Wolfmother: The kick in the ass that rock needs

Somehow, this is just the kick in the ass that rock needs. Big hair. Tight pants. {{{Van}}} Halen leg extenders. Black Sabbath power chords. Zep-like guitar hooks. And boldly polished, Stonehenge-mystical, heavy metal theatrics. No kidding, the guys in the Sydney-based, power-trio WolfMother -- Andrew Stockdale, vocals; Chris Ross, bass and keyboards; Myles Heskett; drums -- come on like star students from Jack Black's "School of Rock". They got all the right moves. The sound is technically phantasmic and simplistically super-sonic. And the whole shebang is just wildly -- and quite seriously -- fun as hell. Put simply: they rock. Old school. Move over, Freddy {{{Mercury}}}, step aside Ozzy Osbourne, here comes the Wolf. --Nathan Myers

You guys hit the stage like you've been playing live forever.

CHRIS ROSS: We just really like doing it. If people want us to bring it, then we bring it. And if they don't, then we do it anyway.

How'd you guys come together?

CHRIS: We're a "friends of friends" band. I met Myles through my girlfriend who met this guy who collected vintage synths, and I met him and he lived with Myles, so then I moved in with Myles, so then I went snowboarding with this dude for a couple months and he went to school with this girl who went out with Andrew and brought him to a party at my house, and so, there you go.

So when did it turn into a band?

CHRIS: I don't know. Myles and I have been playing with people forever. Like, ever since I met him we were always looking for people to play with and could never quite find the right people. And then, Myles was overseas and Andrew came around and we really hit it off, so when Myles came back we all started playing. Andrew had just finished uni and was trying to avoid work, as we all were.

Is he a real character off the stage or what?

CHRIS: He's, uh, interesting offstage, but yeah, he certainly turns it on when he gets onstage, which I think is something that initially attracted us to him because he'd come over to jam and be, like, climbing up the walls and shit. So we were like, yeah, this is all right.

Yeah, where does one learn power leg kicks and microphone twirling? Seems like something straight out of a School of Rock.

CHRIS: I don't know, maybe it's a secret handed down through the generations. I know he's a big Jon Spencer Fan, and Jon Spencer loves that sorta stuff. It's certainly a spectacle to behold. But it's gotta be done just the right amount. It's a fine line.

It's almost Spinal Tap-like, in a way.

CHRIS: But I think he's doing it earnestly and honestly, as well.

You guys need pyrotechnics.

CHRIS: I KNOW!! We're working on that. We had to leave our lighting guy behind on this tour, cause it was kinda of expensive, but he's got his pyrotechnics license. He definitely likes to blow shit up, so it'll be good when we can bring him.

That would take it to the next level. A power-kick isn't the same without a nice explosion in the background.

CHRIS: That's right. Hey, we might use you for some artistic direction.

You guys recorded the album in LA - how was that process?

CHRIS: Recording this album was pretty hard work. We've spent most of our lives trying to avoid hard work, hence starting a band. Working with Sari was excellent, but we've never worked that hard before. But it really paid off. When we got the album we were like, "far out." We busted a gut doing this, and to us, it really sounds like it.