If you’re a Chicago native, the name Lauren Wolf is probably familiar. The Lauren Wolf Band however, may not ring a bell… yet. Ms. Wolf has been working for 15 years within the Chicago theater scene and has just taken her first steps toward rock/blues stardom with her debut record: “All My Secrets”. One listen and you’ll agree that stardom isn’t too strong a word – Wolf is already being compared to artists such as Janis Joplin, Nikka Costa and Joss Stone.
XXQs: Lauren Wolf
PensEyeView.com (PEV): Compared to the likes of Janis Joplin, Nikka Costa and Joss Stone, how would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others?
Lauren Wolf (LW): Those comparisons are definitely being made and I am honored to be compared to such greats. Those artists have influenced me, but as far as my own sound, it is a blend of rock, blues, pop, and even a little soul. I grew up with a lot of R&B around me.
PEV: Calling Chicago, Illinois home, what kind of music where you into growing up? Was anyone your main influence?
LW: Chicago clearly has a huge Blues influence which did have an affect on me. My family was more into rock. Especially my sister. My dad was more into R&B. It was not until high school that I really started to get into classic rock. I was obsessed with Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and artists from that genre before that time. I discovered all the greats like Janis, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc.. when I was a teen. Although on top of those icons, I loved alternative music like Depeche Mode and The Cure. Of course the great female rockers of our time had a major influence on me. Incomparable artists like Heart, Blondie, The Pretenders, Joan Jett, and Pat Benatar. The new album will be influence in an extremely different way.
PEV: What was it like for you when you first started out in the music business and trying to make a name for yourself? Any “war stories” from those early years?
LW: Well, The Lauren Wolf Band is fairly new to the rock scene, so every day is always a hunt for something to discover about the business. No war stories yet, but a couple of shows that people booked us for make a pretty good story. Just think only moms and the door guy at the show. I think every artist has a show or two like that.
PEV: Do you remember the first time you thought to yourself – “I am really onto something!”?
LW: Once the album "All My Secrets" was completed and we started sending it to a few venues in Chicago to see if they would book us is when it dawned on me that maybe we are onto something special. We started getting booked before I even had a Chicago band based solely on the album. It is a hard road for almost every band or artist, but we do believe that it will be worth all the work we put in.
PEV: With that, what can fans expect from a live Lauren Wolf performance?
LW: Fans can expect a HIGH energy show from The Lauren Wolf Band! I sort of believe giving every ounce of energy you have to your shows/audience and leave it all on the stage. We do all of our originals but also love to reinvent some great oldies. We even do a couple of Janis covers. "Move Over" is even on the album. It should be mentioned that fans can also expect me to bake a dessert called "BoozeBalls". Yep, BoozeBalls It started a couple months ago as kind of a joke, but now people love them and expect them at the shows. I literally stay up the night before and make these alcohol infused delights so that the audience is not let down. Ha.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?
LW: The first thing that comes to my mind is taking in the audience and assessing what the mood is that night. Then I think "give it all you've got". Oh, and "don't mess up".
PEV: Any preshow rituals before you take the stage or do you just wing it?
LW: I rarely have any preshow rituals. I usually wing it. When I get nervous, I have this weird habit of constantly applying lip-gloss. Or sometimes, I go over certain lyrics in my head over and over.
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
LW: Being that "All My Secrets" is my debut album, the inspiration came from a lot of changes that were going on in my personal life back in 2009. Good and bad. Relationship changes, but also gaining strength and independence. My daughter is also a big influence to keep me going. The new album will be influenced in an extremely way. I am in a better place then I was in 2009 and I will be collaborating with my band on this new one.
PEV: Tell us about your debut album, “All My Secrets” what can fans expect from this work?
LW: It is a mix really of Rock,Blues, and pop. I consider it a throw back to a few different generations. 60's, 70's, 80's, and the present. We made sure that the album was recorded with the live band present the whole time. That was important to me for the sound and energy of the album.
PEV: Do you ever find yourself getting writer’s block and if so, how do you get over that?
LW: Well, I collaborated with a great song writer from Chicago for "All My Secrets", so that was not an issue since ideas poured from her and we both were always coming up with something new. My current band is starting to write for our second album and that is a bit more challenging, but also more rewarding in some ways. It is more of a group effort now and will not just be about me anymore.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Lauren Wolf?
LW: It is probably not that surprising but I do have a 7 year old daughter and I have a theatre degree which I used for a long time in Chicago.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew you wanted one day for music was going to be a career for you?
LW: Music was with me from almost the day I was born, but until a few years ago, I used it in different avenues than rock. I recorded a French track called "Mon Homme" on a wonderful Indie Film called "Were the World Mine" a few years ago (also might be a surprising note about me) and it was then that I realized how much I always wanted to be a recording artist.
PEV: What one word best describes Lauren Wolf?
PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?
LW: We have actually stayed local until now but have done national and int'l press. We do plan on taking the show on the road soon.
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
LW: I would love to Tour the West Coast first and foremost.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?
LW: My friends and family have been extremely supportive about the path I have chosen. Especially my family who is at almost every show. It is great to see all my loved ones in the audience that I have known all my life.
PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
LW: Right now, that is a loaded question. Aside from raising my daughter, it seems like I all do is work on my career and my music these days. However, I do love to go out, see movies and plays, eat Sushi, read, and also check out other musicians around town. The weekends when we don't have shows has made me want to be a homebody to tell you the truth. Nice and quiet.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
LW: There are so many incredible musicians! So many! Especially meeting them and hearing about them through social networking. There would be a list too long for me to name. So, I am going to narrow it down to one and tell you I have a feeling about the band Filligar. Watch for them.
PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think you would be doing as your career?
LW: I will have to say since I have a passion for animals that maybe I would be a veterinarian.
PEV: So, what is next for Lauren Wolf?
LW: Keep working on our second album which hopefully we can record within the year. Our first official music video in the next couple months. I am really excited about that! Touring. The possibilities seem endless.