Wolfmother is back to their very best with their new album, Victorious. The band is currently touring the world in support of this latest offering.
Following a recent jaunt across the US, the Grammy Award-winning Australian trio brings their brand of retro-inspired hard rock toÂ Europe. National Rock Review recently caught up with Andrew Stockdale and Ian Peres whilst on tour in the UK to talk about their new album Victorious, the return of Wolfmother and their plans for the rest of this year.
NRR: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us here at National Rock Review. We really appreciate it. You recently released your new album Victorious, I was just wondering if you could tell us a little bit about the album and the inspiration behind it?
Stockdale: Yeah, the record is like the return to Wolfmother roots, you know like I kind of thought on those songs like Joker, Vagabond, Woman, White Unicorn. You know some of those ones that I had to demo by myself in the room you know just with a guitar and a drum kit and just kind of mucking around. So I thought I should try and do that for this one.
On that first record I really wrote, the objective was to like write to get a gigÂ so that someone who owned a pub or whatever would be like yeah let’s put these guys on Friday night you know for twenty minutes. So that’s why I wrote thisÂ like it’s got to be good for a band to play at a show, you know that’s the number one objective. So I guess it all kind of went from there.
NRR: What’s your favourite track off the new album and why?
Stockdale: Now it seems like “Gypsy Caravan” is becoming a favourite. I think it’s you know mid-tempo kind of groove, which seems to be appealing. I like the sound of the recording. I think it’s one of the most fully realized songs on the record you know. I’m happy with the arrangement and how there’s a good middle eight and out, I like the structure of it you know.
NRR: I know the album was produced by Brendan O’Brien as well, obviously he’s worked with pretty much everyone. What was it like working with Brendan?
Stockdale: Good, yeah he was straight into it on theÂ first day you know like just walk in pick up a guitar, play us a song, bang, record, demo it, get in the drummer, it’s very fast paced kind of upbeat sort of guy. How would you describe him?
Peres:Exactly that, very energetic (laughing).
Stockdale: Yeah, which is from all my experience in the studio, I think that’s the best way to work, quickly and stay focused and keep the ball rolling. It was good to have an objective opinion too, he’s not like your best buddy or anything, but he’s like amicable but he sort of he has his eye on the prize and he keeps that kind of arms length you know. He’s always kind of got the record in site and it’s good to have someone like that in the studio.
NRR: You released a video as well for “Victorious” which is really cool. What was the concept and inspiration behind that video?
Stockdale: Adam Willis I think his name is, the director put that forward just like a kitsch kind of 1960’s vibe and the boogie man at the end with the characters being air-brushed on the side. Once I saw that I was like yeah this guy’s got the gig (laughing). When we met him he was like I don’t exactly know what the story line is or what it’s going to mean. I was like that sounds like my kind of songwriting style, so I like that. If we just meet up on the day and just fill in the blanks and then it all kind of worked out.
NRR: Last year was the tenth anniversary of your debut album. I was just wondering out of all of that time what’s been your most memorable moment?
Stockdale: The highlight. Massive highlight. What was your highlight?
Peres: I couldn’t quite go further than being in Neil Young’s house. We did the Bridge School Benefit and he has all the band’s over to his house for dinner. He’s just such an inviting person, he wants everyone to meet and feel comfortable it just blew my mind, I had just never experienced anything like that in my life.
Stockdale: I would agree with that.
NRR: Dinner at Neil Young’s house does sound pretty cool.
Stockdale: Yeah (laughing).
NRR: A few years back you didn’t feel comfortable using the band name anymore and you went off and did your solo project. What made you change your mind about that?
Stockdale: A few things in aÂ rowÂ that just kind of added up. I remember when we did the Andrew Stockdale show in Sydney and we put Andrew Stockdale … a friend got this light thing and then put my name up there with gaffa tape and it was all these lights and stuff and I just remember seeing my name going …this is so embarrassing (laughing). They say one day you know I will have my name in lightsÂ when you see your name in lights its kind of cringe worthy. So I was kind of felt uncomfortable about it.
Then at the end of it, we were playing like “Woman”, “Keep Moving” we were playing a bit of everything. The guy who came to pick up the lights he goes that was a great gig like, what is this… is this Wolfmother or is this like… I was like man I don’t know, I don’t know what it is. Why do I go it’s a solo thing man, because like I think sometimes when they think you are gonna go solo they think you are gonna walk up with an acoustic, but you know they don’t think you will have the band. So it was kind of just watching the confusion kick in with the fans and various people even at the show.
After a while, I thought you know Wolfmother is not just about members you know, it’s about like the fans… it conjures up this kind of imagery that allows them to have it and not be associated with just me, this like person. It’s like oh it’s that dude, you can put a Wolfmother sticker on your car and it’s like… oh it’s that kind of lyricism and riffs and you know film clips and they can make it whatever they want because it’s not like a person.
The other thing I’ve just seen bands where it’s almost like when people go off and they go oh I’m gonna do my solo thing now like it’s almost like you are just dragging your fans through this dysfunctional phase like you see these, I’m not gonna mention any names, but you see these guys and go oh I’m gonna do my own thing and you go to their gig and everyone there is wearing their band t-shirt and then you see the dude like with an acoustic just like doing his like four or five new songs. The whole crowd yelling out for that one song from the band that he’s in and they are all wearing the band t-shirts and then they reluctantly … I just think just what’s going on here… So once I saw this happen over a period of about six months to a year I had a different perspective on it.
NRR: What else do you have in store for the rest of this year?
Peres: We can promise a lot of good times.
Stockdale: European festivals in August.
Peres:Yeah, we are doing the European Festivals later on in August.
Stockdale: America after Europe.
Peres: We are out and about.
Stockdale: Lots of touring. I wouldn’t mind just like, I mean I haven’t spoken to you about this. I was just thinking we like going into Abbey Road or Sun Studios and go into some classic studio like when the band finishes the tour and just go in for like a week and just whilst everyone has got that kind of like gig fitness happening and just like hit a studio, like a really amazing studio for like a week and just bang something out.
NRR: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us, we really appreciate it. Good luck with the touring and the new album.
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