Music

Interview: Dan Haggis – The Wombats

We chat to The Wombats Drummer...

If you’re of a certain age and musical persuasion (30, likes music with guitars, HIYA!) The Wombats will have no doubt a special place in your heart. Since breaking through in 2007 with their seminal debut album A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation, featuring the huge singles “Moving to New York” and “Let’s Dance to Joy Division,” The trio have become one of the most well-loved indie bands in the country. 

The Wombats recently announced their fourth studio album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life will be released in February 2018, and the band will be going on a UK tour the month after to promote the record. We got Dan from the band, to tell us all about it. Enjoy! 

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Hi Dan! Can you tell us where in the world you are right now and what you’re up to?
I’m in London making music in my studio, playing drums and generally enjoying a bit of normality before next year kicks off! 

We are loving your new single “Lemon to a Knife Fight,” what have you made of the reaction to the track so far?
Thanks, glad you like it! The reaction since it was first aired on radio 1 has been amazing, we’ve had lots of nice comments and messages from our wonderful fans all over the world. 

Can you tell us the inspiration for the song, please?
Murph had an argument with his wife and as usual, realised that there was no chance he was going to win it!

You cut your teeth in Liverpool’s grassroots music venues, how important were small independent venues to your band when starting out?
So important. I don’t think we’d be here now if it wasn’t for them. We played so many small venues across the country during our first 3 years as a band and really learnt to play, travel and function together and also developed as a band. If you’d have heard our first few EP’s you’d really hear how much we changed. I think playing live so much made our songs more energetic and it teaches you what works and what doesn’t. 

What advice would you give to a new band, playing their first shows?
Just enjoy yourselves!! It’s not about the destination…

You recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of your debut album A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation, what does that record mean to you one decade on?
Yeah those 10-year shows were a lot of fun and brought back some great memories. That album was the fruit of nearly 4 years of writing and playing together as a band and we recorded it pretty much live so when I listen to it I can hear the energy and excitement of us 3 young guys playing every song as hard and fast as possible in Monmouth, South Wales!  

You’re touring with The Pixies and Weezer in the US, is it fair to say that both those bands have had a huge influence on The Wombats? 
They’ve certainly been an influence yes, although we never knowingly set out to replicate something we’ve heard before but there are moments when we’ll be making a song and go, ‘ooh, this chugging guitar bit can be more Weezer…’. Pinkerton is one of Tord’s favourite albums and we’ve had a few late night sessions on tour cranking the Pixies up to 11… We are very excited about that tour!

What was the last gig you went to?
Bon Iver up in Edinburgh. I took the train up there from London, wrote my wedding speech for Murph on the way then went to the show on my own. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, goosebumps galore. He’s like the Brian Wilson of our generation for me. I actually ended up having drinks with some Wombats fans after who spotted old ‘billy no mates’ here and invited me along with them. We really do have the best fans.

We’re super excited about your new album, what can fans expect from the record?
We’re excited too, I just got the test pressing of the vinyl to approve! It’s hard to some up for people in the band I think but it feels new and different to us with less synths than the last 2 albums, a few more riffs and occasionally a bit of a 90s vibe maybe…I’d make a terrible music journalist! I will say that there are a few of my favourite ever Wombats songs on this album.

You’re touring the UK again in March, as a band who have played hundreds of shows what would you say is crucial for putting on a great live show?
Giving 100% every single night. You can have all the production and special effects in the world, which does help make the experience more, but without a heartfelt show, it’s not going to be great. Our fans make our job so much easier too by singing louder than us and dancing like maniacs every night! 

Catch The Wombats at the following UK shows in March 2018 

09/03/2018 – O2 Academy Sheffield 
11/03/2018 – Manchester Academy 
16/03/2018 – The Great Hall, Cardiff 
17/03/2018 – O2 Academy Sheffield 
19/03/2018 – Aberdeen Beach Ballroom 
20/03/2018 – O2 Academy Newcastle  
21/03/2018 – Rock City, Nottingham 
23/03/2018 – O2 Institute Birmingham 
24/03/2018 – Manchester Academy 
27/03/2018 – Alexandra Palace, London 
28/03/2018 – O2 Academy Bristol 
29/03/2018 – O2 Guildhall Southampton 

Grab Nottingham tickets from www.ticketweb.co.uk/thewombats 
For other dates, head to Ticketmaster 

 

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