INTERVIEW: The Wombats | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Since bursting on to the scene with their first album A Guide To Love Loss And Desperation in 2007, which contained a whole clutch of indie-disco hits, Liverpudlian trio The Wombats have been a staple of the British indie scene. Eight years and two albums later, they’re gearing up to release their third full-length LP, Glitterbug, a more personal yet no less catchy record to add to their impressive canon. They’re also readying themselves for an extensive UK tour, during which they’ll be paying a visit to Newcastle’s O2 Academy. I had a quick chat with drummer Dan Haggis about the new album and their plans for the next few months.

We last heard from you back in 2011 when you released This Modern Glitch; what have you been up to the past few years?

Well we toured for 18 months to 2 years after the second album was released then got straight to work on writing songs that turned into Glitterbug. There were a few boring scheduling reasons why the album wasn’t out sooner but we’re happy to wait as long as it takes to make an album we’re happy with.

What can we expect from Glitterbug? 

A dark, exciting, uplifting, “highway-at-night” type album that hopefully takes the listener on a sonic journey from start to finish!

You mentioned on XFM that this was your most personal album yet, but you had already got quite personal on the last album – what is it that you want to share with people on Glitterbug? 

Nearly all our songs we’ve ever made come from an autobiographical start point so the lyrics are always personal. I guess if one person experiences something and puts it into a song honestly then someone somewhere in the world should be able to relate to it somehow. Glitterbug touches upon break ups, the intense start of a relationship, sex, partying, big cities and all the hope and desperation that flows within all of these.

How does it feel to bare your own personal issues so openly for people to see? 

It’s therapeutic…somehow.

You’ve got a huge UK and European tour running right through summer currently underway; how do you get yourselves through so many dates?

Take each day as it comes, tomorrow can wait. That’s actually a pretty good way to get through life too but on tour it’s good to just focus on the day ahead, if you start thinking about the amount of energy you’re going to need every night over the next three months it can be a little daunting!

the wombats

“Take each day as it comes, tomorrow can wait. That’s actually a pretty good way to get through life”

Do you have any pre-gig rituals?  

Yeah, we have a group hug then shake hands very formally, look each other in the eyes and say “have a great show.” That coupled with a few stretches and oohs and aahs usually does the trick.

What can we expect from a Wombats gig? 

Us playing our songs and sweating profusely.

What are the ingredients for the perfect gig? 

We always feed off the energy of the crowd so that’s really important to us. The location usually doesn’t really matter but recently we did a show on a floating party boat in Sydney Harbour with the Opera House as a backdrop. It was insane!

What excites you most about the year ahead?

April 13th, when our album finally comes out, is going to be a special day!

Is there a particular festival that you can’t wait to play this summer? 

We’re headlining the Festival Republic Stage at Reading/Leeds festival this summer which is always special. Leeds was my first festival experience back in 2000 when I was 16 and I had such a good time and the young drummer in me watching the Foo Fighters kept thinking, imagine playing at this place! It’s gonna be fun…

The Wombats play at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on Sunday 19th April.

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