Music FAQs with Yorkshire band Wolfsmoke

By Alex Jones

29 May 2024

Four piece Barnsley alternative hard rock band, Wolfsmoke, have been gigging in South Yorkshire since 2019. The female-fronted group consists of lead singer Jo, guitarist Josh, bassist Scott and drummer James. On the cusp of releasing new music, the band are more than qualified to answer your music Frequently Asked Questions. We caught up with the group ahead of their set at Green Rooms in Sheffield to show you their takes on some common questions asked by up and coming musicians. 

  1. What age is it too late to start playing? 

It was a resounding “Never” from the whole band. 

Scott is the perfect case study for a musician starting out later on in life. “I didn’t even start until I was forty.” 

“Well it depends where you are with  your life of course.” Jo chimed in. “But if you think you can do it, do it. 

“Just keep sticking with it and keep doing it and get over those hurdles.” 

  1. How do I approach getting my first gig? 

Josh had plenty of enthusiasm on this topic. “I personally love gigging and I think our sound is really a live sound. 

“Message people, spam people and just keep messaging the same people because sooner or later you will get a gig.” 

The band recommended promoter’s Facebook groups and wanted to stress that the more you do it, the easier it will become. 

  1. How much of your day do you have to commit to an evening gig? 

It seems this is another thing that improves with experience. “We just turn up (in the evening).” Jo chuckled. “We’ve practised so much, we’ve gigged so much we can just show up.” 

The band also practice once a week and of course do come early enough for sound checking and pre-gig admin (like talking to Feedback). 

  1. Is being in a band a big strain on your time? 

For those working a 9-5 and looking to get into gigging for fun, pay attention to this one.

Scott has four kids, Jo explained. “It depends what’s going on, sometimes we do have to cancel.” 

Scott added “You can do a lot, it is only really a strain on your time if you aren’t enjoying it.” 

Having played twice in the steel city in the last six days, Wolfsmoke seems to be making it work. 

  1. How do I contact promoters? 

“Don’t give up. I just annoyed Richard at Landing Rooms enough to get our first gig.” 

Tenacity is the name of the game in Josh’s book. 

  1. Where is the best place to look for cheap equipment? 

Facebook provided another answer for this question. “Just talk to people. There is Facebook marketplace. But then it’s funny like, you put a little away each month and you can very quickly have a little bit.” Josh said. 

  1. What is the best asset a small musician can hope to make money from? 

“Gigs.” Josh announced. “We got paid two hundred quid once.” The group chuckled at this. 

“If you want to make money, you want to be in a cover band.” Scott explained. 

For most smaller musicians, it is all about the sheer enjoyment of gigging and money is a bonus.

  1. How can you tell if a gig isn’t going to be worth doing? 

The band concluded here that every gig should be for a purpose rather than repeating visits to venues within the musician’s comfort zone. 

“We play different gigs for different reasons. We’ll do a smaller gig to run some new tunes out.” Josh said. 

Scott revealed a time when playing hadn’t quite gone to plan. “New Main Metal Fest – we pulled out of that the day before because it was a right shit show.” 

He explained: “Other bands were posting on the group chat saying ‘it’s terrible, there is nobody here, there’s been no promotion and equipment is bad.’ Don’t think we were going to drive an hour for that.” 

  1. How can you spot fake opportunities or scams? 

Don’t let a thirst for success make you latch onto anything. 

“We get them all the time. 

“We had an email actually saying ‘we’ll sign you up. You’ve just got to pay £500.’

“If anyone is wanting you to pay upfront, it is a scam.” Jo explained. 

It seems like simple logic but it is definitely worth being careful and wary, scammers can be very clever in their wording of messages. 

Overall, Wolfsmoke’s message is one of persistence: “It is honestly all about traction and it is all about getting yourself out there because all you need is one song to do really well. Just keep doing it.” explained Josh.

Wolfsmoke’s new track, Devil’s Cup will be out on 21 June.

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