Live preview: Wolfmother

You named Wolfmother’s new album Victorious. Was that a reflection of how you’re currently feeling? I wrote it for a friend who had an illness and it didn’t look good. But then she got better and I realised that the simple things in life are real victories.

Do you think you’ve become more expressive on stage?

I remember at the start, someone was filming our first gig. I said to myself: “I’m going to do this huge move.” Then I saw the footage, and my hand just went like this [makes small strumming motion]. I realised that when you’re on stage, when you think you’re making these big moves, you really aren’t. So you have to do something extraordinary to have any sort of presence.

Why do people call you a control freak? Because you’d rather record demos alone and then bring songs to the band?

To me it’s more an instinctive way of working, because you’re not in control of the elements, the elements are controlling you.

Would you say you believe in the esoteric arts?

I believe in a lot of these things. Where I live in Byron Bay is considered a healing place. Aboriginal women come to give birth there. A lot of people I know are yoga teachers.

Was making your solo album, Keep Moving, liberating?

It started off as a Wolfmother record and veered off into a solo record. I just wanted to take a break from being in a band.

Wolfmother are often likened
to Zeppelin and Sabbath.

People always compare us to those two bands. But at the heart of it I’ve always wanted to make something more like The Beatles’ White Album.

Did you hire producer Brendan O’Brien for Victorious so he’d tell you stories about AC/DC?

He didn’t give a lot away. But he did tell me AC/DC wanted to have cigarettes in the control room, and he insisted upon there being no smoking. Angus didn’t take it well.

You can’t really be Australian and not like AC/DC, can you?

Sometimes I just go: “Yeah, whatever.” But when I listen to It’s A Long Way To The Top, I just think: “God, they nailed that one.”

The tour starts in Dublin on April 8.

Jaan Uhelszki

One of the first women to work in rock journalism, Jaan Uhelszki got her start alongside Lester Bangs, Ben Edmonds and Dave Marsh — considered the “dream team” of rock writing at Creem Magazine in the mid-1970s. Currently an Editor at Large at Relix, Uhelszki has published articles in NME, Mojo, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Classic Rock, Uncut and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her awards include Online Journalist of the Year and the National Feature Writer Award from the Music Journalist’s Association, and three Deems Taylor Awards. She is listed in Flavorwire’s 33 Women Music Critics You Need to Read and holds the dubious honour of being the only rock journalist who has ever performed in full costume and makeup with Kiss.