I’m an avid dream-popper, and I find that it’s an essence of escapism that entices me. But every now and then I find a nightmare I love to indulge in, and currently The Valleau siblings (aka Wolvves) fill that need. It’s beautiful, haunting, and daring. Elizabeth is a siren, and her whispery voice is completely absorbing. They walk a fine line between innocence and vulgarity, a distortion that plays into their sound as well as their performance art style. As Elizabeth glides and writhes over succubus calling beats, she’s ethereal. As she bites into a bleeding apple she’s snow white and the evil witch simultaneously.
Their talents are perfectly tailored to each other; Elizabeth the perfect front woman- powerful, strong, feminine, rough. Lewis- one of the most original and exciting percussionists I’ve heard recently, morphing dub step and EDM into an amazingly sexy sound. And finally, Josh- a synth genius and musical chameleon, a stellar producer. It’s a contrast that works so well for this family coven. Three siblings who share a creative soul (something that becomes incredibly apparent on stage) have come together to create music to whisk you away- into a black forest, into a night sky, it’s all very earthly yet spiritual. Wolvves isn’t looking to create a world in the heavens (or in hell)- instead they interpret the earthly world around them and twist it into their own beautifully fucked up fantasy and personal offering. Whether that offering is to their audience or a higher entity remains to be seen.
Kaiotic: Your music straddles a fine line between otherworldly and severely earthly, from your image down to your sound. It’s definitely a transformative experience- whether from dancing or simply observing. The aesthetic is totally enthralling. How did this become Wolvves? Does it permeate other aspects of your life?
Wolvves: Being raised in relative solitude, first in the wilds of Brooklyn and then in the ‘Forest-by-the-Sea’ caused us to develop a kind of twin-speak and world-view that we shared and understood to be normal. This involved equal weight and reverence for artists like Ravel, Paula Abdul, Tupac and Ed Rush & Optical. In the city, we saw chaos theory in action; in the forest, we saw how everything is always eating something else. We watched The Grind on a 10 inch black and white television set, straining the rabbit ears to steal our neighbor’s signal. We learned to recognize animal tracks. We waited.
Wolvves: There is no difference, although people are surprised to find Elizabeth quite friendly. This is a ruse.
Kaiotic: You guys make me think of the Pop Star façade- the creation of a character and the maintenance of that. How do these characters imbue your music (and personal lives) with value?
Wolvves: All living things are larger than life – we just choose to be a little dressy. There have been versions of us at every phase – I remember an adolescent Lewis wearing what he liked to call “The Squids”, and Joshua’s period of only appearing in public with a blackened, bruised eye. The characters you see are truly us. We just might not be in Dress Uniform. ( The ‘WOLVVES Casual’ Collection- coming soon H&M.)
Kaiotic: Who is the higher power you dedicate your performances to? Talk to me about the spiritual side to your performances- is it a gimmick or a legitimate offering?
Wolvves: Some gods are crueler than others. It would be unwise for us to say more. Suffice it to say, we like to make sure we cover our bases, and please the big guys equally, and with a sense of balance, For instance, if the incense is for Xochiquetzal, you gotta bet the smoke is for Sheila-E.
Kaiotic: Either way I enjoy the campiness with which you approach your project. Even though the music is dark, and heavy, it actually feels light to me. It’s incredibly fun, like the hottest dance party around (not just on Halloween). What do you want your audience to feel?
Wolvves: Alarm, Hilarity, Panic, Disgust, Enlightenment, Exultation. A slight burning sensation. Any one of those will do. We prefer the work ‘Dramatic’ to ‘Dark’ if we were attempting to describe the music. As you say, there are many shades of emotion.
Kaiotic: Speaking of Halloween, I imagine you guys go all out. Tell me about your favorite past costumes. Is there anything special you do every year?
Wolvves: Former Mayors of New York City have been a successful effort. We can soon add Bloomburg to the mix, but someone will have to lose a few feet of leg. Seems worth it.
Kaiotic: What is it like working with family? You seem incredibly tight knit, and it’s such a strength. Do you ever fight while you’re creating music or is the process more seamless?
Wolvves: It is a dream come true, and the reason for WOLVVES to be. We are lucky every day. That being said, if Joshua wasn’t so inexorably alpha, the process would be much more complicated. As it is, we share all the duties of writing and production, with Elizabeth usually writing lyrics, Lewis constructing the rhythm section, and Joshua always as EP.
Kaiotic: Do you each have artistic endeavors outside of Wolvves?
Wolvves: Joshua runs a music production studio called The Glass Wall. If you think you can’t make a record, you are mistaken. Look him up. He also ads teeth to dozens of acts here in the city and around the world. Lewis is a model and also drums and does music production. Elizabeth is a writer, designer and entrepreneur, with an Alchemy-based fashion line called ‘ENOCH” http://www.enochnyc.com and a fancy mayonnaise company. Yes that one. http://www.empiremayo.com
Kaiotic: I know each of you is incredibly active in many ways, how do you manage your time?
Wolvves: We do not sleep. Occasional “Napping” is allowed.
Wolvves: We would like to board a ship of fire, and sail into an ocean of burning roses… never to be seen again. At least until we play at SXSW in March. We also have a full album in the works – recording begins in a moonlit cave in January.