The Sherp caught up with Australian rock-trio Wolfmother’s leading man Andrew Stockdale to have a casual and entertaining tête-à-tête about the band’s plans for India, their new album, why the name ‘Wolfmother’ and their love for Surfing and The Beatles.
Wolfmother, famous for their high energy; riff heavy; head-banging loaded signature sounds, rose to fame after their tracks ‘Joker and the Thief’’ and ‘Woman’ amongst others hit stratospheric levels of success, winning them fans the world over and even a truck load of awards including the coveted J Award in 2005, the 2006 ARIA Awards for Best Breakthrough Album and Best Rock Album and even a Grammy for “Woman”. A few albums, several line-up changes and many gigs later the band is still on the top of the game and have successfully spread their amazing neo-psychedelia to every corner globe.
Hey guys, we’re big fans of yours and are really excited to have you in India. Will this be your first time to the country?
Yes, O yes!
While you’re here is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to doing? Some travelling or maybe sightseeing?
Eat as much Indian curry as possible. Have been eating that since we came.
We’ve always been curious, why the name ‘Wolfmother’? Is there a story behind naming yourselves that?
Wolfmother represents the best of masculine and feminine side to it. So, on one hand there is lot of masculine energy, on the other hand, there is the femine side of things like the mystery, the charm, the beauty, the passion to creating music.
So you’ve put out a teaser for your new album on Youtube, which is set to come out sometime this year. Could you give us a sneak peek into what we can expect from the album?
10 million hits as soon as I finish this interview and being invited to India’s largest stadium to perform on my numbers tonight and three days in a row.
Apart from winning a Grammy for ‘Woman’, having Thom Yorke and Lars Ulrich as your fans and basically being Australia’s hottest live act, how has the journey been through it all?
Been great, totally rock-n-roll. Remember the hand shake with all the fans, writing songs, being invited by Neil Young to his mansion, having a barbeque, watching the cattle graze in his fields, getting mesmerised with his mansion, writing more songs.
Do you think it’s important to deal with that instant fame and popularity without letting it affect your music? If yes, how have you?
It can, really get on to your head and you can be pulled against your music, but you can view it positively as well and use it to write more and more songs for those fans. Just keep writing as much as you can. Because that’s going to be your survival at the end of the day.
The band has had a few line -up changes as well, do you think that has also changed the style and focus of your music?
Not really, because I always wanted to create and give the rock-n-roll music to fans. I was a compromise to those who left the band. So when they left, it allowed me to open up, give me more time to write and so I came up with songs like ‘The Woman’ & ‘Joker & Thief’ and many such more songs. Different people added their style to it and interpretations and that gave a lot of dynamism to the Wolfmother band.
Your music has often been described as hard rock or neo-psychedelia, with even Alice Cooper describing your sound as “like a teenage Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf kind of band”. How would YOU describe your sound?
Bad Ass, Rock-n-Roll, as I described it once to the waitress in New York.
Musically and non – musically, who or what have been your greatest influences?
There are many many songs that I have been inspired by. Can’t name any one in particular, but some songs influence you, inspire you to create further. It could be the 5th song from their latest record of Blackstratblues or any Beatles track. The tempo, the drumming, the entire feel of music inspires me everyday and night.
Out of your contemporaries, is there a band you particularly like and look up to?
Beatles! You sit down, play the song ‘The Gods’, sing the lyrics of ‘ticket to Ride’, Oh Darling, Paperback Writer; all songs are so inspiring and humbing, I feel they know me and I know them. I feel so connected to them and Ah, can walk up to them and I feel they say “Hi Andrew, good job”. The songs by Paul McCartney and John Lenon are so meaningful that you can relate to them. Their melodies, their lyrics are just so powerful.
What about Indian music, is there a particular Indian act/band you’ve heard and liked?
As a band, what do you do when you’re not on the road or making music?
Surfing! You go to places, get special treatments, VIP passes and what not. Surfing doesn’t treat you any special. The waves are just so real and humbling. You’ve had a good surf and you tell yourself that you really needed that. You feel more connected to nature after a good surf.
Lastly, a message for your Indian fans? And could you tell us what you’ve got in store for your Indian tour?
Thanks for all the love and holding us here. We look forward to a long term relationship, come back again for some beautiful romance.