Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother discusses their new album Victorious and more

Two years since their last record  Wolfmother’s main man Andrew Stockdale wasted no time taking to the road in order to support the album, Victorious. He was able to take time out of his day to give us details on how it is progressing so far.

Starting things off, how was your approach to Victorious different from your previous releases such as New Crown?

My aim with New Crown was simply to get the raw sound of a band in a room with less emphasis on production to really try to get that Neil Young Tonight’s The Night vibe. Once I got that out of my system I thought it would be great to use a big producer, spend a bit more time demoing the songs and really go for a really big studio record approach.

Seeing as you handled the Bass, Guitar and Vocal duties with help from Ian Peres on keyboards, and John Freese/ Joey Waronker trading drum credits, how does that affect the songwriting? 

Well, on the demo’s I play everything then essentially I bounce off the producer (Brendan O’Brien) and we get the general foundation of the song. Once we agree on arrangement we bring in the drummer, play the song about ten times, then layer over the rest of the instrument and vocals. Everything is done one by one, multi-tracked.

Do you have a preference regarding more or less writing and recording on your own or with a band backing you? 

Sometimes when you multi-track and you get things exactly right, amazing things happen with the overdubs and everything builds up, which has its benefits, but when you play with a band you record a live performance. There’s a certain spontaneity and charm to that. However even when you’re multi-tracking, everybody gives their own performance, you don’t necessarily need to be standing in a room to bring out the best in everyone’s performance. It just depends on what you are looking for.

Visually it seems like the direction for Victorious is very influenced by old school science fiction?

Yeah, well we were going for a 60’s pastiche direction, a little tongue in cheek that wasn’t too heavy of a vibe. Try to keep the victorious theme light and not really delve into the idea of winners and losers, less emphasis on aggression and violence with emphasis on a more uplifting message.

Speaking of old school, the deluxe version of Victorious includes a collaboration with Kadavar. How did this come about?

In 2014 after we played Hyde Park with Black Sabbath, I went to Berlin the next day and visited Tiger (drummer for Kadavar) and we wrote a song called “Wedding.” It’s one of my favorite songs, I think it was the first demo I had leading into this record.

What does the rest of 2016 look like for Wolfmother?

Well, we are on the road in the US until April, then we are going across Europe with Electric Citizen who we toured with before about two years ago. Then back home and starting the process over again I suppose.

You can catch Wolfmother on tour and their album Victorious is in stores and on iTunes now.

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About Morgan McDaniel

Morgan McDaniel lives and breathes music. Part sound engineer, part musician, he attended LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts focusing on technical theatre and is a recent graduate from SAE Institute in New York. He has worked at several top-tier recording studios in New York, including the Magic Shop and Eastside Sound. On the job, he has been in charge of making sure sessions run smoothly by running errands for clients and engineers as well as setting up and breaking down the live room. In addition to this he has run live sound at the Living Room, Wicked Willies and Cafe Wha. A native New Yorker based on the Upper West Side, Morgan writes music reviews for Short and Sweet NYC and formerly played bass in the psychedelic rock band The Golden Grass, who have toured Europe and opened for Deep Purple. He currently plays lead guitar in the Brooklyn based heavy rock outfit Mirror Queen.
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