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Interview: NICK WOLFE

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You might not have heard of The Wolfe Brothers before now but this great country rock band, hailing from Tasmania, will soon become the name on everyone’s lips. Chosen personally by Australia’s No. 1 country artist Lee Kernaghan, to support him on his current national tour, Beautiful Noise, these guys are about to hit the road and show everyone what they’re made of. Like the title of their debut album says – ‘It’s On’. And Rock Club 40 recently had the pleasure of talking to singer, Nick Wolfe, about the band’s success and future plans…


Music has always been a part of life for the Wolfe family. “Dad forced guitars into our hands at an early age,” Nick tells me. “But we’re pretty thankful he did.” The Wolfe Brothers have been playing in Tasmania for a few years and had recorded an EP but they needed something more. “We needed something to get us over to the big island,” explains Nick. “But we just couldn’t seem to get anyone to take notice of us so last year, we thought ‘Let’s give this ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ a go. The public connected with us and we ended up being Runner Up and it’s literally been life changing for us so we were able to ditch our day jobs and now we’re playing pub gigs and selling CDs. It’s been a dream come true for us.”


Their appearance on ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ was certainly a turning point for the band. Lee Kernaghan saw them perform on the show and asked them to audition with his band. The Wolfe Brothers have always played Lee’s songs at country gigs so they went to a rehearsal studio in Sydney and rehearsed about ten of his songs. “When Lee came in,” says Nick, “we played one of his songs, ‘Dirt’ and, as you can imagine, it was the most nerve racking experience. At the end of the song, Lee turned to us and said ‘Congratulations boys. You’ve got the job.’ I don’t think any of us really believed him until he went around the room, shaking our hands. What a magic night!”


The guys have all become good friends with Lee during their time on the road and are really enjoying the experience of working with their idol. They grew up listening to his music and genuinely admire his work. “I think we bring a new energy to Lee’s shows and Lee has a wealth of experience and he is teaching us so much. I think it is a really great partnership we’ve got going.”


Their success has taken them a long way from the small Tasmanian town where they grew up. “We’re from a little town about twenty minutes out of Hobart,” Nick says, “But we are seeing it less and less. We’re spending a lot of time in planes at the moment. We’ve got a little family farm, a little fruit orchard down here. Back in our grandfather’s time, it was a full time thing. It’s more of a hobby now. It’s a really nice part of the world. We’re only twenty minutes from Hobart but it feels like you’re in another realm. We’re pretty fortunate. We’ve grown up here and you don’t have neighbours right on your back step so we can make as much noise as we want, practicing with the band.”


And that’s the way they like it. They have no plans to leave Tasmania. “We’d love to stay here,” the singer admits. “When we signed to our management company, that was the first question we asked. Do we have to move? It’s great to come home somewhere as relaxing and peaceful as this. When you get off the plane after being away, you notice the air here is crisper.”


Their new album is the highest debuting country album in the last ten years.  “We recorded most of it at our house,” he reveals. “It was done in Tom’s bedroom. He didn’t really have a bedroom for six months. He had to crawl out over the mixing desk if he wanted to go to bed.”


But, of course, everything changed after their appearance on ‘Australia’s Got Talent’. “We were able to get it finished off in Nashville by Luke Wootton who has worked with a lot of big stars and he put a real shine on it.”


It’s On’ is the current single and title track of the album. ‘We did the clip for that in our mate’s shed,” Nick reveals. “He invited about a hundred mates and put on about $1,000 worth of beer and let the cameras roll. That was a really good night. The next single, I’m pretty sure, is going to be ‘One Way State of Mind’ which is about trying to make it in the music industry. We were sitting down at band practice one night, talking about what we were trying to do; trying to get somewhere in this elusive industry and we had the lyrics written in about fifteen minutes.”


Obviously, Nick and Tom have known each other a long time but the other guys in the band have also been good friends for many years. They all went to school together. “It’s great to be able to do this with four mates,” says Nick, “And not just with four musos. We know each other inside out. We might have the occasional fight; particularly Tom and I, being brothers, but it’s always resolved very quickly and I think some other bands would just fold after some of the things we’ve been through, I guess.”


The guys have played at Tamworth two years now and the difference between the two gigs was quite extreme, according to Nick. “The first time, I think we had about twenty or thirty people at our gigs, then we were playing to close to ten thousand with Lee and it was quite surreal.”


Nick says that they are always writing and plan to record another album at the start of next year. “It’s going to be a real challenge to follow this album up,” he admits. “But it’s working out ok. We’d just like to leave behind a great album. And we’re looking forward to touring, getting out there, making a whole bunch of fans and maybe we’ll make it to The States in a couple of years as well but, for the moment, getting a bigger fan base in Australia is what we’re about. We just want to get out there and give the fans a great show and have a great time doing it. We’re not taking it too seriously. We’re just going to keep working and keep slugging away. We’re having such a ball doing it so what have we got to lose? We’ll just keep hammering away at it, I reckon.”



by Sharyn Hamey





Copyright © 2013 Sharyn Hamey All Rights Reserved



The Wolfe Brothers are touring with Lee Kernaghan on his Beautiful Noise tour. For further info, click here



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