Wolfmother Frontman Reflects on 10-Year Anniversary of Band's Debut Album

Martin Philbey

Wolfmother photographed in Australia in 2005.

Australian rockers Wolfmother will celebrate the tenth anniversary of their Grammy-winning hard rock debut with a deluxe edition, aptly named Wolfmother: Tenth Anniversary, out Sept. 25.

The two CD and two album vinyl set will feature the original 13-track album, including the smash “Woman” and songs like “Joker & The Thief” and “Dimension,” as well as five bonus B-sides and a collection of 15 rarities, including demos and live tracks.

In honor of the collection, Wolfmother frontman Andrew Stockdale recently revisited the original album. “The first time I listened to the first record was about a week ago driving home from dinner,” he tells Billboard. “I was like, ‘Let’s have a listen to "Woman,” and just think about it, see what it is people liked.’ Sort of step away from it and reflect on it.”

Since the album’s release a decade ago Stockdale has been revisiting the songs on stage on a nightly basis, but those versions have naturally evolved over the years. This was the first time in years he’d heard the recorded versions. Looking at the material with a decade of distance he learned a lot about how those songs have influenced subsequent Wolfmother recordings.

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“We play these songs a lot live, so I guess know them from live,” he says. “As for the recording and listening to the tones and mixes that’s sort of where I wanted to have a listen to it to go back and go, ‘How did we do this?’ Classic Wolfmother for me is like ‘Joker,’ ‘Woman,’ ‘Dimension’ and has always had that shuffle beat, that’s kind of the signature beat for us, that we didn’t really know at the time was our thing. But looking back it kind of stands out.”

One thing that has emerged for Stockdale in listening to the first album is how positive the songs were. “I always find every gig we do I’m in a better mood after the gig than before. There’s a sort of uplifting nature to these songs,” he says. “I listened to the first record and I thought it’s all very uptempo. That’s the first thing that stood out, maybe that’s just being in your twenties.”

The album came out when Stockdale was 28. A decade later he is in a very different place in his life, but the songs hold up so well because he wrote them with the idea of playing these songs long after the first album came out. As such, the material is still relevant to him as a 38-year-old man.

“On the first record I made an effort to make it positive cause I thought, ‘If this ever takes off I’m gonna be singing this every night, so I don’t want to be drawing negative energy to myself or projects,’” he says. “If you listen to the first record it’s all pretty positive imagery. I just want people to be uplifted from the record, feel energized from listening to it. So lyrically I can relate to it. ‘Woman’ is just a straight forward theme, which I think anyone can relate to and hasn’t dated at all. It’s not like I’m not attracted to women 10 years later. But like ‘Joker And The Thief’ still works, I can relate to that, ‘Vagabond,’ ‘Living Free,’ sort of the idea of that. There’s kind of a romantic tinge I think to that first record.”

CD1 - Original Album

White Unicorn
Where Eagles Have Been
Apple Tree
Joker & The Thief
Mind’s Eye

Tales From The Forest Of Gnomes
Love Train

Bonus B-sides

The Earth’s Rotation Around The Sun†
Vagabond (Acoustic Version)†
Joker & The Thief (Loving Hands Remix)†
Woman (Mstrkrft Remix)
Love Train (Chicken Lips Malfunction Remix)†

CD2 - Demos, B-sides & Live

Dimension (Demo)*
White Unicorn (Demo)*
Woman (Early Days Demo)*
Apple Tree (Demo)*
Not Goin’ Home (Joker & The Thief – Demo)*
Colossal (Demo)*
Pyramid (Early Jam Demo)*
Witchcraft (Rehearsal Room Demo)*

Love Train (Rehearsal Room Demo)*
Vagabond (Rehearsal Room Demo)*
Woman (Live)†
Tales From The Forest Of Gnomes (Live)*
Mind’s Eye (Live)*
Dimension (Live)†
Where Eagles Have Been (Live)†

*Previously Unreleased

†Previously Unreleased in U.S.