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Q&A: Wolfmother

The Australian rock band’s frontman and founding member Andrew Stockdale talks about their three-city India tour and the upcoming third album

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Anurag Tagat Mar 06, 2014
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Wolfmother

Wolfmother

India was ready for Wolfmother when the first few singles off their debut album hit the airwaves in 2005. Everything from the Sabbath-worshipping “Woman” to the psychedelic “White Unicorn” revived the classic rock fan in everyone.

Nine years later, the three-piece band, with last-standing founding member and frontman Andrew Stockdale, accompanied by drummer Vin Steele and bassist Ian Peres, made their debut in India to a packed audience at Hard Rock Café, Mumbai.

With less talk and more rock, Wolfmother powered through a 90-minute set which comprised material old and new, from chart-toppers such as “Dimension,” “Joker & The Thief” and “New Moon Rising” to unreleased songs such as “Heavy Weight” and “New Crown.” One of the loudest three-piece bands we’ve ever heard, the band’s only weakness was Stockdale’s voice occasionally cracking, straight from the opener “ Dimension.”

For a band as instable as Wolfmother ”“ the band changed four drummers in six years and went on a hiatus last year ”“ the crowd at Hard Rock Café proved that the band are still as relevant as ever. Stockdale said in an interview before the show, “If the music is good, and you put up a good show, you live another day in the music biz.” Ahead of their three-city India tour, Stockdale spoke to ROLLING STONE India about exploring the city, his solo project and when the new album, tentatively titled Wolfmother 3, will release. 

 

I saw the video you had posted from your hotel room in Mumbai. It sounds like you’re very excited just t o see Wolfmother videos play on Indian TV.

[laughs] Oh, you saw that? It’s amazing. It’s my first time in India and getting so much exposure is really cool and we’re grateful for that.

 

You mentioned the reason behind releasing music under your own name and putting Wolfmother aside was because you felt “soulless.” What sparked the decision to bring Wolfmother back? 

I got it out of my system. Did my solo thing and started to think doing Wolfmother is what suits me best. It makes more sense to fans to play as Wolfmother with songs like “Woman” and “Joker and the Thief.”

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Your solo album, Keep Moving, is the last release, and you are now working on the new Wolfmother album. How has working on your solo project affected the way you work with Wolfmother? 

I think I’m willing to take more risks now. I had all that artistic freedom with my solo project. I still kinda [initially] stuck to the same things I was doing with Wolfmother, but now I want to try something. I want to mix songs with a massive flange pedal over the vocals and can it like that. I think that shit made me want to take more risks.

 

What is it like dealing with constant lineup changes? Do you think people lost interest in the band at some point because of the changes?

Not really. I don’t think”¦ unless you really look up Wikipedia and follow it closely. Most people don’t really pay attention to it [laughs]. If the music is good, and you put up a good show, you live another day in the music biz.

 

Vin Steele was playing guitars for your solo project. How did he end up playing the drums for Wolfmother? 

Well, we didn’t want to keep getting outsiders into the band, you know? We want a solid unit. So we thought, ”˜Let’s just get Vin on the drums, he understands what we’re looking for.’ Keep it in-house, basically.

 

There’s no doubt that you are a fan of classic rock. If there were three bands you’d still want to see live today, which ones would they be? 

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix.

 

You can still see the Rolling Stones, though.

Oh yeah. Who else? Someone that’s not around anymore”¦ It’s a weird thing. Miles Davis? I don’t know, that’s not exactly rock.

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I’m going to say The Who. You can see The Who, but the original Who would be great.

 

When is the new Wolfmother album expected and what is sounding like at the moment? Will you be playing any new material on this tour? 

There’s a lot of big riffs in it, got a lot of groove back into it as well. Bit of a psychedelic influence. There are definitely a few rollicking riffs going on there.

 

And when is it expected?

I’d say mid-this year, like June or July.

 

Are you playing any songs while you’re here?

Yeah we’ll play three or four new songs, in the set.

 

There are also a few tracks floating around on the Internet which claim to be from Wolfmother 3. What do you make of it? Are those legit?

The ones that say Wolfmother 3 are pretty much where we’re at. That’s the new record.

 

So a few of those tracks have made it online. Isn’t that bad news for you guys?

Yeah they are online, would you believe it? It was a good thing at the time [songs from Wolfmother 3 were uploaded online two months ago], but now we want to release it properly.

 

Vh1 Rock Rules featuring Wolfmother performs at Hard Rock Café, New Delhi on March 7th. Entry: Rs 1,000 (inclusive of Rs 500 cover). Tickets available here,

Wolfmother also performs at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus on March 8th. Entry: Rs 800. Buy tickets here.

Contest: Win passes to see Wolfmother live at Hard Rock Café, New Delhi on March 7th. Answer the question below:

What is the name of Wolfmother’s frontman? This contest is now closed.

Send your answers along with your contact details to [email protected]. The winners must travel to the venue at their own expense. The ticket only entitles the winners entry to the concert and not food or beverages or any other expenses incurred. 

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