Australian band Wolfmother on their recent India tour and why sales and awards do not equal knowledge

Australian rock band Wolfmother was in India recently to perform at the Hard Rock Cafes in Mumbai and Delhi and at BITS-Pilani in Hyderabad.

“We got a request on Facebook. Every month there was a request coming from India and we thought ‘why don’t we do something crazy and answer them?’ And then it happened, here we are,” says the band, describing how the tour materialised.

The trio, comprising vocalist and guitarist Andrew Stockdale, bassist and keyboardist Ian Peres and drummer Vin Steele, has previously won a Grammy Award for the Best Hard Rock Performance.

Funnily enough, it wasn’t until this award that Stockdale started taking guitar lessons.

“I played the trumpet first and then I played the drums, because you could get out of school for some hours if you played the drums, and then my brother had a guitar and I asked him: hey can I have a go with that? And everything happened,” says Stockdale, who also won the title of “Songwriter of the year” at the Australasian Performing Right Association Awards 2007. “I wanted to learn a little bit more about this instrument, because I did not really know what I was doing.”

According to the band, sales and awards need not end the process of learning. “If you sell a lot of records it does not mean that you know everything, it just means that you are more famous,” Andrew adds.

A new song comes to the band as an idea does — suddenly. When it does, the first rule they follow is to write it down as soon as possible, even if it is the middle of the night or in the middle of a road.

The second rule for them is to get used to writing, to make it a creative habit. “It is like doing push ups,” they say.

The first Indian tour of the Wolfmother is hopefully just the beginning of a new story.

They find the country to be a soulful and dynamic place, and are optimistic that an all India tour can be organised in the future.