New-look Wolfmother keen to entertain Gladstone
WOLFMOTHER is back and ready to fire.
Yes, you read it. Wolfmother. A band that hasn't been the talking point in the Aussie rock scene for quite some time, but one that has recently resurrected itself, much to the joy of fans worldwide.
Andrew Stockdale, Vin Steele and Ian Peres are currently on their New Crown tour, which has encompassed the US, India, Mexico and plenty of Aussie towns in between.
It's a tour that showcases the classic, raw rock sound that Wolfmother was famous for back in the early 2000s.
Based on their new album New Crown, the tour has been a raging success and nobody is happier about it than lead singer and band founder Stockdale.
"We did 350 gigs in four years from 2003," he says from Washington DC.
"I don't know who we were ... we were rock'n'roll freaks. We were everywhere, all the time, for four years. If you want to break up a band that's how you do it. We were overworked to the max. I'm still doing it and I don't know why!
"I'm coming back seven years after those tours with 1500 people in a venue. Some artists only get pub audiences after a break but people came up to me in Kentucky and said, 'I haven't seen you for seven years.' That's dedicated, it's amazing."
We have tried to capture the magic on this album. We recorded it all live in my studio in Byron Bay.
New Crown was available online earlier this year and Stockdale hopes to release another album in six months.
"Ideally I would just like to keep being productive," he says.
"I guess we are getting back to a three-piece band playing live shows. The songs get a bit fast and slow and there was mistakes (on New Crown).
"We have tried to capture the magic on this album. We recorded it all live in my studio in Byron Bay. We sat in a circle facing each other just to get the chemistry going, so I think we will make it like that from now on and get more experimental."
Being in a successful band can lead to the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll lifestyle, but for Stockdale, it's not about that.
The father of an eight-year-old daughter and boyfriend of 15 years to his partner, Stockdale loves the simple things in life like surfing and hanging out at home.
"The touring is a bit tough. There's no easy way around it. You just have to pack up your bags and go across to the other side of the world," he says.
"I love being a dad though. It's the best thing in my life.
"I was talking to (my daughter) one day and I was telling her not to always do what her friends do. I said, 'If one of your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?' She said, 'I would throw them a rope and help them get back up the cliff.' Kids always have another twist on things."
Being the lead singer of a band is also something Stockdale is proud of. Ironically, he wasn't always aware of his vocal talents.
"I wanted to be a soccer player," he says.
"Everyone in my family played rugby but I wanted to be a professional player. I lost interest in team sports and then I wanted to chase girls and play guitar. I never knew I had a good voice, it wasn't until Wolfmother started.
"On our first EP, my vocals were low on the mix. We were looking for vocal auditionists and I said I would fill in until we found a new singer.
"I made a demo in 2002 called the Andrew Stockdale EP. It had a version of Woman on it. It was earthy, Pharrell Williams-style. We did a few rehearsals and changed Woman into a rock'n'roll format. We played our first gig at a pub in Surry Hills in November 2003. We got paid $36 an hour and we got to drink free beer. I was like, this is the best!
"After that first gig we wanted to do another one. After that we were offered a record deal to go to New York and we haven't looked back."
It was never going to be an easy journey, with band member break-ups and Triple J outbursts, but the Wolfmother image is still strong after all these years.
Stockdale admits the members were burnt out after the glory period, but there was never a "break" for him personally.
"We toured the world for about two years after 2009. I put a solo album out in 2013 then we came over to the States and released New Crown."
The boys will head to Gladstone on June 5 at the Harvey Road Tavern for a show that will be sure to draw a crowd.
"The small places anywhere in the world really appreciate when tours come," Stockdale says.
"I can't wait to come to Gladstone.
"My mum is from Rockhampton so there's a bit of a connection there. We will have to hit the town!"