S.M. Wolf has outgrown its origins. Initially, it was a project that Amo Joy frontman Adam Gross started alone, just to record half of a split cassette tape with Sorry Joint in the spring (to celebrate the equinox, he says). Though it was just Gross who recorded everything on what became S.M. Wolf's first EP – a vinyl 7-inch out on The In Store Recordings – he is joined live by Rachel Enneking on keys, Ben Leslie on bass, James Furness on guitar and synth and Melanie Rau on drums.
They'll play January 18 with Scanlines, David Hazel and Amen Lucy, Amen at the White Rabbit Cabaret.
NUVO: What were you focused on when writing these songs?
Adam Gross: I've been writing and touring and recording with Amo Joy for six years. We've had a lot of ups and downs, and it was becoming a little stale, so when I was presented with that opportunity [to record S.M. Wolf tracks], I thought it was great. Initially, I had a really strong drive to get it done. Between writing all the songs and recording them, it probably took like a week and a half. Because there was a deadline to get them done and out in time. That was really the main drive at the beginning – [a] show and the fact that I'd been playing with the idea of veering something off already.
NUVO: [How] do you write differently for Amo Joy and S.M. Wolf?
Gross: Amo Joy, musically, it's pretty joyful, but lyrically it's always been kind of dark. It started to get harder to play joyful songs because it seems like bad things kept happening. There's always a mess that happens and it's always a matter of how to deal with that mess, and with Amo Joy, it was just neglecting it.
With S.M. Wolf I feel like I'm embracing it. It's not super dark music but it's edgy, I guess. It's going farther towards that side of embracing the shit that's happening. A lot of the original S.M. Wolf songs that I did were Amo Joy throwaways, because they were too heavy and rocking. They just didn't fit. I think I've always been writing that way. I never write on purpose – it just happens.