Myles Heskett / Wolfmother

Kenneth Beaumont
exposes Myles Heskett
Australia’s most successful and popular export of the hour is Wolfmother, a trio of vintage inspired rockers that speak with a surreal tongue and perform with an emphasis on energy and spontaneity. Not long after a sell-out show in Nottingham, UK, drummer Myles Heskett offered this insight into the relentless workload that these three riff-based jet setters deal with now that they are more than the sum of their parts.

“We’ve all got road cases for ourselves so the road crew just pack us into a case, put us on a drip and we wake up at the next gig where they unload us and stick us on the stage.”

After the enormous success Wolfmother have achieved with their self titled debut album one would quietly expect the band to be grinding their touring slowly to a holt so the anticipated second album could begin to come into focus, but this is certainly not the case. “Keep the stone rolling” Heskett says in response to the fact that from the UK the band will be heading back to America before we can expect them back here in Australia. As for a second album… it hasn’t even been considered.

Although I’m sure you have all settled into your quick rise in popularity, has your relationship as a band been affected at all by this international recognition?

“I guess what we have done is pretty intensive. When you start out you’re just three dudes jamming on the weekend for fun and there’s no real pressure. As long as you turn up to a jam or a rehearsal, everything is casual. But once you get to this level it’s a serious job and you spend so much time touring with the band and the crew in this bubble that you’re basically married to these people, they’re your family. So yeah, it does change.

“Your relationship changes and I think you just try to give everyone their own space because it gets really, really intense. It’s cool at the moment because we can start bringing our family and friends on the road; that really stops you from going insane. Chris and Andrew have their partners and kids with them, so it makes a big difference when you can do that. When you’ve got a nine to five job you can go home and leave your work behind and be with your family, but in a band you’re just constantly there, you can’t escape it. It is hard, but at the same time you’re traveling the world and making music for a living.”

It’s strange to think that only a few years back the band were lucky to have any songs at all. These three mates that got together and jammed for hours on end eventually pulled their free formed music together into specific songs and started gigging.

How do you find playing within the confines of song structure now?

“It depends, because we’re touring this album so heavily and we’re playing the same songs every night sometimes you kind of go into Groundhog Day, you go into autopilot. I think we’re really lucky that we’ve put these songs together that we all really like and we enjoy playing, so that’s a bonus. It depends on the show as well I think, when you’re in the middle of a tour sometimes you’re just trying to get through it, trying to put as much energy into it as you can, but other nights things come really easily and you can mix it up, start jamming and everything comes together. You try out new things that you haven’t done before, it’s always good when that happens.”

You guys buy and play through a lot of vintage gear. Obviously that will effect your sound but do you think those purchases have any effect on your songwriting?

“I think they do, having a really nice instrument to play makes you want to play it more. I think a really cool instrument has its own character and a life of it’s own, so yeah, I think so for sure. Writing songs and recording is really different from touring as well. A lot of that stuff is really fragile so when you’re touring for a long time you’ve got to start buying a lot of new stuff just so it doesn’t fall apart. But definitely, an old vintage guitar, drum kit or keyboard have sounds that a new instrument just doesn’t have.”

You advocate energetic and emotional performances over faultless and mundane gigs. How hard is it when it comes to recording in this era of over production to find a producer that embraces a performance warts and all?

“I think that we were really lucky. We met with a few producers and it was just lucky that we got to hook up with Dave (Sardy – Marilyn Manson, Oasis). He was great, we got a really good vibe off him and he had a really good sense of humour. He was straight up and honest instead of just telling you what you want to hear.”

I was interested to hear that you have recently announced your support for the Global Cool Foundation. Now I’m curious, what exactly are Wolfmother doing as a band to lower CO2 emissions?

“Flying around in planes isn’t really helping is it? I have no idea; we’re not really a very environmentally friendly band, although I do turn the lights out in my motel room when I leave… and I reuse my towels.”