Australia's latest beast, Wolfmother, are already prowling the rock'n'roll road; desert sessions, rust-shed recordings, and help from a legendary producer - all that's left is a starring role in 'Corrie' like Status Quo...
Expect big things from Wolfmother. Big, loud, hairy things. Spearhearing the next wave of Australian bands to hit these shores, the distinctly affroed trio are destined to make tidal waves throughout Europe this summer, starting with a UK tour in February and March. Epic and monstrous, there’s no coincidence that System Of A Down producer Dave Sardy jumped at the chance to work with them. Virtual Festivals wakes up to speak to drummer Myles Heskett in Australia ahead of the lupine invasion…
Virtual Festivals: Most people over here associate Aussie rock with Jet. Are you worried about being pigeon-holed?
Myles Heskett:Not really. We’re a rock band yeah, but not in the same bracket at all as Jet. We’re a totally different band and people will definitely get that when they hear us. We’re pretty heavily English in respect to our sound and have a lot of influences from the 60s and 70s, like The Beatles, The Who, Led Zep and Pink Floyd.
VF: Talking of Pink Floyd, didn’t you record in one of their former studios?
MH: Yeah, we did the pre-production to our album in the same Hollywood studio where they did some of ‘The Wall’. Our label guy had another band that had done some work in there, so he set it up for us. It was really run down and decrepit and was about to be demolished so it was quite a trip knowing we might be the last band to do anything there. It was a full live room which would’ve been amazing in its time. Motley Cru and David Bowie both recorded there in the past too. We recorded tracks in other studios too, carrying all our kit round in three industrial sized trucks and filming our video to ‘Mind’s Eye’ in the desert.
VF: The producer on the album Dave Sardy has worked with Oasis, System Of A Down, and Hot Hot Heat among others. Was that a pressure to bare?
MH: It could have been but we were lucky in that he’s very funny, which instantly put us at ease. Dave’s a cluey guy and he taught us so much. He came into the studio for pre-production and he went through all the songs and helped us improve some of the actual structure of the songs, which you don’t normally get. We were all quite awed out by it all because he’s this huge Hollywood producer and we’re like, ‘Will he get it?’ We were worried he might make us sound too polished but as soon as we met him we got this great vibe off him and got the impression that he’d challenge us.
VF: You’ve just played the Falls Festival in Australia. How was that?
MH: Yeah great, it was the biggest crowd we’ve had – about 14,000 people. Next we’re off the do the Big Day Out tour of Australia and New Zealand and then hitting the road to see you guys.
VF: All we’ve heard from Oz recently has been forest fires and rioting. Nothing to do with you guys we hope?
MH:No, no, not guilty! I guess it’s something to do with the summer heat making everything, literally everything, heat up. The rioting thing has been horrible because it’s been race related, but we haven’t really known that much about it because we’ve been touring the whole time.
VF: You must have the odd ‘riot’ kicking off in front of you when you play though no?
MH: Yeah they do go a bit crazy but that’s natural and it’s a good thing. People are away from work, getting drunk, not having to worry about the usual shit, and just having fun, so it’s cool. They don’t get too carried away – generally!
VF: Are you going to be playing some UK festivals this year?
MH:I definitely hope so, some European ones would be great too, but as far as I know nothing’s booked up yet. We’ve got a tour of the UK in February and we’re also off to the States as well.
VF: And what can people expect?
MH: They can expect three curly haired fools to get on stage and make some noise.
VF: Your website talks of ‘simple philosophies for complex times’. Explain.
MH: I’m guessing that was Andrew (singer) and I’m not quite sure what he meant! I guess the idea is that when we’re playing out, it’s a celebration of music and a get together with people at that particular moment. There’s so much bullshit going on in the world and people sometimes just want to go to a gig, leave everything behind, and have an uplifting time. We write from our hearts and from our instincts and let whatever comes out be.
VF: The Pet Shop Boys once appeared on Neighbours. Would you come over here and star on Coronation Street?
MH: I don’t know if anyone would know who we are but yeah I’d be up for it. Is that the cool one?
VF: I’m not sure if any of our soaps can be classed as ‘cool’.
MH: Well one of them, my cousin went up to Scotland and ended up getting heavily addicted to after just a couple of weeks. He had to go into therapy!
VF: Maybe it was when Status Quo were on it.
MH: They were in it? Oh then, we’d definitely go for it! It’s pretty addictive stuff though.
VF: What Coronation Street or Status Quo?
MH: Well … both really.
Wolfmother are on tour in the UK during February and March. Their single ‘Mind’s Eye’ is released on Monday, 9 January. Check their website to hear it here.