A few short months ago, if you’d mentioned the name Wolfmother to most UK music fans, you’d be met with a stare similar to that of someone who has just witnessed a person eating their own head.
However, with a sold-out UK tour firmly underway and the release of their debut album fast approaching, things couldn’t be looking much better for the Aussie three-piece.
Drummer Myles Heskett got caught in the crossfire with Ryan Bird to discuss everything from life in one of rock’s most promising young bands, to the happenings of an artistic lunatic…
Good afternoon sir. How are you today?
I’m good cheers!
How’s the tour going thus far?
It’s going well. We’re enjoying the beautiful countryside and the shows are going really well. The reception has been fantastic so far.
I guess if you’ve been in the States fairly recently then it must be nice to actually see some green scenery rather than skyscrapers!
Haha! Yeah, it’s nice. We’ve been to LA, New York, Chicago and places like that in America and it was pretty cool to see new places I guess.
All of the shows so far seem to have sold extremely well, and is most cases totally sold out. Not bad for three lads from down under!
It’s awesome! We tend to try not to have any expectations about certain shows or tours really. That way when you get there and people turn up it’s almost like a bit of a treat!
You’ve more or less appeared from nowhere in recent months, and now you’re headlining a sell out tour of the UK. Why do you think you’ve succeeded where many bands would falter?
I couldn’t really say. We just try to make the best music and put on the best shows we possibly can for people to enjoy. I’m not sure why it’s worked out so well for us in particular but it’s definitely cool that it has.
You seem to have a unique sound, which is refreshing in a world where we’re pumped full of the same old shit on a daily basis. What’s your opinion on the current music scene?
I’m not really that immersed in the current rock scene. I don’t really follow a lot of NME bands as you might say. We’ve kind of come from outside of everything so I don’t always pay attention to what’s going on musically. Certainly back home in Sydney we locked ourselves away in a room and wrote music we wanted to hear without caring about other bands or music. We’re pretty selfish like that.
Do you think hailing from a country like Australia perhaps helps breed individuality?
I don’t think so. I don’t consider our sound to have any sort of home-grown elements or influences. We listen to music from all over the world and take inspiration from that more than anything Australian really. We’re not the most patriotic people in the world!
What’s the music scene like in Australia? How does it differ from overseas?
I guess it’s not really that different from here in the UK overall. We listen to a lot of the same stuff that you guys do and the same sort of music is big over there. We all know about the Arctic Monkeys for instance. It just takes a little longer for things to sink through to us.
Kind of like us and the latest episodes of Neighbours!
The thing about Australia is that it’s so far away and very few people actually know anything about it. What sort of things did you use to entertain yourself with as a youngster?
The thing about Australia is that it’s such a huge country but not a lot of people live there. You can get really nice big houses with lots of land and stuff like that. You’re really never far away from nature. I’d go Hiking and Camping and stuff like that. I’m a bit of a nerd so I was into that type of thing!
So you were never much of a skater then? I’ve heard it has a very healthy scene…
Well Chris is a big skater and snowboarder I know that, and there’s definitely a real beach culture since most major towns and cities are all near or on the coastline, but I don’t really know too much about it. I’m a bit of a nerd as I said!
Ok, let’s get back to music for a bit. Your debut album is set to hit shelves in the UK next month – almost half a year after its original release. It must feel like giving birth somewhat!
It’s exciting! We put the album out in Australia pretty much as soon as it was mixed. We didn’t have any type of hype or whatever – we just put it out there. It’ll be interesting to see how people in the UK and the States take to it.
Is it frustrating to be beginning a touring cycle in the UK of a record you’ve already be plugging elsewhere for so long, or does the fact that it’s pastures new bring new life to the experience?
It’s definitely a very exciting thing above all else. We’ve been around in Australia for a couple of years now and we’ve found our feet with touring and stuff like that there, so to take it onto a world stage almost makes it feel like a new experience.
Have you already begun throwing ideas together for your next release?
Not really. We’ve been so swamped for these past few months and put so much into this current record that we haven’t had the time or energy to think about new material yet!
I’d say it’s not likely to slow down any time soon either!
Definitely! We’re finishing off this tour and then hitting the States again for some more shows, but I think we’re coming back in April for a show in London maybe.
Yeah, at the Koko right?
Yeah I think that’s it!
And then of course you’re off to Coachella in California…
Yeah, that should be a great time. There’s a lot of cool bands playing that one.
Tool are headlining. What more do you need?
Exactly! I hope we get to stick around for them. I’ve seen them a couple of times before and they’re a great band. I think I heard that Maynard doesn’t like to be seen onstage anymore though?
Yeah, last time I saw him play with A Perfect Circle he had these weird screens so that all you could see was his sillouhette. You know what’s he’s like though. Artistic maniac.
So with all this coming up, would you agree that 2006 perhaps signals the REAL beginning for Wolfmother?
Internationally yeah, definitely. All the major labels in the UK and the States are really eager for us to get over and play some shows. I don’t think we’re going to be at home at all this year! We have a couple of weeks off in June I think, but other than that I’d say we’re pretty swamped. We’ll just keep on playing as best we can and see what it brings.
Wolfmother’s self-titled debut is released on April 24th through Modular/Island Records.