Back in 2005 I was under the naive impression that the best place to learn about new music was the NME. I was aware that I bought the publication out of some sadistic need to get angry, but while my stress levels were peaking, I preferred to feel irate about music than become numb and uninspired.
Then one fated day the NME pushed the line. They reviewed an album I held very dear to my heart, and they reviewed it badly. In my wizened years I know how easy it is to blabber out 50 words without thinking about it, but at the time this was a mortal sin to all things good and holy, i.e. music and language. I foamed. I kicked some dining chairs over. My friend had to make me a cup of tea. Then I resolved that if they weren't going to do it properly, I would. I signed up to write for a webzine, and I've not looked back since.
DrunkenWerewolf itself was born out of a similar anger. This time, my red eye glowered in the direction of complacency. People weren't doing enough, no one was paying this musician any attention, it was all just so unfair! At 18 years old - in that same year I shredded an issue of the NME with my bare teeth - I declared war on LiveJournal, and set up my own blog.
That account has mutated into what you see before you today. On the way it's picked up a fanzine that's now morphed into a fully fledged colour magazine, a ton of contributors and several social networking sites.
DrunkenWerewolf has and will always cover musicians that we desperately want you to hear. There's no denying we take a sense of pride in our work - and I'm the first to admit I'm doing this so Mr/s Jo/anna Bloggs from the US can get a British contract and tour the UK - but at the heart of it all we write about music because we genuinely believe that if you don't hear this material right now, your head might explode. Or worse, it won't.
An History (or Something)
The facts, figures, dates and achievements? The history of DrunkenWerewolf? For the sake of accuracy:
The LiveJournal blog was set up in the summer of 2005. Its first 'proper' entry - the one that conforms to our idea of a 'post' - was about Laura Marling. The rooky in me accidentally linked over to a Drowned in Sound article where Laura had advertised for band mates. By Christmas 2006 I'd had enough of re-uploading b-sides by The Cooper Temple Clause, and drunkenwerewolf.livejournal.com was in full swing.
Around that time I reviewed Kat Flint's debut EP The Secret Boy's Club for Wears The Trousers; and over the next few months I fell so in love with the release, I decided to interview its inventor. Publishing the results of that proved harder than I imagined - I was writing for two other websites at the time, but no one wanted my handy work. (I was also studying for my degree, but as an English Literature student, I had a lot of time on my hands.)
That's when I set up the DrunkenWerewolf Fanzine and recruited more help. Issue #1 practically fell into my lap and featured Frank Turner, thanks in no small part to Jo Edwards, who continued to sporadically write for the site until 2012. After a fair amount of falling over ourselves we found our feet and Issue #2 was released in October 2007. I won't tell the tale of each issue because that would take up a lot of time and aspirin.
We've met, promoted, discussed and blasphemed over some of our favourite artists of all time. We've interviewed everyone from Melissa Auf der Maur, to Johnny Flynn, to Jeff Lewis, to Wild Flag. We've also forced the likes of Lupen Crook, This Is the Kit and Tristen on anyone that will listen. Occasionally we get a prediction spot on, people pay attention and (not always because of that) careers flourish - see: Caitlin Rose, Esben & the Witch, Mumford & Sons and Bastille. Whether Team Werewolf are preaching the word of artists recognised, up and coming or underrated, the common denominator is that they're all excellent and unique in their own special way.
Team Werewolf has expanded at a rate of knots; we currently work with over fifty writers and a designer (was the adorable Emma Hardy, now the phenomenal Niki Zavos MacRae) plus several more contribute what and where they can.
This combined effort to overhaul bad music and waft creative genius in your face has raised a few pints and eyebrows. We've had a few nasty emails from people who take our writing too seriously, people who don't take it seriously enough and industry dickheads (or arrogant fans) who seem to think their opinion is objective. Some of them have a point, but not very often.
Mostly the good overrides the bad. About half a decade ago - we're old okay? - Channel 4's Ones To Watch interviewed us for a program that aired in the middle of the night. That year Issue #5 was included in Manchester's DIY UK exhibition. In 2009 I curated a zine on women in the media; excerpts from my article were quoted in The Guardian's Culture Magazine. In 2010 our success barometer rocketed when DrunkenWerewolf was nominated under the Best Blog category at Record of the Day's Music Journalism Awards; we were nominated again the following year, when I also interviewed Huw Stephens and began to collaborate with BBC 6 Music on their Fresh on the Net program.
In 2012 I helped to organise a Bristol Ladyfest and was dubbed a "regional tastemaker" by 4Music, while DrunkenWerewolf started tipping to Generator, collaborated with Ujima Radio, Jelli Records and BBC Bristol Introducing, and began to work with the Prince's Trust. The site was listed under The Descrier, Hype Machine, Music Robot and Ear Candy. Best of all, that year we launched a Bristol-centric colour glossy music magazine covering local and touring bands. No more standing over photocopiers! 2013 proved to be an equally good year, citing yet more award nominations, a site redesign and stakeholders galore.
Since then, DrunkenWerewolf has gone on to collaborate with the Unsigned Music Awards, as a regional consultant for Liverpool based new music showcase Sound City, and much more.
It's all swings and roundabouts - sometimes I forget the swings and the roundabouts start doing cartwheels, but that's what Twitter's for.
- Tiffany Daniels, Editor, updated 30/11/2014