Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Fun Fact: Jack London’s novel, The Sea-Wolf, inspired the band's moniker. Appropriately, its tour van is named The Ghost, after the ship in the book.
Why Its Worth Watching: Sea Wolf combines the precision, flair and innovation of '60s rock pioneers with a sparse, folk-infused delivery.
For Fans Of: Andrew Bird, The Decemberists, Neutral Milk Hotel, Belle and Sebastian
Alex Brown Church always had a boyhood fascination with wolves. As time would have it, his intrigue with one of folklore’s central antagonists begged him to create a mythology of his very own via the aural tales eloquently delivered through his alter-ego, Sea Wolf.
Leaves In The Riverheard an interview with Tom Waits a while back, and he said he liked
his songs to take place in a specific location. I think the same is
true of me.”
Church, who describes Sea Wolf’s sound as, “dark, brooding pop with
weird, eclectic and acoustic sounds,” has soaked up the culture of both
coasts, spending time in New York working on a film degree before
returning to California. His project eventually found a home at
Dangerbird Records with guidance from his friends in the band Silversun
Pickups. Church, who was impressed by Dangerbird's passion, calls the
imprint “the small label with big ideas.”
With a deep appreciation for authenticity, the self-proclaimed Bob
Dylan junkie claims “there’s no one band, or even two, that I pull the
most inspiration from [when writing].” But despite his love of the
tangible and his appreciation of the icon musician, Church tries to
avoid other people's work while he creates. “[I try] not to listen to
music, because I don’t want to be thinking about anyone else’s.”
Sea Wolf’s tour support of Leaves has been interesting,
especially in terms of otherworldly inspiration. “I think I came the
closest I’ve ever been to believing in ghosts one night in Buffalo,”
Church remembers. “We played the Towne Hall, [which has seen the likes
of] Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. [The venue] was supposedly a
hideout for bootleggers during prohibition. Al Capone himself used to
play poker in the basement. [We] got all of these crazy pictures with
orbs in them of the most haunted rooms. I really did feel some kind of
presence. It was pretty creepy.”
Surely this experience will fit snugly into the Sea Wolf mythology,
an evolving storyline that owes as much to the spirits as it does to