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Jen interviews Daniel from The Wombats about their upcoming Aussie shows, including The Opera House and Groovin the Moo.

2017 marks 10 years since Alt pop trio The Wombats released their debut record A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation. These shows will be a celebration of all things The Wombats, showcasing a selection of the bands biggest hit across Glitterbug, This Modern Glitch and will close with all of your favorite tracks off A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation.

The Wombats have sold out their first show at The Sydney Opera House and tickets are on sale for their second show here. 

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Daniel had just played some Football before our chat so he was feeling a little sore. Pretty sure he meant to say Soccer ! haha

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When discussing how it had been ten years since their Debut Album he shared his amazement as well as me that time had flown. I had looked up their Facebook page prior to the interview and commented that their time in Australia was in fact going to be a back to back party. Daniel stated “ Pretty much, that is the way we roll! One long party jetlagged would be ideal.”

 

I had to take the chance to chat with Daniel about my obsession with Joy Division/ New order. Having met Peter Hook and interviewed him when he was last year was a huge bucket list tick for me. I asked Daniel, what it was about them that ignited their passion for them enough to write a song about dancing to their music.

He replied. “ We met with Peter Hook and got to play with him at Newcastle years ago and I think it was for a Channel 4 program and he was involved in it and he ended up playing bass to ‘Backfire to the Disco’ a song off our first album, it was so cool, he put his foot on the monitor and had the bass so low, in a tiny dive bar in Newcastle. It was just such a great experience. He had not played for a while and before the show he was saying that he was a bit nervous as it had been over six months and we were like how can you be nervous? You are Peter Hook! We are all fans of both bands but that song was more a one-off experience, it just so happened that Murph and his ex-girlfriend ended up dancing on the tables to ‘Love will tear us apart’ and the irony of that song and dancing and having a great time, singing along to a song that is saying that ‘Love will tear us apart’.

 

We then moved on to our festivals down here and how they loved playing them. I asked why do they keep coming back? Daniel replied “ I think it is the warm welcome that we have over there.  Pretty much since the first time we went over to Australia we couldn’t believe it, I can’t really explain it but when you take a plane for 20 odd hours and you turn up to a place that you’ve never been to and you walk on stage and there is 1000 people and they are all singing along to the words of a song that we wrote. Especially that first time we came over to Australia, when the first album came out and everything started to move quite quickly, it was all just a bit of a world wind, those moments really stay with you and I think that we always just had so much fun in Australia and it was so intense, I am not sure that was the jetlag making it all seem like a dream. I like the sense of humor, it was a natural place for us to be and we were happy that people actually got us. We have been to some places and people have not got our sense of humor.  Australia is awesome and the weather is great. Every time our managers or our label ask us if we want to go to Australia we say yes!”

I had seen The Wombats at Splendour in the Grass or should I say mud two years ago. I asked Daniel if he preferred festivals or single shows or do they both have their merits. Seeing of course that Groovin the Moo was coming up.Daniel was quick to respond “ Yes I think both have their merits, obviously in our summer which is your winter there is a festival circuit in UK and Europe and you don’t actually do many headlines shows and you get like 10 weeks of Friday Saturday Sunday shows all around the place and by the end of the summer we’re thinking if I see another muddy field!!! In Australia we do festival, headlined show, headline show, Festival etc it is nicely spread out and the weather is great. Even though at Splendour in the Grass it was muddy it had a really good vibe to it. It was mind blowing for us I think that is one of the best gigs we have ever done and I’m not just saying that it really was. My cousin was over and he had seen us so many times and in various countries and he said that was ridiculous, the electricity in the air. When people in the crowd have been drinking all day, life just doesn’t seem to exist outside of the festival and a lot of headline shows the people have been at work all day and they come and they are a little bit tired, they can be a difference.”

I wanted to know as the guys are more mature now, being ten years older….  looking back in hind sight what would you do differently if you had your time over again? Great answer here…..“Life is too short to have too many regrets, it is better to keep ploughing on.”

After those words of wisdom he did admit that perhaps they could of partied less!

I asked if selling out the Opera House was a bucket list for him. “We had talked about it, that it would be cool to do that one day, with an orchestra, we often joked about it when the promoter asked us if we fancied playing at the Opera House, it is such an iconic venue and it is such a beautiful building, architecturally and it is legendary. Our family and relatives when we tell them where we are playing say oh yeah but when we told them that we were playing at The Opera House they were impressed. It has this respectability about it energy is going to be a hell of a moments and there was a lot of excited emails and texts going around when we found out about it.”

I asked if they were planning on doing a music video of one of their shows in Aus like you did for Emoticons. I was keen for Melbourne of course. Daniel thought this was a cool idea but when we discussed it he was leaning towards The Opera House. He remembered when they played at Royal Albert Hall, 8 or 9 years ago and they wanted to film it but they had to get a licensing and permit to do it, it was too costly. We left that conversation with dreams in his head to film in Sydney, damn it! He did say that it was a great idea and he was going to send an email to their manager as soon as we got off the phone.

 

I asked Dan when they write music do they ever think, hey this song would be great for a movie or tv show. He seemed to find this actually quite funny. He replied “Not really,  we are just so dead excited about how it sounds in the studio at the time and just dancing around. We have had some songs that we just can’t wait to play live, you get excited about how you think people are going to react. Until I actually see a movie or a TV show with the music in this I have actually thought that one of our songs would work really well. it would be fun to make a song or a movie.” I think he was going to add that to his email to their manager.

Daniel actually thought that my next question was amusing too, I asked him “Have you really stuffed up in a show and had to try and look like you did not?” He replied that he actually had stopped songs before and that they had definitely fucked up loads of times.

We discussed whether he got nervous before a show and I admitted that before a interview of a band that I have always loved that I did. His response suprised me as he told me a story about interviewing Paul McCartney and Ronnie, the drummer in The Killers on Radio 1. He said that him and Murph ended up drinking a bottle of wine because they were so nervous. I told Daniel that I could not often do that as my interviews were early in the morning! He then got back to the question and said that it was the right mix of , excitement, nerves and adrenaline before a show that was the norm for him.

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I asked Dan to sum up in 5 words why people should come and see their shows in Australia. He said that it was a hard question and he really had to think. I was cheeky and told him that I had researched his band and wrote my questions so it was now up to him to think hard. He thought this was very funny. In the end I explained that he could use a swear world if he wished. He then told me to take 5 words out of the next sentence, “A birthday Party to remember” was his answer. I thought he did quite well with that answer! 

We had a longer conversation as I was the last interviewer for the session. Daniel was a complete sweetie and I loved the chat. I encourage you all to go and experience The Wombats on their tour.

If you are wondering why an English band are called The Wombats, I am too as I did not ask the obvious question!

Interview by Jen Rees

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