Interview by Elizabeth Sharpe – @ummagummamumma
Wolfmother fans were teased throughout 2019 with the band and Andrew Stockdale himself sharing sneaky clips and shots from within various recording studio walls. On the very last day of the year they were rewarded for their patience with the release of the band’s 5th studio album, ‘Rock n Roll Baby’.
Rock n Roll Survivor is the current and semi-namesake single off the new album and it is a cracker!! That unmistakable, distinctive Wolfmother sound – riffy and catchy – and a clear winner with the fans!
Stockdale and his band are set to take the new tunes out on the road with a couple of NZ dates, an Australian Tour, and then heading once more overseas where they are recognised as one of our best exports. Good Call Live‘s Elizabeth Sharpe had a chat with Andrew Stockdale after the announcement of Brisbane’s The Triffid show being added to the Australian Tour.
Fresh announcement of a tour for ‘Rock n Roll Baby’ – The latest Wolfmother album released Dec 31, 2019… Fans have got to be happy with these new tracks. Aside from Rock N Roll Survivor, which is pretty much the lead single from the album, if you had to pick a favourite child from this new album, which one and why?
“Yeah, I think I’d pick Higher. That one I just made up in the studio on the spot and I feel like when you make stuff up on the spot sometimes the energy is a bit fresher. It’s almost like doing a gig, you know, you’re performing to the engineer, like you’re just performing to the studio and sometimes that in itself makes a song buzz or something when they hear it. ”
Was the recording process different for this album compare to previous albums at all?
“Yes, this was a lot different. It started off with Higher and Spanish Caravan I recorded at Studio 606 in L.A. Dave Grohl‘s studio. I thought, I’ll go in there without a band and just record everything solo. So that was a different approach. And I packed up my studio here in Byron Bay, got everything out of there and forced myself to go to other people’s studios to just get out of my own comfort zone – just so I’d have that pressure of, finish that song by the end of the day.”
So despite there being a brand new album to launch into the world, I see you’ve been calling out to the fans on social media to let you know what they’d like to hear you play on this tour – That means that your old classics arent off the cards hey?
“The way I usually make the set list is I have three or four songs off every single record, so that gets us to about 13 or 14 songs. We always have Woman and Joker in there because kind of I guess, they’re the most well known songs. But it was interesting asking the fans and seeing Pilgrim, Witchcraft, In The Castle, Violence Of The Sun, Rock N Roll Survivor‘s on there, one comment. It’d be good to do a setlist based off what actual Wolfmother fans want to hear, as opposed to me catering to a larger audience that might not know all of our stuff and trying to keep people entertained with only the more well-known songs.”
It’s a good idea and it’s really sweet that the fans feel like they are being listened to as well in a way – if they go to that show, and hear that song, there’s almost going to be this feeling of “I made this happen!”
“Yeah, I feel that same way when I see bands. You hear the hit and as a fan of the music sometimes I go to a gig and I’m like, I don’t need to that hit, I want to hear…
“Yeah! A lot of artists feel like they’ve got to play the big songs to validate getting paid the big fee or people buying a ticket or whatever…”
Man, the pressure! Either way you choose – the pressure!
“Haha yeah I’ve always played the more well-known songs so I don’t have that – I’ve always played them … because also… I like them! I like playing them but yeah it’s good to see the flip side of it – maybe it would freshen it up for myself and the band if we did play all those other songs that are less well-known, but to the fans are some of their favourite songs – it would make for a fun night.”
Well they’re the songs that hold an album together… to me!
Our local show is going to be at The Triffid – what a killer venue hey?! What do you like about playing there?
“Well… I like their in-house drum kit. Good to see a venue that actually supplies instruments or a good backline. On a practical level, I like that. I like the band room with the shipping container setup out the back and I like the industrial vibe. And the burgers are good!”
Can we chat about RHINO for a moment? They’ve only been around for a hot minute but are making some serious waves – how did you discover our local up & comers?
“I saw those guys at Frankie’s Pizza. We were in Sydney for Scene & Heard Festival In Newcastle and we got down the day before and I wanted to show our guitar tech from The States Frankie’s… ”
Best Rock N Roll venue in Australia…
“Yeah! And I saw RHINO and I thought they’ve got some good riffs and sounded pretty cool. The singer Psymon, sent me a message about a support slot and I said totally, I saw you at Frankie’s, fuck that’s cool, you know. So yeah, it was a win-win situation.”
That’s awesome. Yeah we really love RHINO here. And they just keep doing the right things, kicking goals and climbing – and we just saw some social media updates from them too of them going back into the studio with Loosh (Lucius Borich, COG) so I think we have a new single coming out from them too soon hopefully… and you were in the studio with Loosh too recently weren’t you?
“Yeah, that’s where I recorded Rock n Roll Survivor. I tracked the riffs, a one take track to a click and then we just left it for about 3 days – because Kram came in from Spiderbait, and I recorded a song with him that I’ll be putting out soon, maybe in the next couple of weeks. So we left Rock n Roll Survivor for about a week went back to it, he tracked drums, did the bass, did the vocals, and it’s one of my favourite tracks now. And once he was mixing it, he added backing vocals on the middle eight that sounded like this choir, sort of like a Russian baroque choir. He added a nice touch to the whole thing there which was pretty cool.”
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