by James Gregory and MVW

photo by Tear-n Tan

Patrick Wolf’s latest album, The Magic Position, isn’t a record forged in subtlety. An electro-pop drama club epic, his third LP clatters and shakes with a recklessly entertaining beauty that has already made it a 2007 critic’s favorite.

And while many of his contemporaries have buckled under the weight of their experimental fetishes, the album manages to build upon the inventive melodies and delicate electronic flourishes that first helped Wolf catch the attention of the indie rock community.

With the thirteen new tracks carving an even deeper impression on stage, we recently caught up with Patrick Wolf shortly after a passionate three-night stint in New York. Not surprisingly, what we got in conversation was as ironically veiled as the playful charm found throughout The Magic Position.

How was your action-packed week–three shows in three days?

I felt like a soldier! Crossing the Atlantic and firing music nonstop with a few hours of sleep–completing the mission then returning back to base in London. I’m very excited for my work to be heard by more people across the world.

I particularly love the title track from the new record, “The Magic Position,” as well as “The Libertine” from your last album (2005’s Wind in the Wires). Have you always been such a romantic?

The word romantic can mean so many different things, so I’m not sure which part of the word I would identify with. I guess I have a super-real take on the world–I try to sing about the unspoken, forgotten and invisible things.

The live shows add an entirely different dynamic to your work. Looking back to when you played in Leigh Bowery’s band, do you feel like you keep his spirit alive in terms of your delivery? That kind enchantment-by-way-of-performance?

Of course, being such an important part of my life in the last ten years, it has inspired the way I present my music live. I was taught so many secrets of performance and stage and raised in a wonderful circus of fantastic creatures.

Music aside, there aren’t many artists who could pull off high-waisted shorts and a yellow sash on stage and make it work so well. Have you always been so fashion-savvy?

I have always had a strong idea of how I want to look, and even when I had no money to buy any clothes I bought a sewing machine from a junk shop and started making my own. Even now when working closely with designers or picking out clothes for photo shoots I still retain that vision I had back in my early teens. Whether one would call it fashionable or a mess is not down to me, I just wear what I wear.

But in the end, does being referred to as “London sex-god troubadour” in Rolling Stone make you feel more like laughing or wincing?

That was the first I heard about being a sex god. It makes me laugh of course–how can anyone take such things seriously? But I do feel as though America is just starting to discover me now and that thrills me.

  1. [...] and finishing October 16 at El Rey in Los Angeles. Check out our exclusive interview with Patrick here, and after the jump, all tour [...]