Midnight Woolf

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Midnight Woolf


Midnight Woolf began as Sanchez’s pet project in 2004, when he decided to transpose his interest in blues into an album of songs. “I had time alone at home, and I fell in love with the blues,” Sanchez says. “I recorded an album and gave about 50 copies for my friends.” When Lluis came over to Australia from Spain, the embryonic Midnight Woolf concept began to evolve. “My brother was really getting into bluesy-garage music,” Sanchez says. Sanchez had already seized upon the name Midnight Woolf for his ‘solo’ outfit. “The name was a bit of a nod to Virginia Woolf, who I was reading a lot of at the time.”

Having started out originally as an instrumental outfit, Midnight Woolf evolved into a ‘proper’ rock’n’roll outfit. “In 2006 we went over to Spain and did a record in three months,” Sanchez says. “Whereas I was writing the songs early on, now my brother is doing a lot of the writing.” The songwriting partnership is fraternal, and organic. “If a song doesn’t seem to work straight away, then it’s dropped,” Sanchez says. “With this record [I’ll Be A Dog] I recorded and mixed the record, but Lluis and I work on the lyrics together. For the first few times we play the songs live we don’t really know what we’re doing – we’re just yelling shit out!” Sanchez laughs.

Sanchez doesn’t have any illusions about the originality of Midnight Woolf – this is a celebration of blues music, in all its raw, regularly plagiarised glory. “When we record, we do it quickly, and we don’t think about it too much,” Sanchez says. “We’re not trying to re-invent anything new, and we’re not trying to be particularly original. Sometimes I play with musicians who get offended if they’re compared to someone else. But as long as you sound like the right people, I’ll take those sorts of comparisons!”

Midnight Woolf has managed to exploit its familial and cultural ties to Europe with a couple of overseas tours already, with a further tour later this year. “There’s a great rock’n’roll scene in Europe. All the people over there seem to know each other, and they’re at the same gigs. And those people love our type of music – we’ve been to Holland, France, Spain. It’s chaotic mayhem, a sort of speed-fuelled frenzy,” Sanchez laughs. And then there’s the legendary European hospitality, a cultural-professional attribute all touring artists wax lyrical about. “As an artist you get treated with respect,” Sanchez says. “You get taken out to dinner by the promoter, and you’re really looked after.” Sanchez doesn’t expect Spain’s current economic woes to present too much of an impediment for Midnight Woolf’s impending Spanish tour. “We’ve been to Spain when it’s been in economic trouble before, and it’s been fine,” Sanchez says. “With the Spanish, when it comes to partying, they don’t care if they’re poor or rich. And we’ll fleece them for whatever they’ve got!” he laughs.

Despite being a few years older than his brother, Sanchez says he steers clear of telling his younger brother what to do, whether it’s musically or in the design of Midnight Woolf’s very colourful album covers and promotional material. “One time before I had an idea for the cover art, but Lluis said he’d do whatever the fuck he wanted!” Sanchez laughs. “Democracy is too slow in a band – you need some executive dictatorship. While I’m four years older than Lluis, everyone who knows him, know that he’ll do what the fuck he wants to do.” That said, Sanchez says there’s a constructive, and non-combative partnership between the siblings. “We understand each other, “ Sanchez says. “We take the path of least resistance – there’s none of the Gallagher brother fireworks!”

This week Midnight Woolf will launch their new album, I’ll Be A Dog (in mid-August Sanchez’s other current outfit, River of Snakes, will launch its new single, a cover of Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl).  Sanchez sees no immediate limit to its mining of garage-blues material. “I reckon it’s endless,” Sanchez laughs. “Maybe in about four or five years’ time we’ll start covering ourselves, and we’ll rip ourselves off!”