Wolfmother is to be put-down.
The Australian rock band’s frontman Andrew Stockdale has decided to kill off the Wolfmother moniker and go forward in his music career using the name he was born with.
The Australian rocker is now prepping the June release of a self-produced album “Keep Moving,” his first studio LP under his own name.
“For the last three years I’ve performed as Wolfmother, and I don’t feel comfortable about it,” Stockdale tells Billboard.com. “Chris Ross, who played bass and keys in the first line-up when we started, he came up with that band name. That name was for me, Chris and (drummer) Myles Heskett. It became Wolfmother. Because of the success of the name, there was pressure then to call yourself Wolfmother. But it felt weird.”
With Stockdale at the helm, Wolfmother leaped out of the pack in the early noughties and went on to become one of Australia’s biggest breakthrough rock bands of the decade.
Their debut, self-titled studio album peaked at No. 3 in Australia on its release in 2005. The following year, the set topped-out at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 and has sold more than 590,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. A swag of ARIA Awards went their way, as did a Grammy Award in 2007; they won the Grammy in the best hard rock performance category for the song “Woman.”
A new incarnation of the band surfaced for the follow-up from 2009, “Cosmic Egg,” which opened at its peak of No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and went on to shift 123,000 units in the U.S., SoundScan reports.
Stockdale has completed work on a new blues-rock album, which is more than a year in the making and carries the credits of numerous session musicians. The “Keep Moving” set is slated for release through Universal Music on June 7 in Australia, June 10 in the U.K. and June 11 in the U.S.
Much of the recording was cut at Stockdale’s custom-built studio in Byron Bay, an idyllic east-coast Australian beach town popular with surfers. It’s a place Stockdale now calls home.
“I just got back into surfing two years ago,” he notes. “I used to surf as a teenager. I’m 36 now. I took a bit of a break from it, but I’m back into it. It’s been a good way to get healthy and get back on track after all the touring we’ve done for the last 8-to-10 years.”
The album was mixed at Nashville’s Sputnik Sound by Vance Powell, and was mastered by Chris Athens Masters in Nashville.
Stockdale captured vision and photos from the many “shed sessions,” and along the way has shared them with his fans at his Website. “Having this kind of setup means we can do everything creatively under this one roof,” he explains.
The first single, “Long Way To Go,” will be released as part of a four-track “Keep Moving” EP, which will arrive April 26 in Australia, April 29 in the U.K. and April 30 in the U.S.
Watch the new video below.
At times the project has been a labour of love, Stockdale admits. And along the way he’s injected somewhere in the region of $250,000 of his own cash to see it through. “I’d rather do it that way and have complete freedom to experiment and do what I want to do,” he says. And what level of performance does he want from this album? “I just hope people like it,” he answers.
Stockdale will bury the “Wolfmother” name with a final live outing April 28 with Aerosmith at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne. International tour dates are shaping from June in support of the new Andrew Stockdale record.
Is the Wolfmother name truly dead and buried? “I think it may well be,” says Stockdale. “It may well be.”