues that are relevant to Indigenous peoples in Canada (and elsewhere) will always inform my music in some way, though.

What single night out has been the most memorable for you? As a performer? As an attendee?

As a performer it was definitely playing this festival in Thunder Bay, Ontario called Wake the Giant. I was on before Metric finished the night out. And I just remember looking out to a sea of faces and thinking to myself “this is where I belong, this is what I love”.

As a fan, there have been so many! Like seeing one of my favourite bands Foster the People any of those times. However, I think the most very special one was when I took my late father to see the Rolling Stones a month before he died. He had been battling cancer for two years at this point, his health was ailing, he was tired, he was frail. But my goodness when those lads from London started playing my dad lit up. It was incredible to see. Power of music, power of moments.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

Expect an EP featuring some album remixes, a new single or two, and I’m thinking of an EP of covers! Of course, I will also start the groundwork for the second album.

Famous last words?

Listen to your matriarchs!

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