Andrew Stockdale: An Exclusive Interview
March 7, 2013 by André Pusey
In all the excitement of the new album coming out, we have secured an exclusive interview with the star of the show himself, Andrew Stockdale. We asked him about various issues, including the new album and the history of its recording, and got some pretty interesting answers. You can read the full interview below, and don’t forget to go listen to the album on Wolfmother’s SoundCloud account!
Well, it’s like this… in all honesty, since the second incarnation, it’s [been] a solo project with me calling it Wolfmother. All the players involved have been fantastic. Though for me now I want the freedom to change members for whatever tour or whatever recording without having to use people or not use people to make it look like a band. I don’t want the publicity statement to guide the creative outcome; I don’t think it works. Music is like some kind of truth serum. You can hear what’s going on in people’s souls; the listener listens for emotion, not a brand name, so you may as well call it what it is and be true to the music.
Will the contributions of everyone who has recorded with Wolfmother so far be left on the album? Who, in addition to yourself, Ian, Vin, Elliott and Hamish, is set to appear on the record?
Yeah, totally. So far there’s been eight songs from my home studio in Brisbane, with Will [Rockwell-Scott, drummer 2010-2012], Ian [Peres, bassist/keyboardist since 2009], and myself and Aidan [Nemeth, rhythm guitarist 2009-2012] engineering; one with Ian and Dave [Atkins, drummer 2008-2010] in a warehouse in Byron Bay; four songs with Elliott [Hammond, multi-instrumentalist since 2012] on drums, Vinny [Steele, rhythm guitarist since 2012] on bass, Alex [unknown] on keys and guitar up at Rockinghorse, where I later overdubbed bass and Ian’s done a few overdubs; and another session of about five songs at Rockinghorse with a live band playing though a few songs.
The live takes sound fresh, and have injected masses of positive energy into the record. From here, I did a few overdubs at Dave’s place. And all the songs are currently being mixed and mastered in Nashville by Vance Powell. It is sounding amazing! In total there’s about 20 songs done, though I’m thinking of trimming it down to a ten-song record, just keeping it short and sharp.
Is Gatherings confirmed as the final title, or is this set to change? When are we set to hear the first cuts from the record [since the interview we have now heard the whole album]?
I might call it Keep Moving, I’m still throwing it around. We have the opportunity to put out a four track EP on the 19th of March, which I would love to happen! We don’t have a record deal in the States, so that’s holding the whole thing up, but we might go ahead without a record deal and just go through iTunes.
What can we expect from the new album, in terms of sound and themes?
It’s like old-school, new-school, uptempo boogie rock. It’s uplifting and to the point. The tones are all there — vintage drum tones, vintage guitar, vintage lossness. It’s like hearing an old piece of crap rock band squashed and blasted through some high-fi tape. The key to this whole record is to make it hold up to modern recording standards while still with the heart and soul of old rock records.
Is Wolfmother finished for good, or will the guys continue as a touring unit for the album? Are the Aerosmith support dates still going ahead?
Yep, we’ll do the Aerosmith gigs, no worries. I just don’t want to call this record Wolfmother or do shows as Wolfmother. Is Wolfmother finished for good? It’s hard to speak in those terms… look at the last four years. I’m gonna keep doing what I’ve been doing and call it what it is, being Andrew Stockdale playing with various brilliant musos at any given point.
We here at Wolfmother.net obviously support you, but how do you respond to the few critics you’ve had over the last few years, particularly with regard to lineup changes in the band?
Well it’s not as easy as it looks; I think I’ve treated everyone fairly, and have always wanted to see everyone do well financially, musically, and personally. So I’ve done my best with the situation. On the ethical point of me being the guy who continued with a name and being the only guy from the original lineup, well that is something everyone has an opinion on and they may well be right. And in some ways I’m agreeing with their criticism and changing my path. I’m no longer using that name.
What is the future for Andrew Stockdale and Wolfmother — will there be more albums, touring, new projects, or a break from music completely?
Yes, there will be more of all of the above; I’ll never let it lag on like it has in the past. I’ve learnt a lot over the last three years and I think I’ve got a good team, so I’m hoping to just keep making music all the time, it’s just something that I do naturally. All the other stuff, like contracts, releases, and everything else, seems to get in the way of me making the music and sharing it with the people who might want to hear it. It used to be the other way around, where labels and managers could broaden your audience, now I don’t know what they can do for me. I’ve just got a contract in my filing cabinet that I signed ten years ago that stops me from emailing you a track right now! It’s a strange world we live in, everyone’s gotta catch up…
And finally, is there anything you’d like to say to the loyal Wolfmother fans out there?
Well, thanks for all of your support. I’m as passionate about the music as you are, and I’m still fascinated and grateful to have been a part of the whole thing. I hope this music continues to inspire, and I look forward to seeing you around at the next gig!