Posted: 2 April, 2014
Wolfmother's Andrew Stockdale on the new album and record label split
Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother (Photo: Triple M/Ash Marr)
Almost to the day twelve months ago Andrew Stockdale, of Wolfmother, came into the Triple M studios to spruik his solo album Keep Moving released on the back of the ‘last ever Wolfmother shows’ (yet half the band on his solo album was Wolfmother and his touring band was Wolfmother).
Adding to the confusing messages about whether or not Wolfmother was any more, a clutch of Australian shows were cancelled as ‘the band’, seemingly abruptly, headed back overseas for some key festival shows. What about us back here in Australia? Don’t tell us one thing and then do another!
Without fanfare or pre-promotion New Crown by Wolfmother was released, under the cover of darkness online and Australian dates mysteriously appeared for the following week.
When in town Andrew Stockdale dropped into the Triple M studios to explain all and drop some bombshells.
Higgo: “What happened? Last time when you came in, you were spruiking your own album and Wolfmother was done.”
Andrew: “Well, sort of. Wolfmother was shelved.”
Rosie: “Shelved? How long was it, two weeks?”
Andrew: “Yeah, possibly (pause) ten days (laughs)”
Andrew then reflected on that very short solo tour remembering a conversation with a member of his crew:
“’That was a great gig, what is this?’ I don’t know. My name’s in lights – Stockdale – I feel like I’m at school ‘cause my name is freaking me out. Y’know, just being called Andrew Stockdale, I just have this kind of nervous twitch.”
“So I said to the guys, like man, we’re playing Woman, we’re playing Wolfmother, we’re playing Joker and the Thief, we’re playing a couple of solo songs so let’s just go Wolfmother. I’ve spent ten years touring the world…you can’t turn it around in two weeks and go ‘hey, I’m Andrew Stockdale’”
Alongside Ian Peres, Stockdale talks frankly about hiring the rehearsal studio Mates in North Hollywood, returning to Australia and their Byron Bay rehearsal space recording New Crown with no headphones in an as-live situation, later making another decision to free himself even further:
“I got off my record label about three weeks ago, I’d been on a record label for ten years and it’s a very long process getting anything done, y’know approving a record, approving ‘this’, ordering a coffee in the morning … the whole thing’s a total disaster. But now, come Wednesday I was like ‘I’m not on a record deal, I can put my songs on iTunes for fifteen bucks’, I said to my accountant ‘I’m off the grid man, never gonna be in the charts, it’s over, never gonna win another award forget it, stuff it, we’re just gonna get our music out there’.”
“It gets 450,000 streams within a week, it’s on NME, Rolling Stone in the US, Ultimate Guitar in the US, 300 blogs. Then on Tuesday it’s in the top 50 in the US album charts – it’s 26. It’s ten behind Coldplay with major labels, I might have beaten Coldplay! I mean, recorded in a rehearsal space, top 50 US iTunes album charts, this is awesome!”
Andrew Stockdale explains further about splitting with his label.
Rosie: “It’s a lot easier for people to work without a label now, you’ve got so much better access to what your actual figures are, do you think they were ever keeping you in the dark?”
Andrew: “Don’t get me started. With all due respect, I don’t have a portal to my royalties, you get a statement eight months later, it’s all a mess. That’s the way it’s been. People have been kept in the dark and what I get now on Bandcamp and iTunes I get a statement within 24 hours, I get a map of the world, I know exactly who’s downloaded it and you can base your touring off this.”
"...before I put this record out, they were saying 'how are you going to market this? How are you going to get it radio? You need 35 grand budget to parlay it to KRock and college radio and Australia Austereo Network' and it's like: ‘I don't know about that’. So it's out there, it's in the US Top 50 for iTunes and I've spent zero."
"Talking to my manager (who said) 'we can put this record out in August', I'm like 'c’mon man'. I'll get a round the world ticket I'll play LA, New York, London and I'm gonna be back by the end of the week and stop off at Mumbai for a butter chicken! I mean whaddya need to do in six months? You can upload it globally in two days!"
The full interview can be heard below, where you can also hear more about the current Wolfmother tour, upcoming overseas shows and Andrew Stockdale also talks about the importance of record stores ahead of Record Store Day.