YES!!! People unite for the Wolfies have returned from the canyons of L.A with a fusion of freaked out jamming, delicate melodies and gallant rock riffage that shall be known collectively as “Wolfmother”.
Myles Heskett, Chris Ross and Andrew Stockdale are the key holders to the future of all things Wolf … together they write all their songs while contributing drums, bass/keyboards and guitar/vocals respectively.
In their lives before Wolfmother, Myles worked in graphics, Chris in things digital and Andrew was a photographer so they all shared a passion for creative expression. After years of jamming in anonymity they finally stepped out in public during early 2004. Later that year the trio released an independent EP that caused ink to be spilled and fans to be won.
Then after 6 months of nonstop Australian and overseas touring it was time to start creating a vast album with a deceptively simple title. Their partner in this conception was producer D. Sardy; catalyst for the likes of Dandy Warhols, Oasis, Jet and Helmet.
Chris, Andrew and Myles decamped to L.A. in May, 2005 and rented a legendary Hollywood recording studio called Cherokee for their rehearsal space. In its heyday Cherokee hosted sessions like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and from this memorable place came unforgettable things as freeform jams evolved into fully formed songs.
The themes of the album also took shape in the City Of Angels; a city that thrives on chaos presenting many lyrical possibilities to Andrew Stockdale. The complexities of living in the metropolis also helped shape the escapist imagery of “Wolfmother” ... simple philosophies for complex times.
After six weeks of focused creativity at Cherokee – and many fish taco’s - the band finally began recording at legendary studio, Sound City. As a result “Wolfmother” was incubated in the same room as albums like “Nevermind” and “Rumours”. After just two weeks in that cavernous space the band had captured the inspired live performances which would form the backbone of their debut album. They then spent another month elsewhere in L.A. adding the little touches that help make “Wolfmother” such a sprawling beast. And in their downtime they became Champions of every pinball machine in the valley.
Throughout this process Myles, Andrew and Chris remained committed to retaining the raw, emotive punch of their live performances. Everything was directed toward capturing “the perfect feeling” rather than “faultless performance”. The result is a record on which reckless abandon and glorious imperfections underpin the most evocative moments.
As their studio time came to an end the band filmed some videos in the same patch of California desert which featured in the original Star Trek before venturing forth for more live shows. The New York Times gushed about their gig downtown and the NME said kind words about their UK trip. Then they came home to hear “Minds Eye” on the radio ushering in the forthcoming “Wolfmother” album.
The disc comes wrapped in some fine art by illustration icon Frank Frazetta. The images are timeless and impossible to ignore – like the music itself.
It all landed in Australia on October 30 where it was greeted by reviews full of many stars. “Wolfmother” debuted at #3 on the charts, won the Album Of The Year award from Triple J. It’s since gone on to be certified five times platinum in their homeland. Nice.
Since then it’s all been a bit of a blur. After a memorable stint on the 2006 Big Day Out the group relocated overseas for six months and notched up over 100 gigs to help spread the Word Of The Wolf across the globe. They were THE talk of South By Southwest in March and the craziness that accompanied their performance at the Coachella Festival in late April made the front page of the esteemed Los Angeles Times (and, more importantly, got Danny DeVito rocking out at the side of the stage).
“Wolfmother” – the album – hit the US, UK and Canadian top 25 on its release in early May and was hailed by critics everywhere. US Rolling Stone said the Wolf were one of their “Top 10 Artists To Watch” and the group were invited to appear on big time TV shows like “The Late Show with David Letterman”, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.
After returning to Australia for a brief, but triumphant homecoming tour in July, Andrew, Myles and Chris got their passports stamped again and went back to touring the world. They appeared on most of the world’s most influential music festivals including Fuji Rock in Japan, The V Festival in North America, Reading in the UK, Hurricane in Germany and Roskilde in Scandinavia. They also opened shows overseas for the Flaming Lips, The Strokes and Pearl Jam – who invited Andrew onstage to sing “Baba O’Reilly” at one show and guested on “Woman” at another show.
As all this happened the album raced past 1,000,000 satisfied customers and the sold out shows just kept on coming. “Joker & The Thief” featured in the movie Jackass Number 2, the film’s cast appeared in the video for the song and it was alllll gooood.
In October the band scooped the pool at the ARIA Awards (Australia’s Grammy’s) winning Best Rock Album and Best Group among other gongs. Then they jetted back to the UK to help induct Led Zepplin into the UK Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame with a memorable performance of “Communication Breakdown”. Since then they’ve also scored nominations at the Brits for International Breakthrough Artist and the Pollstar Awards for Best New Touring Artist. To top it all they were nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Release.
The story will continue through 2007 with … surprise … lots more touring then hopefully some more recording.
Meanwhile … please experience Wolfmother
Live On Stage:
So you say you like power trios in the vein of Cream and Rush, with a heavy dose of Black Sabbath and a vocalist that sounds like a combination Jack White and 1970s Ozzy - well then Wolfmother is band you've been searching for. Check out this energetic performance of "Joker and the Thief" from the ARIA Awards....
Definitely a band I'm excited just for the fact they're going to ROCK (yeah I went with all caps). Check out a few shows for yourself (via Dimeadozen)....
Wolfmother - 2007-04-21 - Bijou Theatre - Knoxville, TN
Wolfmother - 2007-02-25 - Edmonton Event Center - Edmonton, Alberta
Wolfmother - 2006-11-25 - The Riviera Theatre - Chicago, IL
For a band that only has one album out they have a bunch of videos to choose from. Let's go with this live clip for "White Unicorn".....
More to get your day rockin'....
Woman / Love Train
Head on over to their official site to find out more.
Thursday, May 10, 2007