Hungry Like a Wolf
BY Jeremy Kinser
January 11 2012 5:00 AM ET
"If someone was verbally abusive to me, the teachers couldn't stand up for me because it would lead to, as they saw it, illegally promoting homosexuality," he recalls. By the time he was 15, it was so traumatic that Wolf was forced to leave the school, and his parents went to court and sued school administrators for emotional distress.
"We won through lots of legal wrangling," he says. "But basically the school said they couldn't do anything about the bullying and that I had to leave. School officials wrote in a letter, 'Due to Patrick's effeminate disposition, we can't support him at school unless he changes his mannerisms and the way he looks.' I didn't give a fuck about my sexuality. I was proud to be different and not conform."
The new album continues Wolf's path of happy nonconformity. "This album has a sense of peace and confidence that is lacking from the previous albums," he says. "This album is the calm after the storm. It's a relief to get to that point. Lupercalia is a festival of love. A time in life when you celebrate love and focus on fruitful time in life."
The mood of the new record is also a reflection on Wolf's private life. Besides a tour to support his fifth album, he has another big project planned for 2012. The musician breaks into a boyish smile when asked about his partner of four years, William Pollock, whom he plans to marry this summer. "I call it a marriage, but it's a commitment ceremony," he says, adding, "It's going to be a big wedding."
Wolf's even grown more comfortable with the fan fervor that once made him uncomfortable. "When I was a petulant 22-year-old, I was a dickhead," he recalls. "I didn't know how to cope with it. When people would drive by and yell 'Patrick Wolf,' I'd yell back, 'Fuck you!'"
A change of heart came when he realized that school-age bullies were no longer tormenting him. "There are no bad days anymore," he says. "It's important that if you put something out to the public and you're behind it, you realize that I have to be on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Now I enjoy it. I realize that I can make someone happy, and that's a nice feeling."
Watch Wolf's video for "The City" below.