PLINKERVIEW! WITH JOEL AMEY
MEET JOEL AMEY
We spoke with an international headlining, number one record-making, pollock-catching Plinker this month: Joel Amey, drummer for the peerless UK rockers, Wolf Alice. Throw on the celebrated Blue Weekend while you read on.
Who is Joel Amey?
I am, amongst other things, the drummer in the band Wolf Alice.
What brings you joy?
Making music, friends, family and my god daughter, Elodie!
What’s your proudest accomplishment to date?
Music is my everything. To be involved with Wolf Alice from the start, when we had to borrow drumsticks to play gigs for an audience of just Ellie's dad, to see where we've got to now, that will always humble me.
We heard a rumor you’ve gotten into fishing. Not the easiest thing to do when you’re touring. How did that come about?
The rumor is true. Because Covid decided to kick touring’s ass. It started off as a pub chat, and then developed into me and my buddy Nick having our own boat and speed-boating the seven seas in search of dabs, whiting, bass, and, if Poseidon smiles favorably upon us, a pollock.
Touring takes a physical and mental toll on artists. What are some of your tools or methods for staying healthy?
I've stopped drinking. For me, it was out of control but in a kind of boring way. I've always been rubbish with alcohol but always loved drinking and being the last, loud, idiot standing.
From a very early stage in music, booze is everywhere. When I was 16 and playing shows in London, promoters wouldn't pay us money (this is a scam by the way, to any young bands who may be reading) but would instead think it was fine to give us some warm Red Stripe. That can be the start of a very unhealthy partnership.
For a while, I had stopped drinking while on tour, until the last UK run we did. After it finished I had to ask myself 'was that fun?' Being so hungover that 5pm sound checks would be the first thing I’d do all day. The answer was ‘no’. It made me sad to think that the moments onstage that are so precious and rare - that I've been blessed with - would be fighting with the heavy cloud that came with drinking a bottle of wanky wine after every show. I kicked a demon on my shoulder, and as cliché as it sounds, everything just suddenly seemed so amazing.
Other than that I try to not eat totally shit food (hard when you don't see a kitchen for months on end). And I make some sort of music every day.
You’ve mentioned before how hard it is to be ‘sustainable’ on tour. Can you elaborate on that?
We are lucky enough to travel on a bus. That's nice except you can't drink any of the water from the taps. So everyone’s got a reusable bottle that gets filled up for 18 hour drives from plastic bottles. Not good! The waste is just massive, and we are trying hard to stop that.
When you are constantly rolling from place to place it becomes hard to set rules to stand by. You HOPE the venues actually put things into recycling bins. But let's be honest, the very nature of jetting around the world playing music is probably offensive to people who are promoting a global sustainability effort. I’ve not painted touring in a very good light, but it’s the truth and there should be ways to change this!
We daydream about releasing a compilation called The Sound of Plinking Glass - who should be on it?
You once suggested a Wolf Alice-themed Plink! What flavor would you like it to be?
Something blue would be fitting. Maybe a flavor that pulls in as many directions as our musical tastes. You can put that in the PR junket!
As a drummer, you must be the sweatiest band member. Given our mission of Joyful Hydration, should we be the first drink to exclusively sponsor drummers?
I would be most appreciative, however, I would like to remind you that drummers are usually the poor ones.
May a plink and pollock be in your future.