Wooden Lions put roar power on show

By Holly Tregenza

SOME of Ky’s best local talent is on the road to Bendigo this weekend with much loved rock band The Wooden Lions set to play their first headline show at the Golden Vine Hotel on Friday.

The band formed almost a year ago when vocalist Jenna Ward and bassist Uwe Puetz linked up and went into the studio to record some original music.

There they met guitarist Josh Rat and drummer Cameron Prictor, who stepped in to play for the recording and haven’t looked back since.

Rat and Prictor also play in the heavy rock band Stone Djoser, which is currently on the rise with their debut self-titled album.

Puetz played in the late Kyabram band the Razorbacks, which got some play on Triple J in the 90s.

Meanwhile, Ward is more known for her solo name Jdubuary, which has a more grungy ambient quality and is played acoustically.

It’s an unlikely combination but one that has pushed out some punchy sounds in the crossover.

“I think we were all pretty surprised when our sounds worked so well together. It’s been really special to have the input of these musicians on songs that were just floating around that I’d written in the past,” Ward said.

“My songs have been used as a bit of a blueprint and then everyone has had an impact on the songs, which I really love.”

The band’s single Tempo was well received when it was released six months ago, and they are hoping to back it up with an album sometime this year.

If their first track is anything to go by it will feature sounds that have a grungy, heavy side that gives way to softness clearly influenced by Ward.

The band boasts two engineers, with Rat working digitally and Prictor more inclined to an analogue approach.

“Crossing them over and combining them together, you have access to some great skills and it’s resulted in the capture of some awesome recording sound,” said Ward.

Ward’s lyrics tap into some of the most emotional moments in her life, namely the death of her dad and brother and experiences with depression.

“My lyrics are very raw,” she said.

“There isn’t much room to hide in the way I write. I thrive on metaphors and almost every day I read poetry to strengthen my lyrical inspiration.

“I have a husky voice. I can sing grungy and do big screams, while I enjoy the much more softer side of my voice. I have a man voice and a girl voice. I alternate often between the two.’’

The name Wooden Lions comes from a painting Ward did while dealing with the death of her brother.

Her dog, Vinegar, became a support during this period. She painted him facing a lion, showing his courage and determination.

“He was my rock during those hard times, and when it came to naming the band it felt like our songs reflected times we had all been faced with. The Wooden Lions means ‘carved courage’ as in the painting Vinegar faces the carved wooden lion with courage,’’ she said.

The gig starts from 9.30pm, with support acts The Trophy Wives and Flora.