Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - NOEL MEN­GEL

Can they pass the rock ‘ n’ roll road test?

AN­DREW Stock­dale be­lieves firmly in the power of the road test for his songs.

That’s why he took Wolf­mother out on the road for a run of re­gional dates in De­cem­ber.

And fans who tune in to the band’s sup­port set when they take the road with Lenny Kravitz and The Cran­ber­ries this month will also get a taste of songs planned for Wolf­mother’s third al­bum.

From there, they head to Europe for two months of shows play­ing many of the ma­jor sum­mer fes­ti­vals, from Italy to Nor­way and Son­i­sphere in Bri­tain along­side Kiss, Queen and Faith No More.

Stock­dale has been writ­ing and record­ing for the fol­low- up to 2009’ s Cos­mic Egg at the stu­dio in his Bris­bane house.

‘‘ We’ve played a lot of the songs live and the re­ac­tion to them has been re­ally good,’’ Stock­dale says. ‘‘ If a song falls flat on its arse live then it’s not go­ing to hap­pen.

‘‘ With our first record we had been play­ing songs like Woman and The Joker and the Thief for a year be­fore we put it out. I re­mem­ber the record la­bel and our man­ager were say­ing, ‘ What song should be the next sin­gle?’

‘‘ They had tested the songs with these lis­ten­ing par­ties in LA and all this stuff, try­ing to work out which songs would work best on the ra­dio. ‘‘ I said, ‘ I don’t know any­thing about hits but that song The Joker and the Thief, peo­ple go nuts when they hear it. At ev­ery show. So just put that out’. And they just played that song at the Su­per Bowl.’’

Ob­vi­ously fans at those early Wolf­mother shows did know some­thing. While The Joker and the Thief was the last of a se­ries of sin­gles from the band’s mas­sive self- ti­tled de­but, in Australia it charted the high­est of them all.

That de­but al­bum took the Wolf­mother name around the world, es­tab­lished the band as fes­ti­val favourites, and won the Best Hard Rock Per­for­mance award at the 2007 Gram­mys.

There were fire­works to come, of course, with the break- up of the orig­i­nal line- up and Stock­dale

tour­ing with new play­ers af­ter Cos­mic Egg. Stock­dale re­turned from Syd­ney to his home­town of Bris­bane, where he has built the stu­dio where he is now work­ing.

‘‘ It’s got vin­tage ev­ery­thing and the stuff we’ve recorded there sounds raw and ex­cit­ing,’’ he says.

Stock­dale is not sure how much, if any, of these record­ings will be part of the final re­lease and says it’s pos­si­ble there will be more record­ings done for the al­bum with an out­side pro­ducer.

Still, Stock­dale is con­fi­dent in the qual­ity of the tunes he has ready. And he gives an in­sight into how he has writ­ten them. ‘‘ I’ve been writ­ing in all kinds of ways, on the acous­tic, at home, in ho­tel rooms, writ­ing on a banjo then tak­ing that to the gui­tar.

‘‘ I like to get on the drums and come up with a re­ally cool drum beat, some­thing that’s not pre­dictable. It’s the beat that’s so im­por­tant to our mu­sic and that’s the ba­sis for a lot of the songs I’ve been writ­ing.

‘‘ If the rhythm is good then I feel like ev­ery­thing else fol­lows. A melody is hit and miss. You never know if it’s any good. But rhyth­mi­cally, you can al­ways feel the en­ergy of a good song.’’

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