I have heard a shitload about these Wolfmother guys, but all of it was how they’re like the MC5 or Led Zepplin. Well, I like the MC5 AND Led Zepplin, so that works for me. I got a phone call from the bass player, and we chatted away about everything from peanut butter and celery to beer. I poked fun at the singer’s hair, and we had a merry old time. Check it out…
Racket Jonathan: What’s up, big guy?
Wolfmother Chris: How’re you doing?
RJ: Hungry. I got out the Ritz crackers, but totally forgot that I was out of peanut butter. Now I live my life in disappointment.
WC: Ritz crackers and peanut butter?
RJ: Best thing, ever, hombre.
RJ: If you haven’t had ‘em, you’re not alive.
WC: I like celery with peanut butter…
RJ: Yeah, who doesn’t? But I like peanut butter more than celery, so I end up eating the peanut butter out of the celery, then refilling it like two more times. Chris, tell me a bit about yourself, what are your hobbies?
WC: Making music, which has now become a job, reading books. I’m playing around with watercolors at the moment. I like painting and drawing, collecting vintage synthesizers, Japanese Moogs and stuff like that. I think that’s about it.
RJ: I don’t care how your band started. I want to know why you bothered to start making music in the first place.
WC: I grew up in a family of five older brothers. My mom played a lot of music, she played organ and piano. My older brothers played guitar, one played piano and one has a huge record collection, so I just grew up with a lot of music. Just watching my family play inspired me to play.
RJ: So you’re from Australia…
RJ: Super, I have a question for you, and I’m going to need you to be honest with me. Don’t spare my feelings, alright?
RJ: Is Fosters really Australian for beer?
WC: Foster’s is Australian for export. Make it, get it out, and sell it to someone in another country. I don’t even know if it’s made in Australia; I just think it’s owned by an Australian company.
RJ: What’s the best beer in Australia?
WC: Everyone I know loves Ompera [ed. note: we have absolutely no idea if this is the right spelling or if this beer even exists. Stupid Aussies.] because it’s kind of a natural beer. I hate it. I think it tastes like homebrew, and why would you pay for homebrew?
RJ: What’s your favorite beer, then?
WC: Corona, but that’s not Australian.
RJ: Duh, that’s a fine Mexican beer.
WC: I love it. Put fruit in it, makes you feel like you’re eating healthy.
RJ: Fuck that, lime juice and salt’s all you need in there.
RJ: Yeah. A pinch of salt and a quarter of a lime, and now you’re cooking.
WC: I’ll need to try that as well.
RJ: Partner that bad boy with your fish taco, damn. When you guys first came to LA, what was the biggest shock?
WC: For me, it was getting my bike stolen, which I had only bought like, a week before. I was just around the corner from Cherokee Studios, and I was like “I’ll get a bike, it’ll be cool.” I was riding around and locked it up outside the Beverly Center and somebody stole it. They’re conspiring against me, frickin’ car companies. There was a good one that happened to [drummer] Myles. The homeless people in LA have heaps of shit; homeless people in Australia have one bag. These guys in LA are struggling to push four baskets. It’s an American tradition, having more stuff. Myles was walking by a guy with tons of stuff and he whispered “get out of my way” and then immediately yells “GET OUT OF MY WAY!” Myles kept walking and the guy yelled “CAN’T YOU HEAR ME YOU MENTAL IDIOT!?” I think that’s a good line.
RJ: Which celebrity are you most interested in having sex with?
WC: You know, there’s two points to this question. I don’t really go into the celebrity and fame thing. Maybe it’s an Australian thing, taking people at face value – you’re either cool or you’re a dick. I don’t really care. The other aspect is that I’m married with a child and another child coming. That’s not a very exciting answer.
RJ: Nope. It’s alright, though, pops. Have you ever seen Dave Matthews play his guitar?
RJ: Well, he holds his guitar up next to his throat, like he’s cuddling it. Do you think that’s weird?
WC: We’re talking about this yesterday after we supported this group in Boston. Some of the bands played with their instruments really high and we’re like, “they can really play! Maybe that’s the secret to really play.” We wear our stuff really low and jump around and stuff. Maybe we should wear them higher.
RJ: No. It looks like he’s hugging his guitar, not playing it.
WC: Maybe he loves it!
RJ: Maybe he does. If Eddie Vedder got his dick stuck in a wood chipper, do you think he’d still make that melodramatic grunt he does in all his songs?
WC: Oww! That’s a painful visualization. Is that what you think is the inspiration for that sound?
RJ: I look at the guy, and he’s just so hairy, I think he has all this extra testosterone and it comes out in cro-mag grunts in “Jeremy.”
WC: Did you know we opened for them in Europe?
RJ: I did not know that.
WC: We did three or four shows with them in Europe, and they’re the coolest, nicest guys. That whole crew and band is just so cool. Eddie even came out and sang “Mind’s Eye” at one of the last shows we did. They’re cool.
RJ: If you could finger-paint with the blood of your enemies, what would you paint? Personally, I’d go with unicorns. It’s neat that you can actually paint irony.
WC: Yea, I’d draw smiley faces and happy, happy things. We actually found a toy of a unicorn impaling people!
RJ: Yeah, I’ve seen that, too. On a scale of 1-10, how rock and roll is your hair?
WC: An eight, maybe a nine. Actually, I’d say more around a four. You think I have big crazy hair, you should see our singer’s.
RJ: Yeah, when was that last time Andrew got a haircut?
WC: I have no idea. I know Myles and I cut our hair on a regular basis. That’s the good thing about having curly hair, you can just cut it. I don’t know when he cut it. Must have been a long time ago!
RJ: When you did that video shoot with the dudes from Jackass, were you worried about your personal safety?
WC: Absolutely. It was pretty dangerous. They came out to our Sydney show, and when we got backstage, everyone was backstage drinking our beer and all like “Hey!” The scary thing is that they had the room next door and you can hear shit blowing up and people cursing and screaming. You know we play for an hour and then we get to be normal, but those guys are like that twenty-four hours a day.
RJ: I’m tired of asking questions. You ask me questions.
WC: What size shoe do you wear?
RJ: Eleven, sometimes eleven and a half.
WC: Holy shit, that’s pretty big. Favorite food?
RJ: I love Thai food, especially yellow curry with chicken.
WC: I love Thai food! You’ll have to go to Australia and eat Thai food, we have so many Thai immigrants. Our country’s pretty much based on immigrants. Poor Aboriginals, everyone’s taking their shit. We have a lot of good Thai and Indian food. I want to get some Mexicans to immigrate to Australia, get some of that good Mexican food. There’s nothing in Australia! What would you do if you didn’t have to go to work?
RJ: Shit. If I didn’t have to go to my day job, I would be all Office Space and just sit around, do nothing. Take naps. If I had money, I’d try every beer I can find. Just sit there with beer and Iron Chef.
WC: Sometime’s you just need some downtime doing nothing. What do you do for work?
RJ: I arrest shoplifters.
WC: You arrest shoplifters?
RJ: Yup. I just walk around and watch people steal.
WC: That’s rad!
RJ: My turn for questions. What Australian bands should I check out?
WC: There’s a band called Wolf and Cub…
RJ: What’s with you Australians and wolves?
WC: I don’t know, call them something else if you want. They’re fucking great. Very Primal Scream, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. There’s a band out of Melbourne called Children Collide, I want to say Pavement, but kind of like the Cure. And there’s a band from New Zealand called Die Die Die.
RJ: Interesting name. Alright, man.
WC: You gonna come see us? We’ll have a Corona with lime and salt!
RJ: I’m there, dude.