Magic Dirt man Raul Sanchez, started Midnight Woolf originally as a solo affair, an outlet where he could explore different blues influences, recording instrumental demos to a 4 track. Raul has since turned the one-time “solo project” into a full time concern, adding other musicians to the Woolf pack and releasing three albums of murky blues punk. In 2009 the band embarked on a brief tour of Europe and have only been moving forward since. Undone gets the word from the Woolf on 50’s rock n roll, European food and uhh wolf movies…..
Interviewed: Raul Sanchez (guitar/vox).
UNDONE: What's the history behind Midnight Woolf, How did you guys all meet and when did you first get together?
Well Midnight Woolf started as a solo thing, I was getting into the blues a lot around 2004, then I started recording songs on my own at home using a 4-track cassette machine, no lyrics just guitars, noise and drums, I ended up putting it all together and doing about 50 copies with a black and white cover to give to my friends and put a few in some shops like Missing link. Lluis ended up doing some drawings and I put them in too. That is the first album called 'Blues that just won't quit'.
Then Lluis and his girlfriend at the time came over from Valencia (Spain) for holiday and we ended up forming a band to play some of those songs and some new ones. Lluis was getting good at the guitar and Isabel was just learning drums. We did a few shows and then enlisted a friend of mine Adam Laidlaw to play Guitar as well. In a short period we recorded the second album 'Electric Deluxe Graveyard Blues' again an instrumental record and we put it out ourselves. Lluis and Isabel returned to Spain.
In 2006 I went to Valencia for three months and with a Bass Player Julian El Gegant (the Giant) and David Flack on harmonica we wrote and recorded the third album 'Voodoo Canape', the first album with vocals from Lluis and myself, we recorded it in our garage using a 4-track machine then I took the tapes back home to Melbourne, finished the vocals and mixed it. We also played a few shows around Spain while I was there. Our sound had changed somewhat including influences from The Cramps, The Sonics, The Scientists, Link Wray and a heap of Garage, and old 50's Rock'n'Roll.
In 2007 Lluis and Isabel came to live in Melbourne and we began to play a shitload, David the Harp player even came over for a while. We got to writing and recorded the fourth album 'Tropical Disease' after enlisting Tom Heathcote on Bass, enlieu of Adam Laidlaws departure. Now that Isabel has quit we have the awesome Dante Gabriele on drums, we are like a rock'n'roll roller coaster!!
UNDONE: Who else plays in the band and do you guys play in any other bands?
Well there has been a number of members and we all played in different bands at the moment we have;
Lluis the Fuzzhound he's playing in 'The Lost Ones'
Dante Gabriele on Drums for the moment is playing in 'Silence Dead Silence'.
I, Raul Sanchez the Midnight Woolf play in 'Magic Dirt' and 'River of Snakes'
Tom Heathcote has played in a truckload of bands but we actually played together back in the 90's in a band called Muffcake.
UNDONE: What part of Melbourne are you from?
Well Lluis and I grew up in Mt Waverley which is a suburb in the East, boring as bat shit. Tom Heathcote also grew up around there and Dante grew up in the north.
The suburbs are dead after 6pm so we ended up doing what a lot of teenagers do, drink, smoke pot, listen to music, skate, break things and play music, it was lucky that we started playing cos it gave us something to focus on.
UNDONE: What are some of the bands influences in and around music?
Well apart from the ones I mentioned above there is a whole heap of stuff we like from Surf Music, Eddie Angel, Duanne Eddie, the Trashmen and the like to Punk and garage like the Gories, Feast of Snakes, Beasts of Bourbon, Cosmic Psychos, Mudhoney, The Oblivians , The Gun Cub, The Monsters plus old Rock'a'billy, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Blues Houndog Taylor, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Canned Heat and we all love Chuck Berry and Bo Didley, plus Soul music, Motown and old Rock Steady before reggae.
The thing I like to stress is that we ain't purists; we like to fuck shit up, mash things together and just have fun with whatever we come across.
UNDONE: Midnight Woolf toured Europe last year, tell us about that, which countries did you guys play in and who did you play with?
We mainly played in Spain, did like six shows all over the place, Madrid, Burgos, Cordoba, Ubeda and Valencia then one in France (Rennes) and two in the Netherlands finishing in Amsterdam.
UNDONE: How were the European audiences?
Man the audiences where great, to come out and see a band that is so little known and then have a great time and buy our shit was so good. They sure know how to party and well we can definitely keep up.
UNDONE: What did you get up to when you weren't playing shows?
We ate, yep our driver a friend of Lluis' was blown away by our appetite, we'd make an occasion of it, sit at roadhouses and get stuck into the menu.
The roadhouses over there have great food for truckers plus it changes as you go through different regions. We also drove a lot, and well got fucked up. It was a lot of fun. To finish in Amsterdam was awesome, and we had a great crowd plus a tonne of friends so it was 24-7 party time. By the end of it we were all sick, with colds sore throats and the rest, classic tour blow out.
UNDONE: Midnight Woolf's Third album "Tropical Disease" was released last year, you guys have been quite active for a band in its 6th year, can we expect any new material in upcoming months?
We'll we slowed down since Isabel started tattooing, cos we couldn't rehearse as much but now that she has left we are straight into writing and are pretty close to having an albums worth, I'd say we'll record soon and have it finished by the end of the year.
UNDONE: What are some of your favourite Australian bands past or present?
My Favourite Aussie bands would be The Scientists, The Saints, The Eastern Dark, The Meanies, Powder Monkeys, The Easybeats, AC/DC, The Breadmakers, The Bakelite Age, The Hard-Ons, Johnnie and the Johnnie Johnnies, Beasts of Bourbon, Spencer. P. Jones, Rowland S. Howard and a shitload I've forgotten right now.
UNDONE: Highs and Lows of playing in a rock n roll band?
Playing a great show is better than almost anything I've ever done, nothing else matters! Travelling and meeting great people, eating good food! Love it! The lows? Well, the usual shit, dealing with dickheads, working day jobs, carrying your shit around, a lot of work and not much pay.
UNDONE: When can we expect to see you guys up north again soon?
We are hoping to get up there soon, maybe before the years end.
UNDONE: And finally I wanted to ask; what is your favourite Wolf movie?
Man, the one and only, the old Universal Studios and original "The Wolfman", that movie wrote the rulebook on werewolves.