With a new lineup and an infectious second record titled Cosmic Egg, Wolfmother has resurfaced to rock and roll once again. Before their gig in Toronto, frontman Andrew Stockdale talked about the new album, recent Led Zeppelin rumours and what makes an average musician a true artist.
Photos Cred: Sara Collaton
How does it feel to be on the road again, playing show after show?
Oh yeah, it’s good fun. A lot of fun actually. It’s good to be getting the band playing together and becoming more familiar with each other and even getting our performance organized.
Have you heard anything about the Canadian crowds?
We’ve played Toronto a few times before and even played here at the Kool Haus, so we know what kind of crowd to expect. It was a great night here when we played the Kool Haus last.
In another interview, you stated bassist/keyboardist Ian Peres add a musical taste to the group that’s floral and colourful while drummer Dave Atkins brings a primitive energy. Do you think what they add has changed the person that is Wolfmother?
Well, I think the dynamic is working well and there’s a lot of good energy in the band and everyone’s enjoying it. Also playing shows adds to that positive sort of energy. So yeah, it has changed somewhat.
How have the fans reacted to the band’s re-emergence?
It’s been incredible! Like all the venues we play now have been the same size of those we played at the end of the first record. If not, the crowds have been bigger and it’s just a mosh, like a continuous mosh pit the whole night. It’s been pretty wild.
You’ve also said before you hope the group can make music that speaks to people. Do you think that goal is what makes a musician a true artist?
Yeah, you know what? Maybe you’re right. Maybe that is what makes a musician a true artist. Because if you can’t speak to people directly, then it doesn’t work. The more substance there is to it then the more of a relationship you have with the listener. That’s what people are looking for, emotion and to feel connected to other people and to feel like they can relate. If you can’t relate to music, then it doesn’t move you. It’s about being able to express all the things in life that you can’t express just through conversation or through yelling at someone. As soon as you put lyrics to music it just seems to be a purer way of expressing yourself and it hits people in a profound way.
Would you consider yourself an artist and the music you make works of art?
Yeah on a good day, why not. On a good day, sometimes I think of myself in that vein. Like, you don’t want to be wallpaper, you want to be a feature piece of art in a gallery because it’s a point of interest. You want it to be compelling and demanding and inspiring.
What did you guys find yourself writing about the most for the new record?
I guess it’s about trying not to repeat myself! There’s no continuous theme or concept. Every song is different and it’s just expressive of experiences I’ve gone through and what I’ve read about. The themes are varied, I guess.
What musicians and albums did you listen to a lot while writing and recording Cosmic Egg?
I listened to a lot of Neil Young, like After The Gold Rush. That was the main thing I listened to. Sometimes a bit of Joe Cocker and a bit of David Bowie. Even Johnny Cash.
Looking at your influences, are you a fan of Them Crooked Vultures? Rumours are swirling around Led Zeppelin might reunite next summer. If so, what will happen to the world?
Yeah I saw them play in Amsterdam and it was a great gig. Oh, Zeppelin might reunite? That’s cool. I think it’s a good time for them to come back because I think people appreciate what they did a lot more now than they did back then. 30 years ago people just criticized them and the mark they’ve left on music is huge! And now it’s great time for them to not have so much negative press thrown at them and people can really enjoy their music. There’s just something exciting about them playing and I think they’d be good for the world right now.
In your own words, what is real music?
That is a good question, what is real? When I was doing photography, someone said “If you want reality, look out the window”. I think what defines something as real is if it moves you, if you feel it. Like if you get goosebumps, if you feel inspired. Real music is just emotionally compelling.